>Healthier Living includes Ways to Decrease your Stress

>If you have stress in your life for long periods of time, it not only affects  your emotions and spirit, it also harms your body.
People who do not combat stress with some alternatives such as exercise, stretching or yoga have more pain and less functional ability later in their lives. Functional ability is being agile, strong and able to endure.

This may also include an unbalanced posture, and aches and pains- all due to constant stress in life.
If you do not learn how to relax and  “de-stress,” your body becomes tense and may interrupt sleep patterns due to this constant tension.

How do you change these unhealthy habits?
The first thing to do is understand what your functional capacity is. Your body is supposed to be agile and strong throughout your life, if you take care of it.
You can  change some things about your body, it is not too late. An easy thing to start with is improving your posture just by sitting and standing straighter. If you have a desk job, think about sitting up more. When you start to purposefully think about posture, and catch yourself in a slump- you can correct. Good habits can develop with time.  Good balance habits are also important. Learn some standing exercises where you have to stand on one foot, or balancing your feet from toe to heel.

Stress can be relentless and  can manifest itself in pain of unknown origin.
You can get yourself in better shape both mentally and physically by learning a few techniques related to relaxation, meditation and breathing. There is much evidence that just learning how to breathe better can help with your posture because you learn how to take deep breaths which include lifting the diaphragm and chest, and straightening, engaging and elongating your back.

Beginning a program of stretching such as the asana postures of yoga can really help. You do not have to join a yoga class to learn poses. There are resourses out there that can teach you how to do general stretching techniques and yoga poses.
Try some of these tips and be on your way to better health.
Taken in Part from: Weiler, L.C. (2001) The Mind-Body Connection.

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