Stress is just a six-letter word.  Seems harmless enough.  Truly not a scary word.  However, stress can become the enemy if management protocols are not in place. Out of control stress can wreck your healthy life.

         All of us manage a lot of things in our lives.   Some are good and some are not so good.  If we don’t manage the good and the bad, stress can overwhelm even the most healthy person.  Our bodies get caught up in a fight or flight syndrome.  Cortisol increases as our bodies prepare for danger.  But the danger doesn’t come or end so our bodies stay on this roller coaster of adrenaline-fused stress.  Caveman days they would fight or flee, then it would be over.   Today with 24/7 news programs and a host of other frightening things on tv are just the right mix to fuel stress and can cause even the calmest person to be overwhelmed. 

        First, live in the present.  Easy to say and very hard to do.   However, with practice, living in the present will become natural.  Second, breathe. Take in a deep breath through your nose filling deep into your lungs and then exhale thoroughly through your mouth as if your sighing.   Do this to a count of 10, 5 deep cleansing breaths.   Build this into your body, so when stressful events happen, you’ll have a tool to extinguish the flames of stress.   Third, turn off social media, news programs, or any artificial technology for big blocks during the day.   Definitely, have a technology-free zone from dinner on.   Hard to do but the rewards are great.  Fourth, go outside in the grass barefoot and feel the energy of the earth beneath your feet. Feel the sun on your face, embrace the beauty all around you.  Fifth, be grateful.   Simple but true.   Stress has us looking for the next great thing, be it a car, new house, vacation, etc.   But if we look at what we have and truly be grateful for it, stress melts away.   We all have different paths.  Some have great fortune others do not. But all of us can find something to be grateful for.  If you are stressed and you purchase that new expensive car, the feeling will be fleeting as the stress was never dealt with.  

    Live in the present.  Breathe.   Turn off technology. Embrace nature.  Be grateful.  Totally realize, these five things are simple, but if you try them for six weeks, the stress just might dissolve.   I’ve had my share of stress, some simple. a lot traumatic.  I rely on those five to get me through.  If I had to add a six, it would be a workout.  Move your body every day.  

    No one can eliminate stressful events in life.  However, having a toolbox of helpers can ease and make stress manageable.    I’m heading outside barefoot to enjoy nature.  Hope you can too.  

      For more information about wellness and fitness please contact Kay Colgan at Middleburg Pilates’s  14 S Madison Street, Middleburg, Virginia, or call 540-687-6995.

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