Want to live longer? then just relax

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Just as smoking, obesity and other well-known health threats damage a person’s body; emotional stress also causes lasting physical damage to the body. This damage can lead to digestive problems, high blood pressure and a variety of other unpleasant and potentially life threatening conditions. However, unlike quitting smoking or losing 50 pounds, reducing stress does not require a lot of will power and time. Here are a few things that a person can do to start to reduce his or her stress and to begin to live a more healthy life.

Cut the Stressors
There are a variety of things that add stress to life. These could be simple things like a faucet that won’t stop dripping or things that are more complex to fix like a long commute to work. No matter what the things are that stress to a person’s life, a person should develop a plan to fix the problem or at least reduce it. While it may not be possible to quit a job or move closer to work, it may be possible to travel at a less congested time of day, to work a day or two a week from home or to at least start looking for a better job or a better place to live.

Though not every stressor can be quickly fixed, taking action to find a solution will help a person to charge of the situation and reduce the stress as much as possible. However, for the simple things like a dripping faucet, call a plumber and get it fixed!

Schedule Calmness
Life requires a lot of commitments such as going to work, running the kids around, and attending family and holiday gatherings. Even if these commitments are enjoyable, they can still cause a lot of stress. The constant running takes its toll on both the mind and the body. A person needs to be certain to schedule some time to simply relax. A romantic weekend away, a family camping trip or just staying home and playing board games are just a few of the many ways to relax. A person should try to schedule a few hours of calm relaxation at least every week.

Get Moving
Exercise is a great way to help the body to deal with stress. Almost any activity will help from walking the dog to pumping iron at the gym. A person should pick something that he or she will enjoy in order to increase the odds of sticking with it. A person can choose to play basketball, walk historic neighborhoods, ride a stationary bike while watching movies or virtually anything else that gets the blood going.

Unplug and Unwind
In this modern age, we are all connected. While there are a lot of great things about staying in constant communication with friends and family, reading emails and watching the news, the facts are that these things keep our minds from unwinding. Though a person might not be able to schedule a long period of peace and quiet every day, everyone should be able to turn off the phones and computers and just relax for an hour a day. Go play with the kids, walk the dog, watch reruns of old sitcoms or just sit quietly and do nothing.

Talk to a Doctor
If a person finds that he or she is exhibiting physical signs of stress (upset stomach, headaches, chest pains, etc.), unable to sleep, constantly worrying or simply unable to relax, the person should contact a doctor to discuss the situation. Doctors can help a person by providing medication to reduce anxiety or blood pressure or to enable a person to sleep. Doctors can also recommend specific dietary or lifestyle changes or refer a person to a therapist or other professional for mental health services.
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