Adding more pleasure to your life is just what the doctor ordered. According to Spa (Sept./Oct. 1999) physicians are increasingly giving this advice, encouraging patients to follow artistic interests or travel desires to counter the effects of corporate pressures and family demands. Dr.
Here “it” comes — holiday stress. As families negotiate where to spend Thanksgiving, and millions of us are making the empty promise to ourselves to start early on holiday shopping, the anxiety begins to build. And it only gets crazier from here. Choir practice for the kids, family gatherings at every turn, office parties, treks to the mall, baking...you know where this is headed. So what can you do about it? You may not be able to control the chaos of the season, but there are some steps to make sure you survive it unscathed.
T’ai chi and qigong remind us that we are energy by immersing our mind and body in the experience of it each day. This constant immersion reminds us how closely we are linked to all things. This isn’t an illusion. The illusion is that we think we are separate from the world. The rainforest and ocean are the earth’s lungs and thermostats. Without them we perish. So, to feel ‘connected’ to the world is to become real. T’ai chi and qigong help us to become more and more real.
Those in high-stress jobs are often the first to forgo a formal vacation. Don’t do it. Researchers found the chances of an at-risk, middle-aged man dying from a heart attack are reduced by one-third when he takes an annual sojourn. The results, reported at an American Psychosomatic Society meeting, back the researchers’ deduction that vacation time away from the office helps reduce stress, thereby facilitating sound health.
The ability to recognize how your body reacts to stressors in your life can be a powerful skill. However, most people are more aware of the weather, the time of day, or their bank balance than they are of their own personal stress response. Your body registers stress long before the conscious mind does. Muscle tension is your body’s way of letting you know you are under stress, and body awareness is the first step toward acknowledging and reducing stress. Try the following exercises to promote body awareness:
Love is more than mere sentiment — it nourishes the body, as well as the soul. For most of us, the heart is merely the symbol of love, but the Institute of HeartMath (IHM) has gathered impressive scientific data verifying this 10-ounce muscle actually does function as a physiological locus of love in the center of our being. Better yet, we have the ability to induce the human heart into states of love.
“When you suffer an attack of nerves you’re being attacked by the nervous system. What chance has a man got against a system?” —Russell Hoban
Too much on your plate? Millions of Americans know how you feel.
Stress has become a “given” in our modern world, and a primary cause of physical and mental illness for millions of us. Small amounts of stress can be a good thing, keeping us alert and on-task. But unrelenting stress, whether from overbooked schedules, financial strain, too little sleep or too much bad news, can lead to a breakdown of body, mind and spirit. When an overextended life puts you on a collision course with disaster, there are simple steps you can take to recover a sense of balance.