Stress is a serious health concern for everyone, but it’s a fact of life. Every day we are faced with stressors, some of which are small and others that are significant. Everyone handles stress differently, however we can all benefit from a little relaxation.
Taking time to relax is one of the core messages of Stress Awareness Month, which is happening right now. Relaxation helps to remove us from stressful situations, allows us a chance to focus on the things we enjoy and can reinvigorate us so that we’re able to come up with better solutions for handling stress. If you have TMD it’s not just a matter of the serious long-term effects stress creates. Stress can have an immediate impact on your health, happiness and well being.
But don’t stress out about it! We’ve got relaxation tips that can help reverse the adverse effects of stress.
Read a Book or Magazine
A study from the University of Sussex found that reading was the quickest way to reduce tension. In as little as six minutes study participants who picked up reading material had cut their tension by more than two thirds. The participants were able to get lost in the reading, which relaxed their muscles and slowed their heart rate. Even better – it doesn’t matter what you read. Simply the act of reading leads to relaxation.
Take Time Off of Work
Did you know that people who take time off from work are actually more productive than workaholics? Burn out is one of the big reasons. Clocking long workdays 5, 6, 7 days a week can be done in a pinch, but it can’t be sustained. Taking time off of work gives you the opportunity to relax and hit the reset button. After just a few days off you’ll feel revived and ready to tackle the workload.
Schedule Time with Yourself
Relaxing with family and friends is great, but it’s also important to square away “me” time. That way you’re not on anyone else’s schedule and you can put your wants and needs first. It may seem selfish to some, but if you can’t take care of yourself then you can’t take care of anyone else.
Enjoy a Nature Day
Turn off your cell phone, step away from the computer and for goodness’ sake stop watching the news for a day. Instead of being bombarded by media and having to process tons of information, get back to nature. There’s a reason relaxation CDs usually feature sounds of nature. Being out in nature is one of the easiest ways to relax. Numerous studies have proven that fresh air, sunlight and natural surroundings help people de-stress.
Exercising helps us cope with stress in a number of ways, including relaxing the muscles and releasing feel good chemicals called endorphins. The trick is finding a form of exercise that you really enjoy. It could be walking with a friend through your favorite park, playing a sport or hitting the gym. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day to keep your body and mind relaxed.
Join a Stress Management Program
As a part of Stress Awareness Month, the Department of Health and Human Services is promoting a 6-week stress management program. These programs help people identify their stressors and find better ways to cope with them. Many programs also include time management training so participants can gain better control over their schedules and avoid feeling overwhelmed by all their to-dos. The more you know about how stress affects your daily life the easier it will be to learn when and how to relax.
Schedule a day off of work for some me time that includes a walk outdoors followed by reading under a shade tree. Next, schedule an appointment with MedCenter TMJ. Tackling the underlying issues that are causing your TMJ symptoms and problems will give you better control over the situation and help relieve the stress that comes with TMD.