meditating and stress

4 Ways to Manage Stress

Stress can lead to a whole host of physical and mental health issues including high blood pressure, chronic headaches, and depression. Some stress is normal, and using it as inspiration to be your best is healthy, but when it feels like you can’t get ahead talk to your primary medical caregivers about stress management. Here are some of our best tips to keep stress levels manageable.

1. Massage Therapy:

That delicious muscle-melting feeling is your struggles literally wearing away. When we feel stressed we tend to tense our muscles and it can be hours, if not days, before we fully unwind. That wonderful muscle manipulation has also been known to reduce cortisol in your body, also known as the stress hormone.

2. Mindful breathing, Meditation and Yoga:

Engaging in thoughtful contemplation while envisioning your stress fall away helps you to gain realistic perspective on the causes of your stress. Yoga is a full body exercise that can be practiced alone or with a group. Meditation and Mindful Breathing can be engaged as soon as stress gets out of hand, and with little to no preparation. Plenty of community centres, health centres, and wellness studios offer yoga classes as well as meditation, and the internet is plentiful with audio and visual leads all 3.

3. Make time for your passions:

Taking care of yourself also means living your best life, and that means exploring your passions. What have you always wanted to do? It could be as simple as taking up birdwatching or carving out a corner of your living room for a craft desk. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try your hand at racquetball or join a running group. Making time for you and honouring your life goals will help you be mindful when stress happens, as well as provide you with an outlet to let stress doing something that you love.

4. Make complementary snack choices:

While food may not trigger stress, there are foods that can cause a reaction in your body that doesn’t help. When stress hits you, pay attention to the foods and drinks you reach for and how they make you feel. Caffeine and sugar are what a lot of people lean on when stress hits, and both can compound your physical reaction. You may feel wired from the sugar and caffeine, have trouble calming down and or sleeping even hours later depending on how much you ingested and how late in the day it was. A sugar rush goes as quickly as it comes leaving you feeling rundown all over again. To clear your mind as best as you can, when you have to reach for comfort foods go for decaffeinated or herbal teas and coffee, water, and for the sweet tooth try a crunchy apple or frozen grapes.

Regular massage therapy appointments could play a pivotal role in your stress management plan. Call Wilson Health Services at 519-624-8000 or visit to find out if massage therapy is right for you.