We all deal with stress on a daily basis, and with stress being the leading cause of disease I decided to compile a list of 5 things you can do to help melt away the tension caused by our everyday lives. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try one or several of these techniques and see which one helps you to de-stress the best:
Give yourself a timeout, even if it’s for a brief moment to sit in silence and meditate. Allow your mind to wander aimlessly. Try repeating some positive affirmations to yourself, which can empower you to regain your strength during a time of weakness. This is a great way to separate yourself from whatever it is that is causing you stress. Concentrate on taking deep breaths, feeling yourself getting calmer with each exhale. Controlled and deliberate breathing is very therapeutic as it helps to relieve anxiety. Focusing on repetitive breaths in isolation offers one a moment of inward clarify and balance.
Yoga is an ancient method of healing and relaxation. Even the shortest session can get the oxygen pumping and energies released throughout your body. The act of flowing motion can help to bring your racing thoughts to a halt. A quick stretch can loosen the muscles and relieve body tension. Read my post on “Strike a Pose” for more on the how to fit yoga into your busy schedule. You can even practice some basic pressure point therapy (acupressure) or reflexology to work out any blocked energy or tension build-up. Try applying pressure on the spot between the thumb and pointer finger. Firmly massage this area and slowly count to ten. Repeat this as often as you need to help relieve tension. You can also try applying a cold compress to you wrists, since the cooling effect acts to instantly calm down your nerves.
3. Nature walks
Exercise helps to release endorphins in your body which will alleviate stress and elevate your mood. Spending some alone time in the outdoors can also get you attuned with nature and bring you an inner sense of peace. The added benefit of getting some fresh air is also absorbing some rays. Sunshine contains vitamin D, which is effective in melting away the stress while cheering you up.
4. Put it on paper
Journaling can be another outlet to help you to express yourself and sort through what’s got you stressed. It enables you to purge your worries on paper and reevaluate them from a different perspective at another time. It might even help to clear your thoughts and organize them in a way that’ll serve you rather than worry you. A little aromatherapy can also work wonders during a clearing session. Certain scents are incredible at regulating our emotions. Essential oils such as Frankincense and Ylang Ylang are good, but my favourite is lavender for calming my nerves when I’m feeling a little uneasy. Try dabbing some essential oil on your wrist, temples, or add some drops in your bath to give you a calming sense of relief. Or burn a lavender candle or essence for a similar effect.
5. Escape through media
Both art forms allow you to channel your concerns and create a temporary escape. Listening to a favourite album or relaxation songs can soothe you as it transcends you to a happier place that you may associate the song with. I always find reading a book or watching a comedy flick can really occupy my mind and give me the time out that I need. Revisiting issues that had me steering seem less consuming afterward. While immersed in any one of the above stress-reducing initiatives, why not maximize your de-escalating attempts by adding some food and drink that is known to offer some comfort. Go ahead and break off a piece of dark chocolate which is said to help stabilize your stress hormones as well as induce a feeling of euphoria with the addition of antioxidants- read post on “National Chocolate Day“. Equally as effective, enjoy a hot cup of chamomile tea, which is known for its soothing properties.