Got stress? How do YOU keep yourself healthy – physically and mentally?

In this modern world, one factor common to all humans is our encounter with stress. Our response, however, differs greatly from one individual to the next.

We all know the classics: meditation, exercise, nutrition, sleep, time with loved ones. But what if TIME – that is, ‘lack’ of it, in our increasing ‘busyness’ – is the greatest stressor of all?

We know the right things to do. We just can’t fit them in.

So, here are a few innovative methods for a healthy stress response:

1) In just 20 minutes at the beginning of each day – BEFORE reaching for the computer or smartphone – put on soft music of your choosing and conduct this series of stretches designed to open the ‘meridians’ according to Traditional East Asian Medicine, along with deep and rhythmic breathing and a meditative mind. In 20 minutes, you have integrated the benefits of physical exercise, Asian medicine, breathwork, meditation, and music – and while these may all seem soothing (i.e., reducing stress response), you will feel energized and ready for your day.

2) Never – ever – skip breakfast. Following the routine above, have the healthiest breakfast you can imagine. Every day, without fail — your brain and body’s fuel for the day. Setting out the ingredients, or even making what you can, the night before will reduce the requirement on your morning routine. Skipping breakfast is a sabotage of your health, both physical and mental.

3) Take 5-minute ‘mental holidays’ throughout your workday. Whenever possible, at least once every two hours, leave your desk (this also gets your blood flowing and reduces excessive sitting), find a quiet place of solitude – WITHOUT looking at your smartphone, close your eyes, focus on deep breathing, and envision the best getaway imaginable. In the course of a single day, you may have ‘traveled’ to a tropical beach, a quiet forest, the peak of a mountain (no climbing required), a symphony hall, and the arms of your loved one – each time boosting your brain and heart, and releasing stress response before it accumulates.

There are many more tips for achieving relaxation in the face of stress. These, requiring very little time or effort, will go a long way toward optimal wellness.