The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

MARCH  2006

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







MARCH into Spring stress-free!

by B.J. Armstrong

I'ds of March
I'd like the wind to sweep the snowless path,
I'd like the rain to soothe the winter's wrath,
I'd like the sun to warm the barren earth,
I'd like Spring to have an early birth.

-- Talitha Botsford

Has winter given you the blues and you've got the I'ds for Spring? Me too!

Sometimes winter can be a stressful time. If you've been sick lately, suspect stress. Some doctors say that health problems are related to stress. That includes everything from allergies and asthma to heart disease. Now, if that's not stressing news, what about the long line at the grocery store with the cashier carrying on a big conversation with the fat lady with 25 items in the 10 items or less line. If small annoyances and big frustrations make you stressful, it's worth doing something about it. Because when stress makes you unhealthy, everything surrounding your life will be affected.

B J Armstrong

The link between unmanaged stress and illness is clear. Stress affects your heart rate, high blood pressure, and contributes to sleep deprivation. It also depresses the body's ability to fight disease. The good news is that we can do something about it. Let us spell out MARCH with some ways to change our stressful life.

M - Manage stress with a good diet. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in fat gives your body the fuel it needs to keep from getting upset over minor problems.

A - Aerobic exercise for 10-15 minutes a day will help work off stress. Any exercise helps, but aerobics works the best. If you

already exercise, you might want to increase it, or change to something you like better. If you don't already exercise, start by taking a brisk

walk. You might choose to swim or bike ride three times a week. Try to find something you like and enjoy because you will stay with it longer. After a few weeks, most people notice new feelings of energy, with decreased tension.

R - Rest a few minutes every day in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Take time every day and inhale five times. Breathe slowly and deeply, making exhalations slightly longer than inhalations. Listen to music (no words, just soft music). You can either sit and listen or you might want to do some light work while the music is playing. This soothes and relaxes you while tensions decrease. You might be amazed how much better you feel.

C- Coffee, tea, and caffeinated soda contribute to tensions and anxiety. When you stop drinking these beverages, withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, sluggishness and possibly constipation might occur. This could be a time to call a friend. Talking things out with someone you know well can defuse anxiety and relieve tension.

H - Help is only a phone call away. Try a self-help group. It helps to talk things out with someone that has had the same problems or ones that are similar. They can help you with alternatives that are causing the anxiety. Your spouse can be a big help by just holding you close. This can simply melt away anxiety and tensions.

These are just a few things you might do to relieve stress. Get a pet if you don't have one. Dr. Alan Beck, author of Between Pets and People says that "when people pet an animal, their blood pressure, heart rate and stress drop almost immediately."

Take a warm bath. Bathing helps reduce stress by increasing circulation and relaxing muscles, which cause a calming effect.
Apply light pressure to both sides of your head at the temples. Move your fingers in a circular motion. This will help relax muscles throughout your whole body.

Have yourself a good cry. Crying and sometimes yelling will help release pent-up frustrations and stress.

Think positive! If you work at a yucky place, tell yourself, "at least, I have a job." When you get stressed out because of leaky faucets, tell yourself, at least, I own my own house and don't have to rent." Remember this and tell yourself. "If I am to change a stressful life, I must first change my attitude toward it."

Guess what the best medicine is when it comes to beating stress. It's Laughter! Did you get it right? That's because laughter, like exercise, makes the body produce endorphin. Endorphins produce a feeling of well-being that makes you more resistant to stress. So, to live a stress-free life, find humor on a regular basis in your day-to-day life. Laughter is a relaxant.

Let us MARCH into Spring stress-free!