How to reduce stress, avoid chronic disease

How to Reduce Stress was first published on  February 22, 2022 by TAKE MY HAND AT-HOME CARE

Isn’t it ironic that stress has such a strong relationship with disease? The more stressed we are, the more chronic diseases can attack our bodies — which, naturally, tends to stress us out even more.

“Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors,” writes the Mayo Clinic in an article about stress management. “Such threats are rare today, but that doesn’t mean that life is free of stress. On the contrary, you likely face many demands each day, such as taking on a huge workload, paying the bills and taking care of your family. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result, you may feel as if you’re constantly under attack.”

 That feeling, in turn, can lead to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, digestive problems, depression, memory impairment and more.

That’s enough to stress anyone out, right?

There is good news, however. You can fight back.

Here are four things you can start doing today to reduce your stress:

Take Care of Yourself Physically

Engaging in regular exercise, getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet will set your body up for success. Are you or an older loved one having trouble sleeping? Here are some tips to improve your sleep.

Take Care of Yourself Mentally

Practicing mindfulness techniques can help break the “cycle of worry,” says one expert, which in turn can put you back in control over your life. What’s more, mindfulness can lead to cognitive improvements and other benefits, especially in older adults.

Pursue Your Passion

When you take time for hobbies and other things you enjoy, you are lowering your stress level. The Annals of Behavioral Medicine found during one study that when pursuing hobbies, participants’ moods were more positive, and they had lower stress and heart rates. What’s more, stimulating social and mental activities are known to keep our brains sharp as we age.

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