Do you suffer from the symptoms of stress? Did you know that simply being aware of your stress symptoms is half the battle and this realization alone may motivate you to get moving?
Symptoms of Stress
If you want to check whether you suffer from excessive stress, you may want to try keeping brief notes on how you feel and what you experience during a single day. Simply jot down the number of times, during the day, when you have any of the following stress symptoms:
- Acute emotions such as feelings of anxiety, overwhelm or depression
- Background emotions such as agitation, emotional irritation or an inability to concentrate or focus
- Physical experiences such as a racing heart or an excessive tightening of muscles
- Behavioral patterns such as over-eating, drinking or difficulty in sleeping.
At the end of your chosen day you will be able to use your notes as evidence on whether you are experiencing excessive stress or not. Your awareness of the existence of these stress symptoms is often considered half the battle in moving towards better stress management.
When I was a child, if my mother found me feeling depressed or stressed about my school work, she would tell me to “Get up and move about”. I believe that’s good advice for adults too.
When, later in life, I worked under a lot of stress as a project manager, I found that getting up early in the morning and simply taking a walk around the local streets for half an hour was a great start to my day. I used to either meditate mindfully, while walking, or listen to music on my ear phones. Whatever works for you is fine. Just ensure you get on your feet and get walking for at least half an hour.
The only caution here is to stay safe and make sure you are not in any physical danger as you go on your walk. Some people may want to go with a “buddy” for security.
For Health Benefits
The benefits of walking are often under-rated. For example, just think what the difference is in your calorie use between walking a mile and running a mile. The answer is, of course, the same! That is why a good many health programs recommend walking 10,000 steps per day. Not only do you ease your stresses but you also burn off the fat and lose weight. You can get a good deal of the way to the target of 10,000 steps in your day by going on a brisk walk. For most people, 30 minutes brisk walking is equivalent to nearly 4,000 steps. That’s almost half way to your healthy lifestyle and a good deal of the way to a reduced stress lifestyle.
You Call to Action
So look out for the symptoms of stress listed above. Think carefully if you have persistent nagging headaches, or frequent stomach upsets, or strong urges to seek relief in a few stiff drinks.
If stress is the cause, it will be a drain on your life, your relationships and your finances; and it may, over time, even contribute to a heart attack or diabetes.
Instead, why not start each day with a refreshing brisk walk? Try walking around your local neighbourhood, whatever the weather. If you can also find a buddy to walk with then that’s good too. You may even be able to join a brisk walking club. There are so many ways to make walking for stress management enjoyable as well therapeutic.