In Part 1 we discussed the Serenity Prayer and how it outlines a stress management plan using all three of the coping strategies for dealing with stress. In Part 2 we continue . . .
Have you ever had that tight or clutching feeling in your chest or stomach that you label as anxiety or stress? Or that nagging pain in the back of your neck that you had better pay attention to or you know it will become a stress/tension headache? These are only several of the symptoms for recognizing that stress has invaded your body. We are concerned about increased levels of stress in the body because of the negative impact stress has on your immune system, and ultimately on your health and quality of life. It is possible to release these stressors from your body, but only after you first become aware of them and then also realize that it is possible to do more for them than take pills. (Yes, this is another example of “The courage to change the things I can.”) Several of the methods for releasing physical stress include:
· Exercise – Moderate levels of physical exercise strengthen the body and make it more stress-resistant. If you are reasonably healthy and have no obvious physical problems, begin a walking program of 30-40 minutes 4-5 days per week. If you have questions about your health, see your physician.
· Massage – Massage therapy does wonderful things to both stimulate healing and relax the body. Check for a Certified or Licensed Massage Therapist in your area.
· Bathe – The relaxing and healing benefits of warm water on the body have been known for a long time. If you are not fortunate enough to live near any of the wonderful hot springs or health retreats in our country, you have most of the ingredients you will need right in your own bathroom. Run some warm water – not too hot – perhaps put in some bath salts or bath oil and let the water do its work as your muscles relax.
· Intimacy – There are many healing benefits to physical relationships with our married spouses. God knew what he was doing when he designed us to need one another.
· Relaxation Response – The Relaxation Response is just the opposite of the Stress Response, also known as the Fight or Flight Response. One of the most basic relaxation techniques is simply to focus on making your rate of breathing slower and deeper, and maintaining it for several minutes. Repeat this as needed throughout the day.
· Prayer – Focused time communing with The Creative Power of the Universe provides us with an avenue to talk with God, but more importantly, an opportunity to listen to God. And even though most people have known this for years, recent research studies even show that prayer is good for your health.
Remember to be good to you!
Copyright © 2013 by Gary L. Flegal, Ph.D.
•Dr. Gary Flegal is a Behavioral Medicine and Health Specialist with a doctorate in “Health Education and Human Performance” from Michigan State University. He is an exciting and accomplished presenter and keynote speaker, presenting seminars for groups and companies on location and at conventions. His advanced training in stress management came to him while working in affiliation with the original Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard under the direction of Herbert Benson, M.D. and his staff. In addition to corporate presentations, Dr. Flegal keeps a busy schedule working with individual clients for a variety of stress-related issues, including anger management, quitting smoking, learning to relax and manage stress, and learning self-hypnosis.
Dr. Flegal’s other passion is magic. He has been a professional magician for over 30 years and continues practicing his art at every opportunity. These two passions work together beautifully as he illustrates stress management concepts with fun, visual, and “magical” demonstrations in his stress management workshops and seminars. It also allows him to share stress management with his magic audiences wherever he goes because “Laughter is the Best Medicine!” Gary is a Reiki Master and a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists.
Dr. Flegal’s specialties include stress management, anger management, positive behavior change, insomnia, smoking cessation, and exercise physiology. For individual appointments, speaking engagements, or more information, contact Gary at Professional Stress Management Services in Nashville, Tennessee, at (615)812-7280 or through his Web site: www.GaryFlegal.com.