It never ends. Everything demands our attention and demands it immediately. We train ourselves for “fight or flight” responses and we pay the price.
Mental and emotional overload from the daily stress can manifest itself in tension, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, a lowered immune system and more colds and illnesses. Summarizing a Mayo Clinic study: Chronic stress puts your health at risk.
We cannot change the world and the speed at which it runs. What we can control is our response to the stimulus. Some points to ponder:
- Take time to breathe and be in the moment. Concentrate on one task at a time. Do not rush to check every email, every text, every time your smartphone dings. Set a time to look at social media and email and stick to it (obviously, this wouldn’t apply in emergency situations).
- Find ways to relax. If you are a compulsive scheduler, put YOURSELF on your schedule for some R&R. Find the time, or make the time. If your passion is hitting golf balls, do it. If that means knitting, do it. If that means joining us at Fred Astaire Dance Studios for ballroom dance classes or one of our great practice or themed parties (and we know it does), do it. You will be refreshed by concentrating on yourself and not so many externals.
- Dancing, of course, means music. And music is also a wonderful stress-buster. Whether you prefer light jazz, or gospel, salsa or classical, music that touches your spirit will allow you to decompress. And if you like music with a faster pace, put those headphones on and dance wherever you are, as if no one is watching. Dancing stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, the “feel good” chemical that can help lower stress and brighten your perception of the world.
- Get help. If too much, in the way of responsibility, is falling on you, get help. Talk to a therapist. See if your spouse or partner can pick up a few of the obligations you have taken on. Children can be wonderful helpers around the house – they’re able to do laundry, cook simple meals, pack their own lunches for school. Lighten your burden by spreading it around. You’ll feel better and you will empower others to do more to contribute to a happier household.
- Become a “regular” at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Our dance lessons, parties, events and activities keep you plugged in socially, which helps beat stress, and you engage in an activity that is good for you physically, emotionally and mentally. We’re here to teach ballroom dance, but we’re also here for you and your well-being!