“Who you gonna call?” Stress Busters!

Three students walking together to get some exercise

Stress-busting activities for optimum wellness

Rapid heart rate, palpitations, joint pain, nervousness, forgetfulness, fatigue, apathy, moodiness, changes in appetite: these are all signs of living with too much stress. We all know major life events can be stressful, but not everyone understands that stress, like snow, can accumulate unless we get out and “shovel it off.”

Here are some quick and easy Stress Busters:

Learn and use relaxation breathing techniques. These exercises almost seem too easy, but (properly done) breathing can bring the greatest relief.

Walk, jog, dance or swim. Aerobic activity and some strength training not only reduce stress, they are forms of “stress inoculation,” increasing resistance to stressful events.

The sense of smell is deeply connected to memory and emotion. Incorporate scents into your environment that you find relaxing. Vanilla, lavender, and sage are common favorites.

Spending a lot of time in dark interior environments can cause your energy to ebb. Get out in the sun and fresh air. Fifteen minutes three times a week should brighten your mood. People who are sun-sensitive can use lighting and live plants or fresh flowers to substitute.

The world won’t fall apart if you say no now and again. Be realistic with your responsibilities. Find polite ways to decline.

Make time to play, sing, or create without judging whether it’s the “mature” thing to do. Indulge your inner child, and you might feel less resentful over what you “have to” do.

ATSU mental health wellness counselors are available Monday through Friday for appointments and questions. Learn more at https://atsu.edu/counseling_services.

By Art Davalos-Matthews, mental health wellness counselor