Stress has become an inevitable part of modern life. From family responsibilities and meeting job deadlines to worrying about finances and taking care of several other mundane things, human life today has become an unending race that needs to be run almost without a break. No wonder that stress and tension come as an integral part of this lifestyle, which are the root causes for several other health ailments. If you too have been finding it hard to beat the blues and relax, here is some information that will help you to understand stress and tension better and then handle them successfully with some fast and effective stress relaxation techniques to reclaim the peace and calm in your life.
What Stress Actually Does to You
Stress is a burning subject of study in the field of health care. Whenever a person feels stressed, the body tries to cope up with it by releasing some chemicals, which suddenly increase the level of energy in the body. Stress can be classified into two types:
- Physical Stress
- Emotional Stress
When the stress is physical, the increased energy can be utilized and thus dissipated. However, when it comes to emotional stress, there is no window for the energy to escape. Thus, it effects the chemical composition of brain and becomes perilous, which leads to a tired mind and body, lack of concentration, headache, poor immunity, increased heart rate and many more physical imbalances.
What You Can Do About It
The most effective technique to fight stress is by opting for various methods of stress relaxation, which ultimately helps in calming down the nervous system. The best way to tranquilize stress reaction is by tuning your body to generate relaxation response. Thus, knowing about ways to relax would help for sure.
Quick and easy ways to relax
In this present era where a highly stressed life is prevalent in the society, it pays to be equipped with effective stress relaxation techniques to keep the reigns of your life in your own hands. Here are a few rapid and handy relaxing techniques that can help you to beat stress:
- Try Acupressure: Acupressure is a sibling of acupuncture, which is an unconventional pain management technique. The basic concept of this technique is to apply pressure to specific pressure points of the body, thus unblocking the meridians and allowing the life energy to flow through the body unhindered in order to bring about harmony and overall well-being. Just as acupuncture treats effectively several ailments, so can acupressure. When combined with some Chinese herbal medicine, it can bring almost magical results your way. So, if stress is giving you sleepless nights, it’s time to enjoy the benefits of acupressure.
- Deep breathing: Deep breathing is a wonderful way of relaxation. For this, you don’t have to go to a specific place or sit in a specific posture. Rather, you just have to monitor your breathing to enjoy inner peace. There are different ways of doing breathing exercises. A few of them are abdominal breathing (where one has to ensure that the air one is breathing is going to the diaphragm and not the lungs), Sama Vritti or Equal Breathing (where one inhales and exhales for an equal amount of time) and Alternate Nostril Breathing (in which one inhales with one nostril and exhales with the other; this technique is also popularly called Anulom Vilom Pranayam).
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness can be called the process helping you to ‘feel the present’. This technique encourages you to get rid of multitasking and concentrate on one thing at a time. This is a great anxiety relief technique in which the goal is to let your mind attain a state of alert, focused relaxation by consciously focusing on thoughts and sensations without being judgmental. This way, your mind learns to refocus on the present moment and feel less stressed as it no longer worries about the past or the future. There are various mindfulness techniques that are different from one another but all are bound by a common characteristic as they are all a form of meditation.
- Tune in to your body: Another way that acts as a stress buster is meditation. In the words of Mr. David Lynch ‘When you meditate, you become more and more you.’ Meditating for 5 to 10 minutes daily is enough for relaxing.
- Exercise: When you exercise, your body releases endorphins (feel good chemicals), which give a boost to your mood and help you to beat the blues, thus making you feel better.
- Yoga: Yoga has several health benefits. One among them is that it’s an effective anxiety relief technique. Yoga reduces the level of cortisol – a stress hormone. Ideally, yoga should be done under the supervision of a trained tutor for reaping the utmost benefits.
- Decompress: This technique is all about visualization. Here, one has to enhance one’s imagination and visualize the reason of stress and then imagine its size to be decreasing. Physiatrists vouch for this technique and say that if practiced properly, it is one of the best stress relaxation techniques.
- Laugh out loud: Laughter Therapy has been proved to be a natural stress buster. So, to beat stress, laugh out loud for no reasons, or find out a reason to laugh out heartily and experience your stress melting away.
- Get moving: Any form of physical activity and movement can help beat stress. From walking and jogging to running, dancing, swimming, cycling etc., you can take your pick from a varied lot, depending on what appeals to you the most. Getting rid of your stress through physical activities is a proven stress relaxation technique.
Stress can not only rob you of today’s peace but even trigger several health ailments, thus marring your tomorrow. So, stay healthy by using these stress relaxation techniques to preserve your present for a better tomorrow.
Chen Zhang is a passionate adviser at Beijing Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic about everything related to health and fitness. He loves to share his knowledge about herbs, food, exercises and health related topics to stay fit and healthy. His goal is to empower people with the right information to improve their health and well-being one bite at a time.