In this week’s post, we’re talking about stress. In an effort to go beyond the basic notion that stress is bad and we should try our best not to feel the effects of it, I have found a couple of articles from the Cleveland Clinic that do a great job of getting down to the nitty gritty of stress.

What is Stress?

Stress Management and Emotional Health

What is stress? The Cleveland Clinic shares:

Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. Even positive life changes such as a promotion, a mortgage, or the birth of a child produce stress.

Now that we know what stress is, you will hear a myriad of stress reducing tips. In case you need a refresher, the American Psychological Association shares these:

  • Try to eliminate the stressors
  • Cultivate social support
  • Seek good nutrition
  • Relax your muscles
  • Meditate
  • Protect your sleep
  • Get physical
  • Take a moment in nature
  • Keep your pleasurable activities
  • Reframe your thinking
  • Seek help

And if these aren’t enough, here are a few relaxation techniques from Harvard Health:

  1. Breath focus
  2. Body scan (prgressive muscle relaxation, tense/release)
  3. Guided imagery
  4. Mindfulness meditation
  5. Yoga, tai chi, qigong
  6. Repetitive prayer

My apologies for the stress strategy overload, but since stress is a personal and unique factor for every individual, it feels like covering all bases with a slew of techniques is a good idea. While we don’t wish a stressful state upon you, prevention is key in the stress world too, so this week, whether you’re feeling the stress or not, we challenge you to try one or some of the techniques listed above. We’d love to hear about your experience trying them out.

This week’s exercise/workout spotlight goes to isometric exercises. Healthline defines isometric exercises as:

Isometric training is essentially a fancy way to categorize exercises that recruit muscles and exert tension without actually lengthening or shortening the muscle. In other words, your muscle is flexed, but it’s not expanding and compressing. It’s a stagnant way of placing a demand on a desired muscle or group of muscles.

For more information about exercises to utilize this method, read the full article here.


By Victoria Emmitt

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