Relax, because you really need to. You do not have to head to a spa or a weekend retreat to relax. It is something you can do at home. Relaxation doesn’t require money. It can be done anywhere and by anyone. And if you are too stressed out to relax, here are 10 stress reduction tips.
Practice meditation for at least a few minutes a day. Meditation helps ease anxiety, and researchers believe that it has the power to alter the neural pathways of the brain. Managing stressful thoughts becomes easier if you meditate regularly.
Here is how to meditate:
Sit up on the floor and make sure your back is straight. You don’t have to arch your back – you should be in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and recite a positive mantra like “I’m at peace”. Focus on it and try to stay away from distracting thoughts. Let the distractions float on while you stay focused on the mantra.
Enjoy the present moment
Slow down. Spend a couple of minutes to focus on one behavior with total awareness. Observe how the air touches your face when you walk. Enjoy the taste and texture of food. When you live in the present moment you will feel much less tense.
When you feel stressed out, take a short break. Sit up straight and close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing and put one hand on your stomach. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Several studies have shown that deep breathing slows down your heart rate and reduces blood pressure.
Interact with people
There are several ways of reducing stress, and one of them is to get socially active. Your friends can help you handle stress. Engage in face to face conversations with them or talk to them on the phone. One way of managing stressful thoughts is to discuss them with people you can trust.
Listen to your body
Imagine how stress affects your body. Sit up on the floor or lie down on your back. Start from your feet and slowly work your way up to your head. Be aware of areas where you feel too tight. You do not have to change anything. Imagine deep breath flowing into that body part for about 1 or 2 minutes.
Take a heat wrap and place it around your shoulders and neck for about ten minutes. Relax your muscles and close your eyes. Remove the wrap and massage away the tension with a tennis ball.
Listen to soothing music
Soulful music will reduce your heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. The sounds of the birds chirping or a bubbling brook are also known to have a soothing effect on our mind. Singing out at the top of your voice may also let you blow off some steam.
All forms of physical activity are good for managing stressful thoughts because they help the brain to release feel-good hormones. Go for a walk or swim. Do some yoga or other stretching exercises. They all reduce depression and anxiety.
Laughter reduces your stress levels. When you are stressed out, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. A deep belly laugh is known to reduce cortisol levels in the body. It also boosts the production of feel good hormones called endorphins and makes managing stressful thoughts easier. Watch your favorite video or read the comics. Do anything that will make you laugh.
Count your blessings. Every one of us has lots of things going for us. Be grateful for all good things in your life. Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Gratitude cancels out worries and negative thoughts. Be grateful for good health, beautiful children, and a loving spouse. Even if you have none of these, you will still find countless other things to be grateful for. Celebrate accomplishments, however small they may be. When you are unhappy or anxious, look through your journal to remind yourself that life isn’t all that bad.
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