Stress is a part and parcel of life and most of us have a flair of managing stress naturally. It is only when we lost control of how to control our stress level that we become depressed and suffered from anxiety disorder. In fact, the body's natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga and meditation or even relaxing massage can help you activate this relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a stress reduction in your everyday life and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity.
Life is full of stress. Almost daily, we are bombarded with stress from work deadlines to bills and commitments in the home. We often worry too much when we are exposed to too much work, lack of time, too much debt, family problems and relationship problems. Stress leads to tension, physical and emotional strain. In addition, stress can cause problems like tension headaches, insomnia, problems focusing, tiredness, weight loss, weight gain and even suppress our immune system. Hence, we really do need all the help we can to get to learn how to relax and calm our mind. So what can we do about stress? First, we need to realize that knowing how to relieve stress is very important to our health and well-being.
Then, we must learn to begin to focus on reducing the stress in your life before stress gets the best of you.
Deep Breathing For Stress Relief
Learn how to focus on your breathing by concentrating on the way you breathe in and breathe out. First, you need to sit comfortably with your back straight or lie comfortably with your palms spread out on the bed or on the floor. Next, while you are breathing in, inhale deeply and be aware of the air passing into your nostrils, into your lungs and feel your abdomen slowly inflating. Then, breathe out slowly and be aware of your abdomen which is slowly deflating and feel the air coming out of your nostrils. Smell the rejuvenating air and be totally concentrating on the path of the air from outside to inside of your body.
As proven on many people, deep breathing is a simple yet powerful relaxation technique. Deep breathing is very easy to learn and we can use it almost anywhere and anytime. It provides us with a very quick way to get our stress levels in control. In fact, deep breathing is the cornerstone of various other relaxation practices and it can be combined with other relaxing methods like yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, massage and music. All you need is a few minutes and a space for you to stretch out.
One ultimate point to remember when doing deep breathing is to inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel. So the next time you feel stressed, take a minute to slow down and breathe in and out deeply.
Mindfulness Meditation For Stress Relief
This is an effective meditation process to relax and calm your mind and body. Mindfulness meditation focuses on the presence which is NOW, instead of the past or future. Place your whole focus on what is happening right at this moment. Do a "Body Scan" of your whole body. Focus your whole attention on various parts of your body, starting with your feet and work your way up to your knees, thighs, stomach, hands, fingers, chest, face and finally to your head. Feel totally relaxed and loosen your muscles while you focus on your toes, ankles, knees to your abdomen, chest, hands, fingers to your nose, eyes and finally to the top of your head.
Body scanning cultivates mindfulness by focusing your attention on various parts of your body. When you focus on every parts of your body, you are subconsciously telling these parts of your body to relax which will in terms help you to dis-stress and become totally relaxed.
Imaginative Visualization Technique For Stress Relief
Our stress is all caused by something or someone. Hence, imaginative visualization technique for stress relief comes into good use to help you dis-stress. First, close your eyes and relax. Imagine that someone, something or an event that is causing your distress and anxiety. Place this visual imagery onto your palm. Imagine that this someone or something is actually so small and tiny on your palm. Once you can see this visual imagery of that tiny someone or something on your palm, inhale deeply and simply blow directly at this particular visual imagery away from your palm. Then, slowly visualize that this someone or something get blown away into the air and out into the outer space, never to come back again.
This imaginative visualization technique helps in making you know that all your stress activators are actually very minor and small. They cannot harm or hurt you in anyway. You can conquer them and make them disappear at anytime you want.
Yoga For Stress Relief
Yoga is an excellent stress relief technique. It involves a series of both moving and stationary poses, combined with deep breathing. Yoga is renowned to be able to help our body totally relax and calm our mind and soul. The physical and mental benefits of yoga provide a natural counterbalance to stress, and strengthen the relaxation response in your daily life.
The deep relaxation technique which is practised at the last part of a yoga session is extremely effective in bringing you to a transquil and serene state. In fact, this deep relaxation technique can be combined with the mindfulness meditation technique as mentioned above.
Massage Therapy For Stress Relief
Getting a massage provides deep relaxation, and as the muscles in your body relax, so does your overstressed mind. One of my favorite massage therapy to dis-stress and promote good health is the traditional Chinese acupressure massage.
In acupressure massage, therapists use their fingers to manipulate the body's pressure points. You will feel pain on the body parts that the therapists pressed on, but you will benefit greatly as the stress and tightness on various parts of your body are being released and dissipated. Nonetheless, you must take note that you need to engage a qualified and professional acupressure massage therapist to do the massage on you. Personally, I do this acupressure massage once or twice a month to dis-stress and bring overall well-being and good health to my body, mind and soul.
Soothing Music Therapy For Stress Relief
Another good stress relief technique is to listen to soothing and relaxation music. Soothing and relaxation music is proven medically and scientifically to bring overall calmness to the body and bring your stress level to a minimum.
Listen to good quality music genres like classical music, yoga music or nature music to dis-stress. On the other hand, listening to metallic rock and loud and quick music will actually makes us even more stress and can affect our overall well-being. Hence, we should be selective in the kind of music that we listen. The best music for stress relief is soothing and relaxation music. You can find them easily at many music cds stores near your neighborhood or downtown.
No matter which stress relief techniques you use, do bear in mind that you yourself must also think positively and be optimistic. Learn to appreciate life and the people around you. Give more than you receive. Take care of your family members and friends. Show care and concern to the people around you. And lastly, take good care of yourself by eating well, sleeping well and exercising frequently. And not to forget, LOVE YOURSELF.