When you don't get enough sleep, your body produces extra stress hormones, making you more vulnerable to stress. But too much sleep can also cause problems. The key is to get balanced sleep, which for most people means, on average, about eight hours a night.
Not eating enough can cause moodiness and irritability. And skipping breakfast is one of the most common reasons for dips in blood sugar and midmorning crankiness!
Exercise is one of the best stress relievers. Not only does exercise lead to greater muscle relaxation and increased production of antistress chemicals, research also shows that people who are physically fit exhibit less extreme physiological responses to stress. This means they are less likely to experience the health problems linked with chronic stress.
A Focused Mind
Multitasking—keeping a million balls in the air—this is the sign of a successful person, right? Wrong! Productivity and sense of well-being decrease when we have a scattered focus. In addition, when we are overburdened by details it is harder to be present in the moment, making it harder to connect with people and feel supported.
There are inherent rewards to having a single-minded focus. Our attention, sense of well-being, concentration, memory and productivity are all improved. Slowing down and taking in one thing at a time gives us the space we need to respond to stress, rather than merely reacting to it. We can use techniques such as meditation to cultivate this single-pointed focus.
The next time you realize that you are feeling scattered and overwhelmed, take a moment to just breathe and notice the sensation.
A Healthy Body
With our busy schedules, we often don't take the time to attend to the regular maintenance of our bodies. Seeing your doctor and dentist for regular checkups is important. Taking time out from your schedule when you aren't feeling well is another important self-care practice. All too often we push ourselves to keep going even when our body is telling us to sit still. When our bodies don't feel well, we also are much more likely to feel bad emotionally.
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.