Health Alert: De-stress like a child - - Columbia, South Carolina

Health Alert: De-stress like a child

NATIONAL (NBC) - Are you stressed out? One expert says it's time to learn a lesson from the kids.

As a mom of twins and a top executive, Caroline Hinton is stretched too thin. Hinton says, "Sometimes when I look at everything on my plate, I don't know how I am going to do it."

So when she got some advice from Doctor Kathleen Hall of the Stress Institute, she knew she needed to follow doctor's orders. Hinton says, "I was just like ... ahh ... this is great."

Doctor Hall's de-stressing system is based on the acronym SELF. The "S" stands for Serenity. Dr. Hall says, "When I would create serenity, I would have them say it over, tears, that's what I wanted. I'm so exhausted, I want serenity."

The "E" is for exercise for the body and the mind. Playing online games for 10 or 20 minutes a day will often do the trick. Hall says, "It decreases your risk of dementia, Alzheimer's. It alleviates chronic pain."

The "L" stands for love. We all need to get support and feel love from our children, spouse, or even our pets - anyone who will really listen. Dr. Hall says, "If you think of effective group supports, or effective clinical settings where you trust your therapist, or your trust the person you're disclosing to, it's all about love."

Finally, the "F" stands for food. It's not about dieting, it's just sticking to the basics. Dr. Hall advises, "As much fresh food as possible, as much color as possible."

If stress still creeps in, learn to live like your children. Doctor Hall prescribes a healthy dose of play. "We don't quit playing because we get old, we get old because we quit playing. And it is so backed by science now."

Hinton says, "We get to play a lot, we run around the house. We chase each other."

Many people say they don't have time to take care of themselves, especially this time of year. Doctor Hall says no one else will make the time, so you have to find at least 15 to 20 minutes each day for yourself.

Posted by Chantelle Janelle

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