Friday, February 22, 2013

Is Stress Making You a Hot Mess?

If you are like most Americans you are struggling.  Struggling to pay bills; struggling for time to spend with spouses, family and friends and struggling to live your life in an authentic way.

All of this struggling leads to the big "S." Stress.  And the big "S" leads to big illness.

To stay off of the stress roller coaster and begin enjoying your life again, here are some simple tips. Although I use the word simple and they may seem simple, they are actually quite difficult. Our tendency is to resist change and anything new so you must enter into this with an open heart and playful spirit.  

Here are my top 5 tips for stress reduction.

1. Meditate - Even if only for five minutes a day.  In a seated position, ensure that your feet are grounded and your spine is straight.  Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath.   From here, as thoughts arise, without judgement, bring your attention back to your breath.  You can set a quiet timer if needed and you can start out at only a few minutes a day working your way up.

2. Get creative - Spend some time doing the things that bring you joy.  Begin something new or reignite an old passion.  Write, draw, sing, dance, take a class, begin journaling... whatever floats your boat.

3. Eat well and drink plenty of water - Simple right?  Not in this fast food, way too busy world.  Some days its hard to even remember to drink water.  Begin by making this a priority in your life.  Keep it simple... add more veggies to your diet and you will automatically cut down on the items your body does not need.  Instead of grabbing the afternoon soda or coffee; grab a big glass of H2O.

4. Get 8 hours of sleep - Easier said than done.  To help with this sometimes challenging issue, begin your nighttime routine 1/2 hour earlier than normal and spend some time meditation or stretching before bedtime.  It is also helpful to "turn off".  Turn off the television, the phone and the computer.

5. Get active - Spend 20 minutes a day walking, running, cycling, dancing, doing yoga or anything else that turns you on.  JUST GET MOVING!  This will assist in decreasing your appetite and increasing your energy.

I challenge you to take just one of the recommendations and do it for one week.  In time, you will begin forming more healthy habits leading to less stress and more calm in your life.  Stress is one of my favorite subjects to teach and write about.   I consider myself an expert as I have struggled with it just as you do.   Stay tuned for many more blogs on ways to reduce stress and create a calm, joy filled life.

In Gratitude,    Suzanne

Peace in your community; peace in your home and peace in your heart.

Suzanne Nicklas, RN, E-RYT, HHC, is owner of Shanti Yoga Studio in Troy, NY and is a Registered Nurse, Registered Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Coach.  She holds workshops on wellness and stress management and also offers corporate classes and workshops.  You may contact her at or visit


  1. Excellent tips! Of course these all are beneficial for stress patients. They can solve their problem easily by following these instructions.back pain and neck pain

  2. 8 hours of sleep is really effective to me. Working the whole day can really stress us so we should have enough rest. Health and Wellness Articles