Eat, Play, Hug and Breathe your Stress Away!

Holidays are filled with family, friends, food, fun, obligation, parties, shopping, baking… and we all feel this one: stress! Here are four tips you can easily incorporate to help manage that stress and Celebrate with family and friends.

Eat. Play. Hug. Breathe.  

Eat Slowly. It stimulates your digestive juices. It may even help you eat less.  It gives time for more talk and laughter. And it shows appreciation for the hours it takes to prepare good food! Of course if your goal is to eat as much as possible; dig in and eat fast! Check out more from Dr. Mercola.

Play Outside. Boost your mind, body and spirit with some outside time. Make a snowman or snow angels; it’s fun! Shovel snow. Walk alone or with a loved one. Paul Chek recommends a walking meditation where you just get out in nature by yourself, away from all the phones and people, and noise. He advises us to get out into nature. As you walk , time your breathing to your steps. For example inhale for four steps, hold your breath naturally for one step, and exhale for four steps. This will become more natural as you practice.

Hug often. It’s a free gift and a gift that gives you a boost of love hormones! Sara Gottfried MD says this about the benefits of hugging: “Oxytocin is the hormone of love and bonding (hugging releases this hormone). Men need to be hugged three times longer than women to get the same release of oxytocin. Babies also produce this in us, which is why most of us women still want to have another baby even when it makes absolutely no rational sense.”

Breathe Deeply.  Alan Christianson NMD talks about the benefits of deep breathing and tells how to do it. “We are always trying to suck in our bellies and look good, but that is not how we breathe best. We breathe best by pushing the diaphragm out and pulling air deep, deep into our lungs. The lower parts of our lungs have the most blood supply, and they get the most oxygen into our brain. If you are not used to doing deep, diaphragmatic breaths, put your hand on your belly and aim to push your hand out as you are breathing in. When you exhale, pull your tummy as close to your spine as you possibly can. Do half a dozen deep, deep diaphragmatic breaths.

Celebrate!