Stress is the curse of living in modern times. Everyone seems to be suffering from stress and it takes a heavy toll on our bodies, emotions, and minds. Chronic stress is associated with physical and emotional problems, tense relationships and even mental health issues. It can penetrate our personal or professional life, and it is often hard to avoid or counteract its effects.
In recent studies, experts have determined that heart disease is linked to anger and irritability is linked to mental stress. Too much stress brings about ischemia that can lead to or cause a heart attack. Relaxation takes on added importance in light of these real, tangible matters. Managing your anger and stress is vital, and relaxation can help you give yourself a break to enjoy life and unwind your brain.
The first step in your personal therapy, whenever you are feeling stressed, worn out by fatigue or just having a miserable day, is to make a conscious effort to relax. But what is the best method to do this? Some people may think that watching TV counts for relaxations, but it is not a method recommended by experts. When you watch TV, you are bombarded with commercials, ads, sounds and images that excite your brain even further.
So how do we achieve relaxation? If there are thousands of ways we can get stressed, are there as many ways we can relax?
Try alternative ways to relax
Transcendental meditation is a method widely known and used in hopes of achieving total relaxation and a stress-free life. It involves choosing and repeating a mantra (soothing sounds) while meditating with eyes closed. Experts say that best results are achieved with regular practice, two times every day for twenty minutes. These effortless exercises will allow your hyperactive mind to settle and find peace while releasing itself from anxiety and depression.
Recent studies have shown that this method can reduce artery blockage, which is a major cause of heart attacks and strokes. The researchers found that practitioners of transcendental meditation significantly decreased the thickness of their arterial walls compared with those who didn’t practice transcendental meditation.
Acupuncture is another method of relaxation, and it has been linked with reduced high blood pressure by initiating several body functions that help the brain release chemical compounds known as endorphins. Endorphins relax muscles, ease panic, decrease pain, and reduce anxiety, ensuring a general positive well being.
Yoga is also a reliable method for relaxation and it involves breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage the mind-body balance and reduced stress. In one study, participants who had been subjected to several minutes of mental stress were asked to try various relaxation techniques afterward. Only those who did Yoga significantly reduced the time it took for their blood pressures to go back to normal.
Yoga is credited for a multitude of health benefits, such as improving flexibility and endurance, draining the lymph nodes of toxins and lowering the stress hormones levels, which in turn helps the immune system become stronger.
Do breathing exercises
Breathing influences almost all aspects of our lives, it affects our mind, mood, and body. Dedicated exercises can become effective tools in our fight against stress if you simply focus on them and make them part of your daily routine.
There are several exercises you can try, you have to search for the right ones for you and take advantage of these simple tricks that can bring you so much joy.
Be active and exercise
Even the smallest effort to exercise can act as a stress reliever, starting with a quick walk to a power training session. Exercising can increase your overall physical health, but it can do wonders for your mind, as well.
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins responsible for your feelings of pleasure, and this improves your overall mood. Exercising helps you forget about your daily problems because it forces you to focus on your body movement, and in the end, you will come to feel more relaxed and positive.
Get a massage
Therapeutic massage can be a great way to relax and gain some additional health benefits. Although there are many options out there, it is recommended that you consult a therapist and set goals for your treatment and sessions. To gain full relaxation, you need to totally surrender yourself to the handling and care of a professional therapist.
Biofeedback is a technique that can help you control your body functions determined by the involuntary nervous system. While you can easily see how some parts of your body work (hands, feet, etc.), other aspects of your body are not that transparent – like heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, muscle tension, and brain activity.
Biofeedback therapists use monitoring devices or sensors to pick up and analyse the rhythm of your body functions (heart and breathing rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, sweating, or muscle activity). Then, with the help of other relaxation methods, you will be guided to use the power of your mind to become more aware of what is going on inside your body and gain more control over it.
Experiment with hypnosis
Hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy, is practiced with the help of a professional and it implies getting your brain in a state of trance that is characterized by relaxation and profound imagination.
Therapists use hypnosis to reach your deeper state of subconsciousness, by circumventing the conscious mind filled with stress. Reaching that stage allows you to work on problems like fears, bad habits, and negative feelings.