Simply put, manage stress … or it will manage you.
Stress is unavoidable. Whether we face it in our business or personal lives, it most assuredly lurks. The question becomes what do we do when we come face-to-face with this unwanted emotion? Like all successful businesses that have a crisis communications plan in place, we as individuals must have a stress management program.
- 1. Sit or stand comfortably with your back straight but relaxed.
- Inhale through your nose slowly for a count of four.
- Inflate your belly (not your chest) like a balloon.
- Hold your breath for a count of four.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of seven, expelling as much air from your lungs as you comfortably can.
- Repeat this exercise three or four times.
“Our thoughts really do have an effect on our health and outlook on life. Taking a few minutes each day to recap all of the things that are going right in your life will go a long way towards keeping those unexpected speed bumps in perspective.”
Put A Hole In Your Stress Bubble
They had spent the afternoon together, and Christine was returning home. Garry wanted to go back for a jog and asked her if she would drop him off somewhere along the way so he could run back. They started talking, and before Garry knew it they had driven nine miles. Garry was a novice runner at the time, nothing longer than two miles.
“So I put on a straight face and said, ‘Just drop me off here; this will be fine.’ She was impressed that I could run nine miles,” he said. “I made it back somehow! I was just a young guy then. Exercise was less of a priority in those days.”
That was more than 20 years ago. Garry and Christine, now his wife of 24 years, have continued to exercise and do their best to stay fit. Garry, 49, is training for an Ironman triathlon—140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running. Christine, 53, is an avid golfer and is preparing for her third half-marathon this fall.
“Keeping active every day is important,” said Garry, who is using his triathlon to raise $140,600 for lung cancer research at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute.
Staying fit not only serves your body but can help you emotionally, as well. In addition to being a great way to take care of your heart and control your weight, exercise can let the air out of your stress bubble.
Christine, a mother of four and nonsmoker, has recovered from lung cancer surgery last year. Running, she says, is a great way to free her mind: “When you’re out there running, you’ve just got your own thoughts and nothing else interfering with that time.”
For Garry, exercise helped him through the stressful six-day period when Christine was hospitalized and undergoing tests to confirm her cancer. “The exercise helped to keep me positive,” he recalled. “When she was in the hospital, I would sneak out for a couple hours to do a run, a swim or a bike ride, and then I would come back feeling energized and ready to help Christine with her recovery.”
The Welshes have been on the move, not just through their respective exercise regimens. They relocated to Central Florida from England in 2006. The couple and their four children had been vacationing in Orlando for years. Along the way, they bought a vacation home near Kissimmee. They moved here because of a desire to test themselves and push their boundaries.
Now calling Central Florida home, they continue that push.
Guest Blogger, Medical Writer and Editor