Magazine article USA TODAY

Ways to Enhance Your "Thought Life"

Magazine article USA TODAY

Ways to Enhance Your "Thought Life"

Article excerpt

Relationship issues, child-rearing concerns, job woes, and a lack of money are just some of life's complications that can weigh people down--and cause health problems. "Ifs difficult to stay healthy and energized when stress is a daily reality," says Greg Wells, assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Toronto, Canada, and author of The Ripple Effect: Eat Better, Sleep Better, Move Better, and Think Better.

Wells suggests seven techniques that can help you have a healthier "thought life" and recover from chronic stress:

* Move your body. Rhythmic, repeated motion is particularly soothing to the mind and body. A long walk, cycling, swimming, or running all will work, but any kind of movement relieves tension, improves circulation, and clears your mind.

* Get into nature. Head to the garden, park, or woods to lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, reduce tension and depression, and boost your mood. "Ifs stunning how good it is for your health to be in nature, and I recommend you leave the cell phone and earbuds at home."

* Practice yoga or Tai Chi. Both are good ways to decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, and boost the immune system. They also give you more stamina--needed in stressful times--and improve the quality of your sleep.

* Have perspective. Do not be so quick to conclude that you "cannot handle" a stressful situation or give in to negative self-talk about not having what it takes to manage life. …

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