Psychotherapist and counselor Mauri Waldman, right, with Gsohen Chamber Executive Director Lynn Cione at the Women's Business Lunch recently held at the Courtyard Marriott. (Photo by Geri Corey)
Signs of excess stress
Tightness around head or chest
Extremely rapid or skipping heartbeat
Stomach in knots
Shortness of breath
Sweaty hands and feet for no apparent reason
Numbness or weakness
Diarrhea, nausea, dizziness or faintness
By Geri Corey
GOSHEN — Stress is real. Stress can be good too: it kicks in to give the mind and body strength to react quickly to a dangerous situation. But stress — especially everyday stress — can also be bad.
Among other signs, chronic stress induces tense muscle pain, rapid heartbeat, and digestive issues; symptoms that could lead to worse health problems. Today‘s modern woman, trying to raise a family while working full time, understands living with stress. But how to relax and eliminate stress? That’s the question.
Businesswomen from the local area were treated recently to an educational talk at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Lunch by psychotherapist and counselor Mauri Waldman whose insightful and discerning advice gave tips on dealing with this potentially dangerous health issue.
Breathing is the key to relaxation.
“Remember, you control your breath,” Waldman told the audience. “Breathing from the diaphragm reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, reduces respiration rate and muscle tension, and actually helps you think clearer.”
Calling it “a gift to you,” Waldman said women have to work on stress reduction techniques everyday. “While doing things for everyone else, women often forget about themselves.”
Adding an additional stress are cell phones.
“You’re on all the time,” she said, asking the women in the audience: “Are they turned down?”
Before concluding her talk, Waldman led listeners through guided imagery. Visualizing inside the mind by concentrating on what she is saying brings the mind to stillness and calm. As the women lowered their heads and closed their eyes, Waldman brought them to a beach with soft waves, blue sky, and the warmth of the sun, bringing each to a state of complete relaxation.
According to Waldman, the most calming sound to us is our own voice, so she encourages making your own CD to listen to, whether it takes you to the beach, in a hot air balloon, to the mall, or out jogging — wherever you feel good.
Women today are busy and have multiple responsibilities — to spouses, children, jobs, pets. Most are responsible and conscientious in doing all that they do. But who’s last? Waldman asks.
“Take 10 minutes for you," she urged. "Give yourself gifts by breathing, relaxing, taking care of yourself. Only you can do that.”
The Women’s Business Lunch was held Sept. 27 at the Courtyard Marriott in Middletown. For more information on stress and how to handle it, Waldman recommends the information on webmd.com.