Very few people avoid stress in their lives. Finding the right relaxation techniques that enable us to cope with and even eliminate the effects of stress is essential for mental health as well as being critical in maintaining good energy levels. The relaxation response is what all of us are after, but there are different ways to produce it.
As diverse as people and stressors, relaxation techniques run the gamut from breathing control to visualization. The choice between deep breathing relaxation and muscle relaxation, for example, may depend on physical fitness or the environment in which stress needs to be reduced. The way in which someone reacts to stress may factor into the choice of relaxation techniques.
Mindful walking might be a good choice for those who speed up internally but slow down physically, while rhythmic exercise might be better for someone looking to boost their energy or relieve depression. Deep breathing might be perfect for dissipating momentary stress while the simple focus on bodily sensation achieved in body scan meditation might produce a more lasting calm. Whether the technique involves muscular manipulation or moment-to-moment mindfulness, it should elicit the relaxation response.
An activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, the relaxation response is accompanied by lowered blood pressure and increased blood-flow to the brain. This in turn results in increased energy and less fatigue and combats irritability and anxiety. Better productivity, greater motivation, and improved decision-making all result from this response.
Among the most popular relaxation techniques is progressive muscle relaxation, a process of tensing and relaxing each muscle group. Usually starting with the feet and moving upwards to the head, this practice starts with tensing muscle groups, squeezing the muscles as tightly as possible, maintaining the tension for ten seconds, then relax those same muscles. This technique can be combined with and indeed involves deep breathing, which produces added relaxation, and requires only space to stretch out and time to focus on each muscle group.
Good mental health is more than an absence of a mental or emotional disease. It is a feeling of wholeness and involvement in meaningful relationships, as well as the ability to meet and deal with problems and difficult situations. It requires physical health, resilience, and supportive relationships.
Good sleep in sufficient quantities is undervalued. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep to be capable of maximal performance. Teenage boys especially need to get this sleep at the right time, generally going to bed and sleeping later. Both good nutrition and exercise are essential to good physical health and the mental health that depends upon it. A little sunshine every day is important, and avoidance of cigarettes and alcohol is a no-brainer.
Resilience is also important to good mental health. Bouncing back from problem, difficult circumstances, and overcoming adversity is the resilience that combats sadness and anxiety, readying us to try again, confident of a better outcome. Optimism and hopefulness mark good mental health. Recognizing and giving expression to emotions releases internal tension and stress and prevents a gradual buildup of negativity. This is most easily achieved with a strong support network, individuals who listen without judging and offer advice without pressing.
That support network is the final piece in the puzzle of good mental health. We are social animals and need human interaction to be balanced and whole. We can find outlets by volunteering with others to provide community services, joining groups and clubs that share common interests, and spending time every day with people we like.
Finally, the key to maintaining good mental health once it has been achieved is in taking care of ourselves properly. From learning new things to stopping ourselves from worrying about things beyond our control. Mental self discipline and engagement with our surroundings and society elevates our mood and prevents depression and anxiety. Make sure leisure time is part of your schedule and spend a little time each day considering and feeling thankful for your blessings.
You have probably heard the phrase “stress kills” at some point in your life. While it would be nice to think this is an exaggeration, that is hardly the case. Stress has been linked to numerous medical conditions, making it extremely important for everyone to learn how to relax. If you manage to keep your body and mind relaxed, here are some of the benefits you may enjoy:
- Sleep is something we all need to recharge but when you are stressed out, you do nothing more than toss and turn all night long. If you go to bed relaxed, the body is able to completely shut down and recover all night from the day’s activities while you are sleeping. Go to bed stressed out, you are more likely to awake more tired than when you went to bed.
- When you are relaxed, you are able to concentrate better. Stress about a particular event or task ends up becoming all-consuming. Not being able to concentrate can have serious consequences, especially if your stress trigger is not allowing you to concentrate at work.
- When your mind is relaxed, it has a better absorption rate. Think back to the times when you were the most stressed out and had your husband or wife tell you something. Did you forget what they said 10 minutes later? This is because the stress took over and did not allow you to absorb anything else.
- You can actually become irrational when you are completely stressed out about something. You begin to picture the worst possible scenario and panic can begin to set in.
- Stress leads to anxiety, which can lead to problems in other areas of your life, such as your sex drive. You simply lose interest in all other areas of your life and everyone in it, which could obviously lead to relationship problems.
Daily life can easily throw us a curveball that increases the stress level tenfold. It is at these times when it is extremely important to find a way to relax. You are not only less productive when you are stressed out, but your overall health is in danger as well. Regardless of the situation, you need to find ways to relax and get your thoughts under control so you can approach the problem reasonably and without putting other areas of your life and health in jeopardy.
Regardless of what the day brings and how time crunched you think you are, you need to find time to relax every day. Taking just 20-30 minutes away from your daily routine will pay off in many ways. There are varieties of things you can do to pull back from life to simply relax for a few minutes.
- Exercise - for some people, exercise is the perfect way to relax. Take a portion of your lunch break to do some yoga or stretching. It will release the tension from your body and allow you to come back to your desk more focused.
- Muscle Relaxation – you will literally work your body from top to bottom. First, tense the muscle and hold it for about 10-15 seconds. Then release and you will feel an immediate rush of blood back to this area. Start at your feet, work up through your legs and finish up with your neck and shoulders.
- Deep Breathing – take a moment, close your eyes, and then take in a deep breath. Take the breath slowly through your nose, drawing in for a full five seconds. Hold the breath for five seconds, and then slowly let it back out. This is a great technique to use when you are truly time crunched and just need to get your focus back.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to find a way to relax and unwind after a stressful day. Listening to music is a wonderful way to relieve stress and calm your mind. Of course, the type of music you listen to can play a big role in how relaxed you get!
Researchers believe that our love of music extends all the way back to our time in the womb, when we were soothed by our mother’s rhythmic heartbeat. Whatever the reason, we know that music can be used to both stir and soothe emotions. Scientists say that listening to music can increase deep breathing, lower the blood pressure and reduce our heart rate. Music also boosts our production of serotonin, a chemical that helps promote feelings of well being and happiness. By listening to music, you engage your whole brain, releasing your mind from stressful thoughts.
To use music to promote relaxation, try the following tips:
- Take a “sound bath.” Get comfortable in a chair or lie down on the couch. Turn up the music to immerse yourself in the sound. Use headphones to minimize distractions.
- Choose music with a slow rhythm. Try relaxing to music that has a beat of 72 or less — slower than a natural heartbeat.
- Stimulate your mind. When you need stimulation, play music with an upbeat tempo.
- Get comfortable. If you need comfort, play something familiar. Try relaxing to old standbys from your childhood.
- Nature sounds. Use nature sounds for deep relaxation. Ocean waves, gentle rain and deep forest sounds are often very effective to promote a deep feeling of relaxation.
Next time you are feeling stressed and anxious, try a little music therapy. You can find many resources for music online. Try out different sounds, then create a playlist that helps you unwind and feel at ease.
Relaxing is something we all enjoy, but few of us take the time to ensure that we do this every day. Life just catches up with us and one thing leads to another and…just another stressful day. Well, that stress is literally killing you and you need to find a way to let things go, even if it is just for a few minutes every day. Simply put, learn how to relax!
Schedule Relaxation Time – a recent sports story made light of the fact that the coach from Northwestern had scheduled naptime for his football team. However, this is exactly what you should do. Scheduling a time of the day to relax will create a routine that you can follow. Just like you take the trash out every Sunday night, you will now meditate or simply “chill out” for fifteen minutes at a specific time of the day.
Stay On Your Routine – if you plan your day, you have a much better chance of actually creating that down time. Most of us will simply wake up from our alarm and rush into our day, creating even more stress. Get to bed earlier so you can wake up with plenty of time to get into your day. Take 20 minutes after you wake up to enjoy a cup of coffee or the sunrise. It WILL make a big difference.
Relax Your Mind AND Body – when you are taking it easy, learn how to shut your mind off as well as shut down your body. In other words, relax everything. Getting off your feet but reading about work really serves no purpose. You need to learn how to shut everything out, just for a few minutes, and really soak in the beauty of the day. Listen to the birds, the rainfall, watch the way the sunlight dances off the clouds. Just relax!
Living the teenage life can be one of the best life stages that any person can have. It is the stage when a person learns so many life lessons from the good things and the mistakes that they encounter. It is the life stage when people develop their social lives well and the life stage when people enjoy all the pleasures that life may bring them. On the other hand, this life stage is not all about positive things. This can also bring you things which you may see as bad or negative ones such as stress and depression. Stress, for example, is one of the biggest problems that teenagers experience and there can be so many causes of the stress that teens may feel.Here are some of them and here are some of the possible solutions a teenager can do to solve this problem.
Peer pressure can be one of the main causes of teenage stress. Teenagers are one of those people who tend to be very curious about things. It is the age when you get fond of exploring and the age when you want to experience almost all the things that come to your mind. Most of the time, your teenage friends can be the one to push you to do things that you do not really like. As a result, you would have a very big dilemma on whether you should follow what they are telling you or not. Therefore, you would feel stressed. To address this problem, you may try diverting your attention to other activities such as sailing, travelling, mountain-climbing and a lot others. Do the things that you like to do and push yourself to be busy doing these activities. Other causes of stress can be school or family problems. There are so many ways on how you can treat these. You can try exercising. This has been proven to relieve stress and other discomforts. Being creative, too, can help you relieve the stress you are feeling. Also, changing your mind-set can help you treat your problems. Always think that your current problems would not be there for long and that overthinking would bring you no good.
Being stressed out is no fun, but it is a common occurrence in today’s go go go society. If you are stressed out, your health and happiness can decrease significantly. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to decrease stress in your life. Aside from taking medication, there are much simpler and safer alternatives to relieve stress. Here are some tips that can help relieve the stress you encounter each day.
A great way to relieve stress is to exercise regularly. This helps to release the tension inside your body. Also, during exercise, feel good chemicals are released in the brain. You can also perform relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. Taking time to focus your body and mind is a fantastic stress reliever that has been proven throughout the centuries.
Eating the right foods is also very important. There are certain types of food which will provide your body with the natural energy it needs, and certain foods that can make you feel sluggish and ill. Try to eat as many natural and healthy foods as you can throughout the day. Even more important is getting enough sleep. Many people these days only sleep around 5-6 hours per night. This is not near enough sleep to keep you body running. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of shut-eye each night. This will keep your energy levels high and your mind sharp. Listening to calming music can also help. Lastly, smelling relaxing scents can help you free your mind from stress. Aromatherapy is a great way to relieve stress, using scents such as lavender and rose to bring calming effects. These are just a few stress-relief solutions that you can start right away for greater peace of mind.
There are so many things which can bring stress to a person. One could be school or work. Just by looking at the list of requirements that you have to accomplish, you would already feel stressed out. When you add the time and effort you would need to accomplish all of those, you would feel even more stressed out. Also, things would be more stressful it you know you have other important things to do. You also have to think about your kids and how you would be able to manage them during the time you are finishing all the work that you need to do. Having fights with other people can also bring so much stress to you especially if you are very close to that person. There are so many other things which can bring you stress and if you are not able to eliminate this, your performance in everything you do might deteriorate. You might even get sick. Fortunately, there are things which can help you reduce or eliminate that stress you are experiencing.
Writing a journal can help you relieve your stress. By doing so, you are able to release and express all the things that you want to say. This is a more therapeutic way of reducing the stress that you are feeling compared to verbally expressing it. Another can be performing yoga and breathing exercises. This activity helps you relax your mind and your body. This must be done in a very quiet place or in a place which is far from different kinds of distractions. Playing games can be very stress-relieving, too. This can help you exercise your mind and body while strategically participating in different types of games. This can make you divert your attention from all the stressful things you are experiencing. Music therapy is also one way to reduce stress. This can be best if paired with yoga and meditation. Taking a walk can help you reduce the stress you are feeling, as well. Doing this in a pollution-free environment is much more preferable. Lastly, having a balance diet far from caffeine and alcoholic drinks can will definitely lead you to a stress-free living.
People tend to get cranky and whiny if they do not get enough sleep. This adds to the stressful feeling they have already been feeling before they even slept. College students, most of the time, are the ones who do not get enough sleep. They are busy dealing with their requirements. In addition, they still feel the need to socialize and that is why they still go to parties even though they already have no time to finish all their requirements on time. If you are or were a college student, you know how hard it is to be dealing with lack of sleep. Aside from the mood swings you are already feeling, you also do not have the capacity to easily learn the lessons presented to you in class. Your mind is not working well because of the stressful feeling you acquired from lack of sleep. Other reasons for lack of sleep could be over thinking, coffee drinking, anxiety and wrong scheduling of things. Over thinking consumes all of your time and leaves you sleepless and restless. Coffee drinking keeps you awake. Anxieties, like over thinking, drive you nuts and prevent you to take some rest. Wrong scheduling of things, for example, is when you schedule a time to review for an exam at a certain hour of the day when your mind is not working well. All of these can contribute to even more stressful days.
Getting enough sleep is very important. You should be able to schedule a good time to sleep which can make you really productive by the time you wake up. You should not force yourself to study or work when your mind is no longer efficient. Take some rest, first. Then, resume studying or working. You should also try to avoid coffee so you would be able to sleep by the time you already have to. Meditation and muscle relaxation can also help you get quality sleep. Power naps are very helpful, too. These are the things which should never be neglected. They can be very helpful in giving you quality sleep every night and stress-free living during the entire day.