Don’t Stress It!

The LGBT community faces higher stress levels than those who don’t identify as LGBTQ. Sadly, a lot of this is due to discrimination. Regardless of the cause, experiencing discrimination is associated with higher reported stress and poorer reported health. This certainly holds true of the LGBT population. Adults who are LGBT who have experienced discrimination report higher average stress levels than those who say that they have not.

 

Here are 5 ways to deal with stress

1. Breathe Deeply

Any yogi knows that the breath — known as pranayama or “life force” — plays an important role in nourishing the body. And medical researchers agree.

“Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed,” explains WebMD.

Breathing exercises — or even just taking a few deep breaths — can help reduce tension and relieve stress, thanks to an extra boost of oxygen.

2. Go Green! (Get a plant)

Houseplants aren’t just beautiful air purifiers — they can actually help you calm down.

Researchers have found that simply being around plants can induce your relaxation response. Check out this great Huffington Post guide to buying plants!

3. Step Away From The Screen

Most of us work jobs that require that we spend a lot of time in front of a computer or cell phone. Studies have shown that this can increase depression and stress. Excessive cell phone use has been linked to high blood pressure.

Make sure to take frequent breaks during your day of computer use. Try reading a book during your lunch break or taking a brief sunset walk — and try to shut offline at least an hour before bedtime for better sleep!

4. Grab your headphones

Research shows classical music reduces stress the best— it slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases levels of stress hormones — but any music that you love will fill your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine.

And while music can soothe everyday anxiety research shows that it’s particularly beneficial for those in the midst of stressful events, like surgery or before performances.  Basically, get to dancing.

5. Try yoga

Maintaining a yoga practice can be a great way to reduce stress, stay in shape and calm the mind.

But when it comes to stress relief, not all yoga poses are created equal: Some positions are particularly effective for promoting relaxation, tension relief and restfulness. Check out this video below for yoga poses that help with stress:

(Very) Honorable Mention: Visit the Montrose Center!

In addition to Community Yoga Monday and Wednesday night, the Montrose Center has health and wellness programs that can keep you active and reduce stress. We also offer counseling and various peer support groups!

LGBT Health Week