Coping Strategies for Stress 

 August 10, 2018

By  Steve Hoffman

Stress is a fact of life. How you deal with that stress will go a long way toward determining how you feel, how you look and even how long you live! If your coping mechanisms consist of a drink or two at night to “wind down” then a cup or three of coffee the next day to “get going”, compulsively scrolling through Facebook, binge watching Netflix to all hours, compulsive spending or emotional eating then your coping mechanisms, well, suck. Some of these you may not recognize as coping mechanisms or because of stress. By spending every spare minute scrolling on your phone or convincing yourself that you can live without one more hour of sleep, so you can watch the next episode, you are avoiding real contact and real introspection and healthy ways to reduce or eliminate stress. Here are some positive ways you can deal with stress, feel better, look better and live longer.

Yoga & Exercise: First, going to the gym and flogging yourself for 45 minutes doing twenty different exercises, leaving yourself feeling more worn out than when you walked in is not what exercise should look like. Sure, if you are twenty years old, go to CrossFit and go nuts. But when we get in to our 40’s, 50’s and beyond, exercises should be more nutritive and less depleting to our bodies. Just look at some 80-year olds in China, up at the crack of dawn, going to the park and practicing Tai Chi, then look at 80-year olds in this country. Exercises like Yoga and Tai Chi challenge your body in a balanced way and are meditative in nature, further helping to reduce stress.

Meditation: Do not try to sit down for an hour and mediate especially if you have never meditated before. This will only set you up for failure. Take ten minutes. That’s all. If you can’t find ten minutes in your day to sit in a quiet place and mediate, you are heading towards problems (or are already there). The type of meditation does not matter so much, especially when you are just starting. Find something that speaks to you, try a few out and relax. Once you have your ten minutes down expand to twenty and eventually a half hour.

Connect: Connections are critical to dealing with stress. Put the phone down and talk to your family. Call a friend and ask them how they are. Get involved in your community, volunteer, go visit your local shops instead of Amazon. Having roots and a strong support network will do wonders for you.

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine: Acupuncture has clinically proven results in reducing stress and stress related hormones. When coupled with Chinese herbal medicine, it is a potent way to cope with stress. Often, sleep and pain syndromes are part of the picture when it comes to treating stress and acupuncture can help reduce or eliminate all of them.

The best approach to coping with stress is a multi-faceted one, incorporating several coping strategies that will overlap and support one another. The choice is yours and how you deal with stress is a choice.

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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