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Wednesday, January 06th, 2010

Commit to a Relaxing and Anxiety-Free New Year

A lost job. A new baby. A sick family member.

All of these life-changing events can trigger anxiety—a feeling of fear we experience when facing threatening or difficult situations. We’ve all felt the physical effects of anxiety before: sweaty palms, an increased heartbeat, a sudden increase in breathing rate. Anxiety is a natural response to stress, and that can be a good thing. It motivates us, forces us to be on high alert and helps us avoid dangerous situations.

But anxiety can become a problem when we begin to avoid certain situations or we find we’re being controlled by our feelings of irrational fear. Luckily there are a number of things you can do to help yourself manage the anxiety in your life. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and sufficient exercise. Reducing self-induced stress by managing deadlines, not overworking and learning to say no can also help alleviate some of the anxiety you may feel.

Most importantly, however, you need to learn to relax. Our world seems to move a million miles an hour, and most of us forget to take time out for ourselves, but it is essential that you incorporate relaxation techniques and down time into your schedule. Just as you would squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or another meeting at work, you need to make a conscious effort to set aside time that belongs only to you.

When you plan your down time, you need to make sure you’re free from distractions. Ask your spouse or neighbor to watch the kids, turn off your cell phone and don’t answer the door. Avoid checking your email “just one more time” and simply relax.

We each have a different method of relaxation that works to help reduce the tension and stress that bring on anxiety. For some of us, this means practicing yoga or tai chi. Perhaps a hot bath with scented oils will help you unwind; studies have shown lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, bergamot and mandarin are the best scents to use for relaxation purposes. Meditation also helps in stress reduction.

Dr Shawn dillAnd for many people, physically working away the stress with a long-overdue massage—such as with the Human Touch Massage Chair—helps in reducing anxiety in their everyday lives. Sometimes nothing feels better than letting all of our worries fall by the wayside.

With the advent of the new year, now is the time to make a commitment to reducing the stress in your life. Make this the year of you and your health by committing to be anxiety-free.

 

I have utilized Human Touch Zero Gravity Chairs as a vital part of our post-adjustment recovery process in each of the clinics I oversee. I am excited to share with you my perspectives on health and wellness through my monthly postings here on the Human Touch Wellness Council blog.

- Dr. Shawn Dill