Battling Stress

Running in several different directions and constantly trying to keep up with the world today can create an enormous amount of stress.  While some stress is a natural and unavoidable part of life, intense and prolonged stress is a huge health concern.  This type of stress is related to complications such as heart problems and dementia.  It is incredibly important to your health and well-being to learn effective relaxation and coping techniques.

**Practicing relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms by:**

*     Slowing your heart rate
*     Lowering blood pressure
*     Slowing your breathing rate
*     Reducing activity of stress hormones
*     Increasing blood flow to major muscles
*     Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
*     Improving concentration and mood
*     Lowering fatigue
*     Reducing anger and frustration
*     Boosting confidence to handle problems

Relaxation looks different for everyone.  For some it means completely unwinding by sitting in silence, practicing deep breathing, meditating, or even taking a nap.  For others it involves activities such as running, biking, creating art, or writing.  In general, relaxation techniques involve refocusing your attention on something calming and increasing awareness of your body. It doesn't matter which relaxation technique you choose. What matters is that you try to practice relaxation regularly and reduce your stress.