3 tips to lessen stress

Author(s): Julie Cullen

By Julie Cullen, Managing Editor, American Nurse Today

A new book by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee called The Stress Solution offers some advice that you might want to practice in your own life and share with your patients. No doubt some of these tips will sound familiar, but most of us need regular reminders…even about the obvious.

Breathe. Studies show that controlled breathing exercises can help us reduce stress, make us more alert, and build our immune systems. Chatterjee says that when our exhale is longer than our inhale, the body is likely to move from stress to relaxation.

Take a break. Easier said than done for most nurses, but taking a break (especially if you spend a lot of time looking at a screen) can reduce anxiety. Getting outside can be a real help, but if that’s not possible, look at pictures of nature. Some research indicates that nature photos can lower your heart rate.

Ease into your day. A calm morning routine that doesn’t include looking at your phone or other screens can help set a more relaxing tone for the day. Chatterjee recommends incorporating 15 minutes of mindfulness and movement first thing in the morning. Do something you enjoy.

You can find additional information about wellness and stress reduction in the American Nurse Today Wellness 101 series.

Source: The New York Times

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