The markets are crazy. The news is terrifying.
And society is in a state of paralysis.
It’s a stressful time to be alive.
And as my colleague Dr. Sanjay Jain wrote last week, we’re paying for it with our health.
We all need to relax more than ever right now.
But that’s not easy if your tried-and-true de-stressing activities are off the table.
But I’ve just found a simple way to ease my stress… without even realizing it.
For me, when everything is going haywire, I like to meet up with a couple of buddies and climb… either at the climbing gym or at a local crag.
But thanks to “social distancing,” that’s not an option.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to go climbing again.
But thanks to a little piece of training equipment I’m using to keep my hands strong in the meantime, I’ve found a way to keep my sanity.
Giving it a good squeeze works out the tendons in my fingers. It also strengthens the muscles in my forearms.
But what I realized is that it also helps relieve my built-up tension.
If you want to see what I always carry in my jacket pocket, check out the Gripmaster by Prohands. (I have no affiliation with the company. I just like the product.)
It’s really just a slightly fancier version of those stress balls people used to give out at trade shows. It works on the same principle.
Stress can lead to a bunch of nasty issues. Headaches, sleep issues and digestion problems are just the tip of the iceberg.
Chronic stress can put us on the fast track for hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
And unless we’re in a fight-or-flight situation, that stress energy just builds up and lingers… keeping us on high alert for no good reason.
The muscles in our bodies literally tighten up from prolonged periods of stress.
But when we’ve got a way to physically release that stress energy, it helps relax us.
Research out of the University of Surrey found that squeezing a stress ball helped patients relax right before surgery… even better than being accompanied by loved ones.
So if it can help reduce anxiety right before invasive surgery, it’s safe to say that it could help us de-stress while we’re locked inside trying to cope with everything that’s going on.
I know it’s helping me… but I will say that it’s a lot harder to type while using my Gripmaster.
For more relaxation techniques, recipes and other ways to cope during the coronavirus crisis, click here.