The ability to handle or cope with stress is something we all must learn to practice. Some of us are able to handle the effects of stress better than others-- but we all experience some level of stress from time to time. However, You may think that stress doesn’t affect you much, but even being physically tense can alter your emotional and psychological state. When you learn to reduce physical tension through relaxation, you can significantly improve your overall health.
How To Relax Your Body
Our body can be affected by stress. Anxiety makes our muscles feel tense, sometimes resulting in a lack of focus or brain drain. Stress can cause pain in our neck and shoulders too. So, what’s the best way to relax the body? Fortunately, there are plenty of relaxation techniques you can try out that can help release the tension from your body and reduce the physical effect of stress.
. Progressive relaxation
If how to relax is at the top of your mind when it comes to dealing with the tension in your body, practicing progressive relaxation may help. Progressive muscle relaxation involves the tightening and releasing of one muscle group at a time in order to reduce muscle tension throughout the body. This is a good technique if you want to fall asleep faster at night since the progressive muscle technique helps your muscles become more relaxed. You can also do this while you’re in bed so can fall asleep right after.
. Massage hands
Another technique that can help alleviate stress is to give yourself a hand massage. If you spend a lot of time on a keyboard, the muscles in your hands and fingers can cramp. We use our hands to perform a plethora of tasks during the course of the day which can lead to tired and achy fingers. Giving yourself a message will not only ease the tightness, but it will also make you feel more relaxed too.
. Stress ball
Stress can occur at any time but it is how we respond to it that matters. If you want to extinguish an episode of acute stress and anxiety, squeezing a stress ball may be the quickest way to do so.
. Low impact movements
What can you do to relax your body? Participating in or performing an activity may be the last thing on your mind when you are stressed but it’s a great way to both distract and redirect your energy away from worry. Participating in a gentle exercise such as walking can help ease the tension in your body. Even a 15-minute jaunt can help increase blood flow to your body and improve your mood significantly.
. Employ the use of scents
When stress hormones are released it can cause an increased heart rate and high blood pressure. We may experience shortness of breath as well as high stress over a sustained amount of time that can lead to anxiety attacks. Diffusing essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and even clary sage, whether at work or home, can help to create a calming environment. Breathing in the scents of these oils using deep breathing techniques can help you relax.
. Go out in nature
If you work in a high-stress environment and you can’t seem to focus, take a short break and leave the office. Taking a quick walk or simply sitting on a bench at a nearby park and allowing your mind to be still will center your thoughts, helping you to feel better for the duration of the workday.
What better way to combat stress than playing? Life doesn’t always have to be so serious. One way to alleviate the tension and anxiety is to let go and have fun. Play basketball, go out for a swim, or spend time with friends, these activities are not only fun, but they can also help alleviate stress.
How To Relax Your Mind
Are you wondering how to relax your mind? Learning how to calm the mind, especially when a thousand thoughts are running through your brain, is essential for relieving mental and emotional stress. Here are some tips for how to quiet the constant stream of thoughts inside your mind.
. Breath focus
In this simple, powerful technique, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations. Breath focus can be especially helpful for people with eating disorders to help them focus on their bodies in a more positive way. However, this technique may not be appropriate for those with health problems that make breathing difficult, such as respiratory ailments or heart failure.
. Repetitive prayer.
For this technique, you silently repeat a short prayer or phrase from a prayer while practicing breath focus. This method may be especially appealing if religion or spirituality is meaningful to you.
. Soak in a warm bath
If you want to relax your mind, why not soak in a tub filled with warm water at least half an hour before bedtime? The warm temperature can induce relaxation as well as sleepiness, allowing the mind and body to rest. You can add some essential oils to your bath water to further enhance this relaxing atmosphere.
. Treat yourself
Many of us tend to focus our attention on our loved ones to the point where we forget ourselves. This can be a source of stress and even resentment though can be easily avoided if we regularly take time out for ourselves. Do something nice for yourself. Book a relaxing vacation or take a spa day. It will make you feel good about yourself and improve your mood too.
. Do mindful meditation
Mindful meditation is the act of focusing one’s attention to the present. Start by listening to what your body is saying to you. Pay attention to your breathing. Is it way too fast, shallow, slow or deep? What do you hear around you? Focus on the here and now and notice as the negative thoughts dissipate from your mind.
. Write in your journal
Want to know how to relax your mind? Some people find journaling to be a good way to combat the effects of stress. You can start by simply writing down your thoughts as they come up. Daily journaling can help release pent-up emotions. You can write on your journal before going to bed so you will feel relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.
. Establish a bedtime ritual
Wondering how to relax before bedtime? You can calm your mind for a stress-free sleep by practicing a bedtime ritual each night. These repetitive actions have been found to be effective in helping people achieve a relaxed state at night. This can be something as simple as reading a favorite book, listening to some calming music or just watching the night sky from your window.
Signs Of Stress
People tend to dismiss stress until they start feeling its effects. Here are a few signs to watch out for.
Acne breakouts are usually the first signs of stress as stress can wreak havoc on our hormonal balance. We also tend to touch our faces when we are feeling nervous. Unfortunately, this causes germs to spread fast, leaving our skin irritated.
. Frequent sickness
Are you frequently getting sick? Sniffles, cough and even headaches? These are actually signs that daily stress and anxiety may be compromising your immune system.
. Digestive problems
Digestive issues are a good indicator that long-term stress is wreaking havoc on your health. Aside from having an upset stomach, you might also experience bowel disturbances.
Stress and anxiety can affect our lives in more ways than one. Not only does our mind become foggy and our bodies tense, but it can also lead to serious health issues including insomnia and depression. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can try if you want to find out how to relax. As always, if you’ve tried to alleviate stress and anxiety on your own unsuccessfully, it’s worth scheduling a visit with your doctor.