Long term stress results in bad health. According to a report sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, about 90 percent of illness and disease is related to stress. Each person has a unique response to stress, so you must experiment with techniques that bring back body into balance, and try to learn what works best for you. This article focuses on a few effective anti stress relaxation techniques that you can easily learn and adopt in order to deal with stress.
Get organized and do one thing at a time
Set your goals on a daily basis and work out your priorities first thing in the morning. This can be of great help in having a better grip on your life. This is also an essential part of time management, which will help you shoulder your responsibilities and concentrate on the most urgent work. Thereby, you can avoid delays and mistakes, which often bring additional stress. Doing one thing at a time and finishing it before taking up another has a similar effect and is an equally good antidote against work-related stress.
To follow this routine, buy yourself an appointment book; it helps to schedule tasks, so you know what and when you need to accomplish your tasks. Putting these tasks on paper also eliminates the worry that often comes with trying to remember all these details. And it also makes you feel a great sense of accomplishment checking off a finished task. Think about what type of appointment book- daily, weekly, or monthly- would work best for you, and buy it as soon as possible.
Have a good laugh
Laughing is first line of defence against stress. While laughing, brain releases endorphins, which are the natural ‘feel good’ chemicals. To get you laughing, spend an evening with friends, watch a funny movie, or read an amusing novel. It lowers your blood pressure and makes you feel good about yourself.
Exercise, even if done in moderation, can reduce the detrimental effects of chronic stress. In addition to producing the mood-elevating chemicals dopamine and serotonin, workouts can also keep cortisol levels in check. It improves blood-flow to the brain, helping you think more clearly. There is emerging evidence that exercise can protect the brain from the effects of chronic periods of stress. Consider gardening, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, playing table tennis, mowing grass, playing with your dog or cat, or similar activities. Such activities can relieve your tension. Exercising with stress balls is good stress reduction technique.
A good relaxation technique is an anti-stress weapon to help you deal with any stressful situation as it arises. Make relaxation a regular part of your daily routine. Stress reduction exercises take you through a series of specific steps to help alleviate your symptoms. The main relaxation techniques include:
Autogenic relaxation – In this technique, both visual imagery and body awareness are used to reduce stress. Words or suggestions are repeated in the mind to help in relaxing and reducing muscle tension. Imagine a peaceful place and then focus on controlled relaxed breathing, slowing heart rate, or different physical sensations, such as relaxing each arm or leg one by one.
Progressive muscle relaxation – In this technique, focus on slowly tensing and relaxing muscle groups. This helps to focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation, and to become more aware of physical sensations. You may choose to start by tensing and relaxing the muscles of toes and progressively working your way up to neck and head. Tense muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.
Visualization - Visualization uses the power of the mind to reduce natural stressful responses. A common visualization technique is to focus on relaxing images; it can be very helpful in making you feel more relaxed. Stress really is in your mind, so by altering your mental focus you can reduce stress.
Other relaxation techniques include those you may be more familiar with, such as yoga, tai chi, music, exercise, meditation, hypnosis and massage. These exercises teach following helpful techniques: focusing, grounding techniques (how to feel more centered), help you to relax and release muscle tension, erasure techniques (how to erase old programs), healing the inner child, visualizations, and affirmations. These techniques help you cope with stress more efficiently, make your thoughts more calm and peaceful, and help you learn to relax, while you build self esteem and self confidence.
Downsize the sweets
Healthy eating fuels your mind and body to cope with stress. While using sweets as stress relievers, eat a minimum amount that will make you feel better. Consume whole grains instead of foods made with refined white flour because body has to break down the outer kernel to get to the carbohydrate inside which reduces the rate at which it gets converted to sugar. Consuming foods with fewer calories per ounce will help you feel full and make you eat less overall.
Stop eating foods which can aggravate the stress. These foods are alcohol, butter, cheese, coffee, cocoa, coconut oil, egg yolks, junk foods, nuts, sugar, soft drinks, shrimps, tea, etc. Some foods are beneficial for stress. These foods include vegetables and fruits, Sprouted beans, soups, skimmed milk and yogurt, etc.
Go for a professional massage
Get a professional massage from an expert or physiotherapist, who can teach you about your body and breathing, give you the keys to relaxation and teach you other techniques such as visualisation. But after some time you should try to pick up some of the techniques so that you can do some self-massage to relieve yourself from tensions that you can no longer bear. It is a relatively easy practice as compared to self hypnosis, a technique used by some people to relieve stress.