Stress forms a common part of daily life for many people and it usually occurs when you start perceiving that the demands placed on you are more than what you can be able to deliver. Little stress can be beneficial as it can help you achieve your goals, however when it becomes chronic it usually results in serious physical and mental health problems that may include muscle pain, anxiety, insomnia and various illnesses such as high blood pressure and a weak immune system. Although most people try to relieve stressful situations through taking anti-anxiety drugs or engaging in unhealthy activities such as smoking and drinking, these do not really offer any solution, and, in fact make the situation more complicated.
Completely eliminating stress may take some time, however, there are various ways that you can use to tame your stress and these include:
Often accompanied by mindful prayers, meditation helps you overcome stress by making both your body and mind to remain relaxed and focused. Mostly used for religious purposes, it helps you develop forgiveness and self compassion, and makes you see situations from a new perspective. This facilitates the release of emotions that are believed to be a major cause of stressful moments. Meditation sessions are carried out guided imagery or visualization, that helps control your thoughts. It is done by sitting in a quiet place with eyes closed, then imagining positive or great sounds, sights and smells.
2. Deep breathing
Deep breathing alleviates effects of stress through slowing down the heart beat and lowering the blood pressure, as well as relaxing the mind. It is done by sitting up straight with your eyes closed and your hands placed on your belly then inhaling slowly through the nose, and then slowly exhaling through the mouth. Deep breathing also forms a key part in meditation processes and should form part of your daily routine in order for you to stay stress-free.
Massage is a natural stress reliever with no side effects, and one of the most recommended home remedies for stress. A good massage causes relaxation of muscles and increases blood circulation thus reducing pain caused by stress. According to massage therapists from Hong Kong, it also boosts the immune system, which becomes compromised as a result of prolonged stress. Although massaging can be done by anyone, it is always more effective when carried out by a professional therapist, and when the massage oil is mixed with relaxing essential oils. The effects of a massage may last for days, weeks and even months depending on your circumstances and how well the massage has been done.
Keeping your body active greatly helps in relaxing both the body and mind. People who exercise are normally happier and less stressed than those who do not thus setting some time aside each day to exercise will impact both your physical and mental health positively. However you should ensure you engage in activities that please you to avoid getting bored.
Talking to others either face to face, through email or over the telephone is one of the best ways to handle stress. Share your worries and anxieties with your social network so that you can get a new perspective to your challenges. Engage in conversations that will make you smile and laugh as this will relieve some tensions and improve your situation. However, it is important that the person you choose to talk to is one that you trust and one that understand you.
Most people who have tried these tips have reported greatly reduced stress levels. You should thus keep in mind that stress is something that you can be able to control if you put more effort, and adjust your routine to include exercise, meditation and massage, as well as sessions and social activities.
Image source: Flickr.com (Silvia Sala)