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Infinity Holistic Healthcare

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

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Stress Reduction Techniques

I make it a point to ask every new patient about stress. How much stress you have in your life can't always be changed, but your ability to cope with stress can be greatly influenced! In addition to the things below, assessing and addressing the adrenal glands and their response to stress can be valuable in one's healing journey.

 

Unfortunately, this is the hardest part of the healing journey for many people. It's easy to take a supplement or switch to gluten-free bread, but taking the time to meditate every day or making a conscious effort to change your outlook on life takes diligence and hard work. I encourage you to not neglect these things and start at whatever level of commitment you feel most comfortable.

Meditation

Watch these videos FIRST:

When most people think of meditation they probably imagine saying “Om” and getting super zen in silence. Sitting in complete and total silence and turning off your brain can be difficult for newbies, especially if you’re not used to being alone with your thoughts. Don’t worry, though! You don’t have to meditate in this way to still reap the benefits and better manage your stress.

  1. Meditate with movement. Pick any activity you enjoy doing (walking outside, kayaking, yoga, drumming, or swimming) and go do it! Pay special attention to your thoughts during this time and leave your music at home. Try to think about positive things the entire time and simply enjoy what you are doing. If you go outside, take the time to smell the roses- really! Appreciate the beauty around you and admire Mother Nature.

  2. Take time to focus on the good in your life. Take the time once a day (or when you are feeling especially stressed) to write a journal or list of positive things. If work makes you stressed, keep a notepad in your desk drawer and put a reminder in your schedule to add something every day. As you add to the list each day, look over the rest of the list and recall the things you have already written down. This doesn’t need to be super time-consuming- if you add 1-2 items per day you’ll have a really long list in no time! Examples may include:

    • A list of things you are grateful for in your life

    • A list of things that make you happy

    • A list of all the good or funny things that happened to you this week/month

    • A list of everybody you love and some reasons why

  3. Try guided meditation or yoga . These are both techniques where you can focus on the soothing voice of your instructor to lull you into a deep zen. Guided meditation sessions are generally either private or semi-private sessions (1-2 people per instructor) and yoga nidra is offered in some local yoga studios such as this one in Durham.

  4. Try "Real" meditation with a little help. I personally use and love OmHarmonics, music that is designed to help you meditate. For a sample of their music, listen to the YouTube video below, and be sure to use headphones.

Stress Reduction: Other Tools

  1. “Digital detoxes” can be very therapeutic. This can range from simply uninstalling certain stress-inducing apps from your phone (Facebook) to going on vacation and not using any technology whatsoever. Either way, getting away from technology even for a little while can have great ripple effects in your life! Here is a good article about how to prepare for a digital detox.

  2. Adult coloring books are all the rage these days, and for good reason! Go ahead and bust out those old colored pencils from middle school and make something pretty. There are plenty of books to choose from on the internet. Bonus points if you mail your artwork to your mom so she can put it on her refrigerator like the old days.

  3. Volunteer your time. This one might sound like a stretch- as a busy adult you might not think you have enough time to give your time away. However, volunteering to help those less fortunate often gives us a new sense of perspective and feeling of a greater purpose.

  4. Change the way you see stressful things in your life. Yes, this one is easier said than done, but it’s worth trying. Check out this helpful article from Chris Kresser.

Mental Health and Depression: A Holistic Approach