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Five-Minute Stress Busters

Everyone feels stress. It's a natural bodily response that can seem uncontrollable at times. But before it takes a toll on your long-term health, here are a few easy and inexpensive ways to relieve stress.

Stretch out: Exercise will always top the list for stress reduction. It not only improves your physical health, it can strengthen you mentally and emotionally as well 1. The good news is you don't have to run a 5k to see the benefits. Simple stretches, like toe touches and wrist flexors can be effective stress busters.

Try this for 10 minutes each day: lie with your back on the floor, legs and feet relaxed, palms to your sides and facing up. Take three deep breaths. On the third breath, bring your hands above your head, and stretch them away from you. At the same time point your toes, and stretch your feet away from you. Imagine you are being pulled gently by the hands and feet in opposite directions. Do this a few times, or as long as you desire. Then do the same stretch standing up. Reach your hands toward the ceiling, while standing on the balls of your feet (or just leave your feet flat if this is uncomfortable). Lower your feet and hands, and repeat. Incorporate other stretches as you desire.stress-management-relieving-stress

Think gray. Do you ever catch yourself thinking in black and white? "If I don't save more money, I will never retire. " "I neglected everything on my to-do list. I can't get anything done." All or nothing thinking leaves us no room for mistakes, and it is a breeding ground for anxiety and stress. Giving into this line of thought can be easy, because it often happens subconsciously. How can you beat it? Black and white thinking usually contains all-encompassing words like "never" "always" or "nothing. " Pay attention to what you are saying and the types of thoughts you are having. If you notice these black and white words invading your thoughts, try to counter it. Ask yourself what other outcomes could occur. Are there really only two options here? If you can come up with a few positive alternatives to the situation, youyou've already set your mind on the right course.

When the black and white thinking is overwhelming, some people find having a "go-to" thought like a favorite person or song can be helpful.

Keep journals. Identifying and writing down your stressors can help you understand triggers and address specific issues causing stress. If you find yourself noticeably stressed,but don't understand why, it might be important to keep a log. Write down the date and time when you experience these feelings, so that you might notice a pattern of stressors in your life. Does a certain person or activity seem to show up at the same time as the stress? What can you do to address it?

Prayer journals can also help relieve stress. This can be a time to unload your worries or to simply rejoice in the beauty of God's creation. Let it be a tool to remind you that we cannot control everything in life, but we can find comfort in his soveriegnty.

This entry was posted in Health Tips by Dr. Don Colbert.

Don Colbert, MDDon Colbert, M.D. has been board certified in Family Practice for over 25 years and practices Anti aging and Integrative medicine. He is a New York Times Bestselling author of books such as The Bible Cure Series, What Would Jesus Eat, Deadly Emotions, What You Don't Know May be Killing You, and many more with over 10 million books sold. He is the Medical Director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida where he has treated over 50,000 patients. He is also a internationally known expert and prolific speaker on Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Colbert is on the Medical Advisory Board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has been featured on Dr. Oz, The O'Reilly Factor, ABC World News, BBC, Readers Digest, News Week, Prevention Magazine and many prominent Christian TV programs. He is also the TV host of his newly syndicated TV program "Dr Colbert’s Health Report." Dr. Colbert formulated Divine Health to meet the public's demand for higher quality supplementation. Dr. Colbert believes in treating the whole person; the mind, the body and the spirit.

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