Website Offers Stress Relief
by, 01-28-2009 at 11:56 AM (1864 Views)
Yesterday, my editor-in-chief Judith Mitiguy emailed the staff this link https://www.health.harvard.edu/topic/stress with a simple note: “Some good advice for busy, stressful times.” Talk about an understatement! I immediately clicked on the link, and found a website with some highly useful information nurses will want to pass on to their patients, friends and families.
The Stress Resource Center was developed by Harvard Health Publications at Harvard Medical School, with the goal of helping people “to understand the ways in which daily stress affects your body and how you can reduce these damaging effects.”
A section about the impact of stress explains why people who are stressed might gain weight, catch a cold more easily, have stomach pain, or damage their blood vessels through high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels.
I clicked on the video about measuring your blood pressure accurately with a home kit. It features clear instructions and a demonstration of the dos and don’ts of home monitoring. Next I read and saved the pdf file, “Your Portable Guide to Stress Relief,” a 3-page read that gives some powerful self-help techniques. I tried the self-massage of my neck, scalp and face, ending with some slow breathing with my hands loosely cupped over my face. In less than 5 minutes, I was feeling calmer and more focused.
Another article that piqued my interest was titled, “Sing along for health.” I used to sing in the church choir and school chorus as a kid, and have often thought I’d enjoy doing it again. I read that researchers in Germany did studies that showed measurable improvements in mood, stress levels and immune function for those who sang choral music. They even compared groups of people who listened to music with people who sang out loud. The singers had the greatest benefits.
I bookmarked the website, and googled choral groups to see what I could find in the Philadelphia region. Within moments, I was at ChoralNet.org. The site includes a choir directory, where you can enter a location and find links in your area or anywhere in the world! I jotted down a couple of names and phone numbers. The next big step is to make contact.
But whether or not you (or I) decide to join a chorus, isn’t it great to know that singing out in the shower, or along with the music from your car radio is doing something positive for your health? Sing out, nurses, and teach the world to sing along!