How to Reduce Stress & Re-Focus
Feeling stressed lately? You’re not alone. In our practice, we’ve recently had more patients complain of stress-related pain, depression, anxiety and overall feeling of dread.
When stress and other emotions start impacting your health and well-being, you know it is time to do something about it. Here are 3 steps on how to reduce stress and re-focus your energy:
1) Check in with yourself physically and emotionally.
When you have a couple of minutes, find a relatively quiet place where you won’t be interrupted and ask yourself:
How am I? Am I feeling surprised, devastated, shocked, depressed and/or worried? Notice how you are feeling as specifically as possible. Where is the tightness or pain? How exactly are you feeling and why? Don’t leave it vague. Also, don’t try to change anything. Shedding light on what you’re feeling and why helps the situation and jumpstarts the healing process.
Take a few minutes or hours or even up to a day to process what you’re going through. Set a time limit and stick to it. During that time, give yourself space and cut yourself some slack.
2) Limit your exposure to news outlets and social media for at least 1 week.
Social media and news outlets can be notoriously stress and anxiety-producing. Your best bet? Either cut it out or at least decrease your screen time.
If you’re not ready to go cold turkey for an entire week, try to schedule your news fix on your calendar. I recommend to patients scheduling 2-3x’s/day for 5 minute-long periods (by the way, don’t forget to set the timer).
During that time, read and check anything you like. If you happen to be on Facebook, you might consider unfollowing any people or groups that irritate or frustrate you. Maybe you’ll think about following them later but for now time and space is more important.
3) Focus on what you can directly control
For the sake of your health and your family’s health, re-focus your attention on things you can directly control. For example: what you do everyday, what you tell yourself, what you eat, how are your activity/exercise levels, who you listen to, and in general re-assert your priorities.
Today is a new day and the sun will continue to rise and set. As Eleanor Roosevelt put it, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
Living your life, loving your family and friends, and protecting your health - this is the best way to move forward. The more you go about your day and make progress, the better you’ll feel.
Important note: If you are having trouble coping with stress, we recommend contacting your healthcare provider. Acupuncture can work wonders to reduce stress and increase your sense of well-being. Please contact our office here to schedule a complimentary consult to discuss treatment options or book a consult online here.
Lynn Palmgren helps people get rid of pain and balance hormones so they can feel good again. She specializes in acupuncture and cupping for pain management, insomnia, hormone imbalance, and stress relief. She is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist and co-owns Palmgren Acupuncture in Oak Park, Illinois. You can find Lynn at Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.