Cultivate practices that help you
release stress from body and spirit.
How to Manage Stress
Acupuncture is one great way to help you manage your stress and protect you from permanent health damage. Even though you may not be able to avoid stress, you do have the power to manage stress better so that it can’t build up, hurt you internally, and turn into serious health issues.
Here are some things you can do in your daily life to manage stress.
- Change the way you view problems. It is human nature to protect ourselves from danger by recognizing the negative energies coming at us. But we can become too accustomed to looking for the “dark side.”A lot of time we needlessly take things negatively. Say, you wake up to the sounds of a bird, chattering in a tree. You can think, “Ah, the beautiful music of nature!” Or you can get annoyed. Same situation, different response. Learn how to think positively. Often I ask a patient to “show me your hand.” They show me the palm side, but don’t think to look at the back of the hand. In the world, nothing can exist that has one side only. This is the concept of Yin and Yang; nothing is only good or only bad. There is good and bad in everything. Learn to pay attention to the positive.
- Connect yourself to nature; consciously choose to make yourself one with the Universe. Connect to energy outside of yourself by going to the mountains or the beach, walking barefoot on the sand and listening to the waves. Sit by a river and feel the flow of the water. When you feel anger inside, go out and face something – a mountain, or the woods – breathe out, remove that negative energy from your body, absorb positive energy; make that exchange. By doing this, you gain the perspective of playing a small, yet integral part within the greatness of the universe. This will release stress and give you new strength.
- Learn some techniques: Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, Qi Gong. Tai Chi, for example, trains you physically and emotionally at the same time, training your internal Qi. Deep breathing will make your body more balanced and calm; exhale negative energy and inhale fresh air and energy.
- Regular physical activity, especially cardiovascular energy. Walk, jog, bike, swim – better to do this outside than in the gym.
- Encourage yourself to engage in some social activity. Stress can cause sadness and depression. People tend to close themselves off. So, you must push yourself to go out, keep up your activities. Talking with friends will release the stagnation from your body and mind. Sign up to volunteer; helping other people will reduce your stress.
- Take time for a hobby. Whatever you enjoy: walking, swimming, reading, listening to music, going to dance class, fishing, golfing. Do it regularly. But it should be something active for your body or mind. Inactive pastimes– like watching television or playing video games, surfing the internet–may seem relaxing, but they can actually increase stress long term. Keep time spent on those passive activities to a minimum.
- Work on your sense of humor! When you laugh, you are happier and so are others around you. They will turn back to help you when you need it.
Managing stress will pay off, not only by making you happier, but probably also allowing you to enjoy a longer and healthier life. Not only will it help you to recover from existing conditions you might have now, but it can also prevent other conditions from becoming serious in the future.
You have my best wishes for your health and happiness.