Many people don’t even know when they are feeling stressed because they are so used to it. Today I am forearming you with 5 good ways to relieve stress. I assure you leaving it to its own devices, letting it build up within you, is only going to do harm to you.
It may be an acceleration of heart rate, perspiration, headache, stomach aches, shallow breathing, tight neck and shoulders, crying, but you can bet it’s already got a hold of you in one way or another and is affecting you. When you ignore the signals and stay in the threatening, stress producing situation, you are literally endangering yourself.
Most people are under constant stress which could have a serious negative effect on their life. Stress can affect our mind and body resulting in a wide range of health problems so it is important to know how to cope with it.
It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about stress. There are still bills needing paying, no matter what you do there will never be more hours in the day, and your career and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But there are things you can do to reduce the impact of stress, deal with those moments when it really gets to you, and never again let it be master over you.
There are several stress relief techniques that will help you get rid of stress instantly and will help to improve the quality of your life. The following techniques can be applied anytime you feel stressed out.
1. Deep breathing
Deep breathing is a fantastic stress reliever that has numerous benefits for the body, including oxygenating the blood, which ‘wakes up’ the brain, relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. If you’d like to start getting control over stress, deep breathing is a great place to start. Breathing exercises are especially helpful because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly. With its focus on full, cleansing breaths powered by the diaphragm, deep breathing can help you get your stress levels in check. The next time you feel uptight, try taking a minute to slow down and breathe deeply:
- Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
- Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
- Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
2. Stretch Your Body
Stretching your body is a great way not just to relax your body but also your mind. Basic stretching exercises help to improve circulation, while aiding flexibility and relieving tension in your muscles. Stretching is also known to stimulate receptors in the nervous system, which decreases the production of stress hormones. We typically get very tight in the area around the head and neck. Doing some neck and shoulder stretches before entering a stressful environment will allow you to get yourself in a relaxed state preceding entering there. Alternatively can also do some neck and shoulder stretches in the stressful environment to regain some relaxed focus.
The following simple stretching exercises will help to relieve muscle tension in this area.
- Bring your shoulders up as if you were trying to touch your ears, like an exaggerated shoulder shrug. Hold that position for 15 to 20 seconds and then relax. Repeat this as stretching exercise several times.
- Face foreword with your shoulders relaxed. Look to the right by turning your head as if you are looking over your shoulder. Turn it as far as possible but still comfortable. Holds this neck stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Relax and turn your head back until it is facing foreword. Repeat the exercise turning your head to the left side.
- With your head facing foreword and your shoulders relaxed tilt your head as if you were trying to make your right ear touch your right shoulder. Hold that stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and then slowly relax. Bring your head back to its upright position and repeat the exercise tilting toward the left side.
- Face foreword and drop your chin down into your neck. Hold that position for 15 to 20 seconds and then relax. For added stretching, place the palms of your hands on the back of your head and lightly push forward.
3. Learn to Switch Off
Learning to switch off is so difficult for most people, it is not unusual for them to think and reflect about work issues during their leisure time. They are unable to escape from their work thinking or carrying on with their business matters through their free time. The explosion of laptops and the rise of smartphones has led to the invasion on our private relaxation time of so many work interruptions and blurred the boundaries between work and home. Do you find yourself checking your work emails on the way home from the office or responding to messages as you’re getting into bed? Well it’s no good for you. You have to learn to switch off your work brain as well as your mobile and leave your work behind you.
Attending to work rather than allowing ourselves a chance to switch off once we go home is doing you harm, and preventing you from releasing stress. Apart from how effective we remain if constantly working with few breaks, ultimately we wear ourselves out and are no good to anyone. The other side to taking time out away from a problem, is that we can return to it refreshed and with different perspectives. What was previously overwhelming us can now seem trivial. What was once unsolvable can be dealt with quite simply. So this very simple stress relief technique is to give yourself a cut off time from work. Once you reach that time do nothing that involves your business. It will still be there tomorrow.
4. Reflect on your Thoughts
Thinking is a powerful tool when used right but your thoughts are often your number one enemy. They get in your way making you tired, worried and restless. Your thoughts, in short, are the reason you’re more stressed than you need to be. It is your thoughts that often create a lot of the stress you feel. Too often your heads are filled with constant negative thoughts and its taking your mind and body through a roller coaster ride of emotions. Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. To get a grip of stress you have to cut out the negative self talk. If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is going to be pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist loving life without feeling much stress at all. Practice positive self-talk. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with a positive outlook. Most stressors are simply a matter of how you perceive them. Take a step back and think, is this something I really need to worry about? Is it going to make much of a difference to my life in a years time. Simply changing your viewpoint may help you to see it from a more positive angle.
5. Vent Your Fustrations
Vent your fustrations, just don’t do it on the cat :-). Break your state by finding an outlet for your frustrations, and doing it regularly. When there is a momentum of tension or frustration built inside you, occasionally you will have to do something to stop that momentum before you can move yourself in a new direction. Some easy techniques to do this are: clap your hands several times very close to your face, do a quick set of pushups or squats, have a punch bag and spend 5 minutes taking your frustrations out on it, relax in a warm scented bath, take a walk, anything that will allow you to drop your stressful feeling and get back to a level state where you feel fine.
These are incredibly easy to use techniques, but you have to use them! The more frequently you practice stress relief techniques, the more you will notice the powerful effects of deep relaxation throughout your life! Try one or two until you find a few that work for you. Practice these techniques until they become habits and you begin getting in control of stress.