Too much stress has been long known to affect lives negatively. It had caused illnesses and depressions before, and could even ultimately lead to death. Stress is unavoidable, no matter what your age, sex, and walk of life. There is good news, however, as stress can be managed at a level that would actually benefit the quality of life. One could arrive at this balanced level of stress by regularly practicing a number of relaxation techniques.
Whether you’re at work, at school, or at home, here are several stress management relaxation techniques that you might want to try:
Breathing. This is probably the simplest relaxation technique there is. Simply taking several deep breaths can help you experience a reduction of stress and tension. Try to sit upright or lie down on your back, then inhale through your nose. Feel your abdomen expand, then contract as you exhale slowly.
Listen to music. Scientific studies have found that music, especially classical tunes, can calm the mind and body systems and reduce stress. You can listen to music while you’re on the job, while you’re in commute, or while you’re having your meals. And it doesn’t matter where you are during the day – all you need to do is whip out your iPod and jam the excess stress away.
Try meditation. You can try to meditate by simply sitting upright in a dark, quiet place, and trying to avoid any sensory input. You simply sit and breathe in and out slowly, focusing all your attention to the breath. This is obviously difficult for many people, and it might not be the best relaxation technique for everyone (since, if you’re not used to silence, it could very well drive you crazy). But those who have experienced the peace and well-being from a few minutes of quiet meditation knows its penetrating benefits.
Get some exercise. Many individuals know of the great stress-busting benefits of a good workout at the gym. Other people choose to incorporate exercise in their lives by taking regular walks, doing household chores, and playing sports. Older individuals may opt for exercise routines that are easier on the bones and joints, such as Tai Chi and Yoga. And many, many people think it’s a great idea to wrap up the day’s workout with a massage, as it reduces tension in both the body and mind.
Rely on social support. Simply talking about your problems with a trusted friend and listening to their own can open the doors to solutions. Throw a small party and laugh the stress off with your social support group, whoever they may be. You could also keep a journal or blog about your experiences, perhaps even creating a social support group over the Internet.
Take a vacation. At least every week, schedule a guilt-free day off when you could hang out with friends or family and just basically do whatever you want. Great ways to beat stress during your day off can include playing with your pets, going to the spa, or simply losing yourself in a good book. Taking your mind off from the worries of everyday life can give your mind a break from the regular tension, and leaves it better prepared to face the challenges of the following days.
Make a few healthy changes. In life, make only enough commitments that you can handle. Having too much can bog you down and leave you susceptible to illness. Make sure you eat well and regularly, get some exercise, and sleep well every night. This will keep your body at peak condition and better able to manage stress.
Finally, a change in attitude can be a wise move to make. Many of us are perfectionists, and as such often subject ourselves to more tension and disappointments than we “normally” should. Others look at all kinds of stress as a negative thing, and often have trouble getting along with life, work, and relationships. We can start by looking at challenges as obstacles that can be overcome; ones that would leave us stronger when we do. This mindset, applicable to even the most mundane chores (taking out the trash, for instance), can play a significant role in limiting the amount of stress we have to cope with.
Having a good “release valve” can help you live life with less stress holding you back. Stress management relaxation techniques have been studied for a very long time, and these days a virtual buffet table of stress relief practices has been made available for you. Go ahead – take your picks and see what fits you the best.