As we all know, time is not always a luxury. Living in a society that rarely accepts anything but instant gratification can be stressful. Taking a moment to find a little might seem impossible. Big or small, young or old we can all benefit from learning a few quick ways to relieve stress.
Take a Deep Breath
Many practices that promote both physical and mental health focus a great deal of attention on breathing. Often, unconsciously, when we are stressed, angry, or worried we hold our breath. Whether, you notice this, or not, your body definitely does.
Improper breathing is a cause of stress, all by itself. A lack of oxygen, no matter the cause, is bad news for your health. There are enough environmental factors that reduce your oxygen intake already, so you owe it to yourself to breathe easy.
Typically, under pressure, our immediate response doesn’t include monitoring our breathing. Proper breathing technique may not come naturally to all. Pay attention to your body to be sure this basic function is being performed correctly.
For starters, your shoulders should not rise. Breathing using your diaphragm is ideal. Because the diaphragm is situated beneath your lungs you should see your abdominal area expand, not your chest.
When using this technique to calm yourself, inhale on a slow count to five. Exhale as counting back down from five in the same manner. Do this while thinking happy thoughts. It may not bring your stress level down to zero, but it is definitely an effective tactic.
Stress does have physical symptoms. Commonly, it manifests itself in our muscular system. Controlling some of that built up tension is possible without a trip to a masseuse.
While it may sound counterproductive, flexing and then relaxing the muscles works wonders. Begin by isolating small muscle groups. I like to start from the top, literally. Starting from the neck and finishing at the toes is ideal but not vital for you to benefit from this method.
Walk It Out
No matter how brief, a trip around the block can make your day brighter. Walk, jog, run, or skip. Exercise is an obvious solution. Vigorous physical activity releases endorphins. Remember biology class? Endorphins are magical feel good hormones.
We may not have 45 minutes to spend in the gym but a quick stroll can bring your stress level down immensely. Just getting up and away from everything gives you time to reset. On top of that, you can feel good about yourself for including extra physical fitness to your day.
Oil Is Essential
Essential oils have come to the forefront of natural solutions for several reasons. The list of oils and their uses is too long to list. Mother earth supplies us with these simple tools that can heal, as well as improve our general well being.
Lavender, chamomile, bergamot, and ylang-ylang are powerful catalysts of stress relief. Many other oils offer the same benefits, these are just my personal faves. These fragrant oils are scents worthy of praise. Try them all and I’m sure you’ll find your favorite. If you’re feeling creative, mix and match them to make an original concoction.
Small and mighty, these oils usually come in tiny bottles. Easily, stash these in a pocket or purse so they are always handy. Essential oils are relatively inexpensive too! If you are not familiar with these natural remedies, prepare to be amazed!
Tip: Keep in mind that these are concentrated aromas to avoid being overpowered by the fragrant fumes, fan the oils near your nose, rather than sniffing directly from the bottle.
Pick Your Poison
Experiment with it. Some things may be more effective or more convenient for you. We are all unique so utilize what works for you. Tweak these methods to suit your needs and likes. There is no right or wrong here, only preference.
These are countless simple, natural, and convenient ways to decompress. For those of us that don’t live in Neverland, stress is an inevitable woe. Managing a hectic day is tough but it doesn’t have to engulf you. Relief is right around the corner if we employ these techniques.
Most of all, focus on the things that bring you joy. Be grateful that you even have an automobile, next time you’re in a traffic jam. When your toddler is climbing curtains and driving you crazy, remember that somewhere, someone wishes they had a child to love. Be thankful for your eyesight, that allows you to read this.
Learn that some things are not worth fretting over. Make peace with the fact that some problems are control. Let go of the negative thoughts and feelings. Blow the bad away, with every exhale. Put aside your worries, and know that there are better days ahead.
Happiness is not a destination. It’s a journey. The attitude that we have, during this wonderful whirlwind in time, is what truly matters.
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