Why should we focus on reducing our stress levels? Feeling overwhelmed physically or emotionally on a regular basis has been proven in medical research to lead to high blood pressure, regular headaches, depression, anxiety, and weakens our immune system. Besides, it simply doesn’t feel good when our stress levels are too high!
While most people think that you have to be still and relax to combat stress, mental health professionals recommend that getting active is also an effective way to reduce stress. Stress feels like “pent up” energy and when we tire ourselves out physically, we are actually blowing off some of that energy and are more able to relax and our sleep improves. Here in Central Florida, we are lucky to have amazing weather most of the year and can take advantage of the many health benefits of a variety of outdoor activities. Being outside and getting some exercise are two things that reduce our experience of stress. We have many picturesque parks and nature trails in Central Florida. A great way to clear your mind is to take a walk or jump on a bike and hit the West Orange Trail, Cady Way, or the Seminole Wekiva Trail. If you work in downtown Orlando, talk a walk around Lake Eola during lunch or after work. Visit many of our local springs and rivers (like Wekiva Springs State Park, Kelly Park, or Blue Springs) for canoeing, kayaking, or swimming.
People from around the world visit Central Florida for our theme parks (Walt Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, Legoland Florida) and spending the day walking around the parks is a great way to take a break from our busy lives and enjoy the company of our family and friends. Even if you don’t have passes to any of the amusement parks, you can walk around Downtown Disney or Universal Orlando’s Citywalk and enjoy dinner, dancing, and live music.
Making time on a regular basis to break away from our busy lives to enjoy the outdoors and get our blood pumping is a very effective way to keep our stress levels at a manageable level. If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress and want to learn more ways to feel relaxed and in control, contact Dana Nolan at Healthy Living Counseling for a free brief telephone consultation to discuss ways to better manage stress in your life!