|Here are a few tips to destress yourself.|
|In case you need a reason to get rid of stress in your life, here's the best.
Cortisol, the adrenal hormone that mediates stress responses, is toxic to neurons in the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotion.
Dr Andrew Weil says so in his new book Healthy Aging. What that means is that too much stress drives you batty. "We need to learn techniques to manage stress," he adds.
Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, make sure you get enough rest (take a nap if you want to) and you might avoid age-related diseases such as cancer and stroke and Alzheimer's.
Learning relaxation techniques is a good thing, he says. "It leads to better physical and mental health. But it's a mistake to imagine that we have a corner on stress in the modern world. Life has always been stressful. It's just that the forms change."
The answer to relieving stress is as easy as breathing in and out.
His solution is working with the breath "as the simplest, most efficient way of taking advantage of the mind-body connection to affect both physical and mental health."
Weil's breath technique takes about two minutes:
· Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind and above your front teeth and keep it there through the whole exercise.
· Exhale completely through your mouth, making a "whoosh" sound.
· Inhale deeply and quietly through your nose to a count of 4 (with your mouth closed).
· Hold your breath for a count of 7.
· Exhale audibly through your mouth to a count of 8.
· Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 for a total of four breaths.
You can add meditation. Maybe take a nap. The important thing is to give your mind a rest.
And don't think you're too old to start to learn new tricks. "Move in this direction as soon as possible. It's never too late," the doctor says.