Stress can manifest itself over time in many ways. We all know that long-term stress has been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses. Taking appropriate steps to reduce stress at any age can benefit your mind and body. There are many easy ways proven to reduce stress. There are also many opportunities available at Henry Ford Village to help as well. Here are some tips and tactics to help you better manage the stress in your life.

  1. Breathing Exercises/Meditation: Meditation and controlled breathing exercises are a quick, effective ways to relieve stress. They can be practiced anywhere and at any time. When you are home, practicing this technique can relieve everyday tension. For controlled breathing:
    • Take ten deep breaths
    • Inhale and exhale slowly

    Meditation is an activity which can help silence the thoughts your mind produces. Be present in the moment, use the breathing technique above, and be slow and relaxed. You should be in a quiet place and be focused in on silence, this will work to calm your mind, wearing comfortable clothing and in an area you that is cushioned and easy for you to relax in. Set a timer so that you aren’t worried about the clock. (Meditation and breathing exercises can have benefit in as little as ten minutes a day).

    Your goal is simply to spend time without being distracted. This is a great tactic for dealing with future stress as well, knowing that you have the ability to spend time quietly for your own health.

  2. Keep a Journal: Write down those things you are grateful or thankful for each day. Over time, and looking back upon your writings, you might find that this can form a very real sense of optimism. This can be the last thing you practice before going to bed in the evening. Focus on all the positive things that may have happened to you each day and write it down.
  3. Get a Hobby and/or Share Your Hobby: There are many opportunities at HFV to investigate a new hobby. Maybe you’ve heard about the woodshop or the train room? Maybe you play cards or enjoy Bocce ball. Any of these activities can be helpful in relieving stress especially when you share them with people that have the same lifestyle as you. Taking up a hobby will give you something to look forward to doing, and finding friends to share it with will help you enjoy some much-needed time with people you care about.
    • Form a group of musicians
    • Work in the community garden
    • Join a book club
    • Work in the woodshop or the train room

    Whatever you might choose to do, setting time aside for your hobby and having people around you even for a short time each day will take your mind off of whatever it is that’s stressing you out and will give you a chance to relax.

  4. Get a Massage: Massages are highly effective at relieving stress. They alleviate muscle tension while promoting circulation and relaxation. Many massage therapists also use aromatherapy to add to the experience. Scents like lavender have calming effects on the body. Take the time to pamper yourself and book a massage at a local spa or right in your own home in a high-quality massage chair.
  5. Read: Reading is one of the best stress relievers around, helping you to concentrate on something besides the troubles you might have. Getting into a comfortable quiet spot and reading for leisure, whether it be fiction or nonfiction can relax your body and mind. Learning about new topics and sharing books in a book club are also great ways to meet people and share ideas.
  6. Sing and Dance: Sometimes, the best cure for stress is music. Dance and sing your cares away. Whether you’re singing in the shower or having fun at a night of karaoke, singing and dancing can help take the blues away. Dancing gets you moving, which releases endorphins, and it’s also fun. Having fun is a natural stress reliever.
  7. Exercise: The stress relieving effects of daily exercise can’t be overstated. Exercise has been proven to release endorphins in your body that help fight off the adverse effects of stress. Something as simple as taking a stroll around our beautiful campus each day may be enough to get those endorphins working in your favor. Go swimming in the aquatic center or maybe take some puts on the putting green. Head to the training room for a workout, or maybe even a round of bocce ball.

    Yoga is also a great mind/body one two punch for relieving stress. Stretching the body while concentrating on the mind can be used to relieve total body stress. Yoga has been an effective activity to lower stress, lower your heart rate and even blood pressure. Whatever exercise you choose, get out and get moving and get you heart going. The benefits of exercise for stress relief are too many to count!

These are just a few things that you can practice to help reduce your stress every day. Taking the time to relax is probably the most important thing that you can do and the common theme that all every one of the activities share. An active lifestyle is in the DNA at Henry Ford Village. Of the 150+ clubs & activities on campus, you can find something to get you going any day of the week.