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Less Stess, More Happy: Five things to do before stress overwhelms you

Brought to you by Pat Blumenthal, Psy.D. - The Portland Clinic - MEDICAL INSIDER

THE PORTLAND CLINIC - Pat Blumenthal, Psy.D., Psychologist, Director of Behavioral Health ServicesStress is a normal part of life, but if it builds up too much or for too long, it can take a toll on you. Even good stress caused by happy events, such as having a baby, buying a new home or starting a new job, can be taxing.

Here are five things you can do to get back to less stress and more happy:

Get a complete physical. Sometimes mental health changes are part of a medical problem. Your physician can help guide you to treatment options that are right for your unique situation.

Talk to someone. In addition to your doctor, it may help to share your concerns with a friend or family member. For more therapeutic support, talking to a therapist can be very beneficial, as well.

Take a deep breath. Repeat. For a quick stress reliever any time, sit or stand with your back straight, put your hands on your tummy, and inhale slowly to the count of 4, pushing your belly out like a balloon to take in a deep, cleansing breath. Then slowly exhale to the count of 4.

Get better sleep. Shortchanging sleep can contribute to many mental health problems. Put more effort into building a routine that gets you a full 8 hours of sleep time.

Find your happy place. Spending time in nature, yoga, meditation and listening to soothing music are healthy ways to relax, focus inward and calm frazzled nerves.

Your emotional health is not separated from your physical health. Pay attention to stress — it's as legitimate a health issue as exercising and eating right, and managing it well is just as important to your health and happiness.

The Portland Clinic


541 NE 20th Ave., Ste. 210

Portland, OR 97232

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