Stress is one of the major culprits behind a wide range of life-threatening chronic ailments. These include heart diseases, asthma, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others. More alarmingly, stress reduces our overall life quality and undermines our mental, emotional and physical health.
Excessive levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, is alarmingly harmful to the human body. It not only deteriorates the body’s energy levels and immune system. But moreover, it reduces our ability to combat our fears and lead a fulfilling and healthy life. Therefore, it is important to fight off stress and reduce its recurrence.
There are many relaxation techniques that allow us to feel calm and reduce stress and anxiety. For instance, you can invest in stress toys and balls for an efficient stress-busting exercise. In this article, we will walk you through a wide range of other effective techniques to feel calm and confident.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Regular Exercise Regime
Developing a regular exercise regime is the most important step to bust off stress and release happy hormones. Physical stress that challenges your body can aid in eliminating mental stress that plagues your mind. However, you can only enjoy these benefits with a regular exercise regime. Exercising regularly will help bust off anxiety and reduce the stress hormones in your body, particularly cortisol.
Exercises encourage the release of endorphins, which are mood-regulating chemicals that serve as natural painkillers produced by the body. Regular exercise will also elevate your sleep quality and make you feel more confident and mentally capable. However, exercising cannot be viewed as a compulsion.
Instead, you need to enjoy it. So, pick out an exercise routine that you truly enjoy. For instance, hiking, yoga, Tai Chi, running, dancing or even rock climbing. Running, jogging and walking are particularly efficient at stress-busting.
Meditation allows you to reduce anxiety and stress and helps achieve mental peace and clarity. Research reveals that regular meditation can change the neural pathways of the human brain. It builds up your defenses against stress and anxiety.
Meditation is very simple, all you need to do is find a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus. You can focus your attention on reciting anything-a mantra that makes you feel positive and confident. You need to align this mantra with your breathing and allow all thoughts that distract you from floating away.
Deep breaths can help clear the cloud of anxious thoughts looming above your head and make you feel calm. All you need is five minutes to do a breathing exercise. Start by sitting up straight, closing your eyes and inhaling through the nose.
Keep a hand on your belly, and feel the breath accumulating in your abdomen, and spreading towards your head. Now exhale, and repeat the process. This simple exercise will slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure levels and fight off stress.
Yoga is one of the most popular, ancient methods to bust off stress. It can be enjoyed by people of all age groups to bust stress and physically challenge the body. There are many different yoga styles, and every single one serves to align the mind and body.
Research reveals that yoga is immensely effective at improving mental wellbeing. It can help improve your mood, creating the same effect as many antidepressants and anxiety medications. The benefits of yoga extend to the mind and body by impacting the nervous system and its response to stress.
Yoga also aids in reducing cortisol levels, heart rate, and blood pressure levels. More importantly, it increases the levels of an important neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is reduced in mood disorders.
The Art of Visualization
Guided imagery, commonly known as visualization, is a traditional form of meditation. It basically involves imaging a scene that allows you to feel peaceful, relaxed and tension-free. You can conjure up any setting in your mind where you feel at peace. It could be a beautiful childhood memory, a picturesque beach or a mountainside cottage.
Visualization can be practiced alone, or with the help of audio and visual aids. Soothing music and tunes are really helpful at conjuring up mental imagery to induce a peaceful state of mind. You begin by picturing a serene and peaceful setting. Focus on the mental visuals, and imagine the sounds you can heart and the sights you can see.
Seeing your mental imagery alone won’t do the trick. You need to feel everything by incorporating all your senses. Hear the chirping of the birds, inhale the rustic smell of the earth and trees, and see the vibrancy of the greenery. Feel the touch of cold water rushing down the stream. Taste the freshness of the dew on the grass.
As you lose yourself in your peaceful place, you will see all stressors and anxiety exiting your mind. When you are completely at peace, open your eyes and return back to reality. It is completely alright to zone out and spend longer than intended in your peaceful place. It is completely normal to lose track of time during visualization.
Scented candles infused with essential oils are highly effective at busting off stress and anxiety. We strongly recommend you to stock up on lavender, bergamot. Frankincense, Roman chamomile, rose, sandalwood, and orange blossom. Aromatherapy helps reduce stress and anxiety and elevates sleep quality. You can light up some scented candles before drifting off to sleep, or even while enjoying a hot bath.
Recording your anxious thoughts and patterns is an excellent strategy to handle stress. It not only allows you to relax but in fact, it allows you to take control over stress. Jotting down all the thoughts that make you anxious will make you feel in control of changing stressful patterns. Listing down all the aspects you are grateful for will help you find positivity.
Busting off stress and anxiety is not as challenging and difficult as it may seem. Stress and anxiety can be extremely overpowering, and they make us feel small and belittled. But once you break the cycle, you gain more control over stressful thoughts and patterns. Social support is extremely important to build your defenses and make you feel happy.
So, be sure to carve out time with your friends and family. Surround yourself with your loved ones and make plans to travel, eat out, and attending social events. It is important to carve out moments for happiness, joy, and laughter. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Remember, happiness is an emotion we create for ourselves!
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.