JGH News, Spring 2011
Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Walk around the block. There are a million and one ways to relieve stress at work or at home—and people are always eager to share their ideas. Over time, though, we realize that one person’s solution, isn’t necessarily another’s. So while there may be no foolproof stress reliever, here are a couple of worthwhile suggestions from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Just walk away. Removing yourself from a stressful situation is half the battle. So what’s the other half? Finding something enjoyable to focus on. For Dr. Philip Gordon, JGH Chief of Colorectal Surgery, that 50 per cent is achieved through “gardening, spending time with grandchildren or putting together PowerPoint presentations.” Whatever your outlet, making time to do the things you love increases endorphin levels; this decreases stress and the symptoms related to stress. If you end up laughing, all the better: laughing is the body’s natural stress reliever, no matter what your age.
Become a collector. This is how you maintain and strengthen your focus on what appeals to you. Traditionalists love coins and stamps; non-conformists have been known to collect everything from barbed wire to beer cans. Rosemary Steinberg, Local Commissioner of Complaints and Quality of Services at the JGH, credits a love of collecting fountain pens for helping to ease the pressure. “I like to search for them on eBay, and the pens don’t have to be expensive. I just find the process of searching to be relaxing. It allows me to turn off my mind for a while and genuinely take it easy.”
Worth remembering is that people spend so much time trying to meet the needs of others that they often forget to take care of themselves. Setting aside a few minutes for yourself gives your mind and body the rest that they require.
To learn more about reducing stress.