Ways to Relieve Stress
Today’s fast-paced lifestyle can definitely leave you feeling stressed out. Working, studying, managing a home, and taking care of a family can leave little time to take care of your own basic needs. Sometimes you may be so busy that you fail to notice that you are actually suffering physically and mentally as a result of stress. Stress can certainly be harmful to your health. Here are some ways to relieve stress and help you be calmer and happier.
It’s been around for thousands of years, and has been studied for just as long, so I’m probably not the first person to recommend it to you.
There are as many different forms of meditation as there are religions in the world. Whatever the form may be, the main goal of meditation is to get in touch with your inner self through focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind. In today’s modern world, meditation has been widely accepted as a form of stress relief and relaxation. There are numerous scientific studies that have linked stress with a depressed immune system and lack of physical health, and that have concluded that meditation can help restore health through reducing stress. Daily meditation and prayer can help raise your “youth hormone” known as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is responsible for reducing stress while boosting the feel-good neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, in your brain. (reference: “How to Feel Good for Life”, Vista Magazine Issue 42)
Exercise and Stretching
Regular exercise is a proven technique for stress relief. Exercise, especially cardiovascular, helps to regulate your emotions. When you exercise, your body releases special brain chemicals called endorphins, which help to numb pain and boost your mood. Stretching also helps with stress as it relieves build-up pressure in your muscles and makes you feel more calm and relaxed.
Sometimes you just need a time-out to get yourself together and calm down when there is too much happening around you. Take 15 or 20 minutes and get yourself to a quiet place where you can be alone. Try a deep breathing technique, which is a fast and easy way to reduce stress. Start the process by sitting comfortably in a secluded, quiet area. Take in a deep breath through your nose and mentally count from one to four as you breathe in. Exhale through your mouth and mentally count down from one to four as you breathe out. Repeat this sequence 20 to 30 times. This deep breathing exercise is so effective because it increases oxygen level in your body, which is naturally calming.
Visualization is a process of imagining yourself in a place where you would like to be. It allows you to remove yourself from reality for a short period of time, and thereby calms you down. To perform visualization, get comfortable sitting or lying down in a quiet place. Close your eyes and control your breathing. Visualize a place that you find happy and relaxing. For me, that place is a beach on the Black Sea where I grew up. I used to spend my summer days there with my parents and I think of it as a place to have fun and relax with no worries in my mind.
Focus on the image of this serene place and imagine you are actually there until you can feel it all around you. When you are finished your nerves will be calmed and stress will melt away.
Massage And Spa Treatments
Stress can sometimes be stored in your muscles in a form of tension and knots. When you notice your neck, back, and shoulder muscles are tight and sore, that could be stress starting to creep up on you. I love getting a deep, long massage to relax my muscles and get rid of the built-up tension, which can also certainly boost my mood. Massage not only relieves body pain but is also a great way to relax your mind. When your body feels good your mind will follow. If massage is not your thing, try a variety of different treatments at a spa such as aromatherapy bath or body scrub. Or simply get your favorite beauty treatment like a facial or foot treatment. Doing something nice for yourself will help you manage stress and restore your vitality.
Talking About It
Sometimes when the world seems to get out of control, talking about your problems with close friends and loved ones can help you see things from a different perspective.
Venting out your frustrations can also help you relieve built-up pressure. A good heart-to-heart talk can be quite therapeutic and will help you get through rough times. If you feel your family or friends cannot help you, consider talking to a counselor or a therapist.
Being optimistic in the face of stress will help you cope with the pressure, even if you cannot eliminate it. Think positively and look at it as a learning experience that will make you stronger. Laughing out loud can help enhance your mood instantly and release stress hormones. Watching a funny movie or sharing jokes and anecdotes with your close friends and family will get you laughing, and life’s challenges won’t seem so difficult.
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