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Exploring the Mind-Body Connection: Stress Reduction and Wellness Enhancement

 

Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. offers counseling and therapy in Reston, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland.

Stress is a normal part of life for business professionals, homemakers, and everyone in between. Small amounts of it keep us motivated and productive. But when stress becomes unmanageable, it begins to negatively impact our ability to perform daily tasks and our overall well-being. When stress is high, calming and holistic approaches can help with both the physical and emotional consequences.

Physical Impacts of Stress

Respiratory System: Since you may breathe harder and faster when experiencing stress, which may make breathing harder for those with asthma or other respiratory problems.

Cardiovascular System: High levels of stress lead to increased blood pressure, which puts unnecessary strain on the heart and other organs.

Immune System: Too much stress compromises the immune system, and if the stress continues for a longer duration of time, the body will become more susceptible to infections and common diseases.

Stress-Reduction Techniques

The best way to deal with stress is to recognize the symptoms as they arise and counteract them before they become overwhelming or debilitating.  

Here are some strategies to reduce stress:


1. Check your perspective

Take a moment to contextualize a minor complaint as part of a positive situation. While a deadline may be perceived as stressful, it may also be attributed to an engaging, fulfilling career. Choosing a positive attitude can help balance immediate stressors with long-term rewards.


2. Confront stressors as they arise

When facing obstacles, most of our stress is often the result of anticipation.  In shortening the amount of time we anticipate a stressor, we reduce our stress for that task. Also, completing a project before beginning the next creates a more manageable task load, preventing the stress caused by multiple simultaneous projects.


3. Prioritize

Urgent matters require more immediate attention than casual ones.  By prioritizing in order of immediacy, we not only avoid negative attention or nagging from others, but we also resolve our internal feeling of stress over matters that have a tighter time constraint.


4. Recharge

Take time to pursue hobbies or engage in self-care. Laugh and have fun. By creating separation from stressors intermittently, we prevent negative effects caused by constant strain.

The science behind the body’s response to stress is overwhelming: Stress impacts more than just our mood. Maintaining a healthy body and mind requires maintaining healthy stress levels.  Using these strategies will aid in that process. The holistic approach aims to maintain physical and emotional health in tandem.

Exploring the mind-body connection may also include holistic counseling. Dr. Durana’s caring and holistic counseling approach foster your strengths and inner resources to facilitate change and attainment of goals. Contact A Caring Approach to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our approach.