3 Ways to Quickly Relax and Decrease Stress
There’s no question that stress causes disease. It’s been directly linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease just to name a few. It also negatively affects your immune system and can make you feel grumpy, tired, and just plain unhappy.
Unfortunately, in our fast paced world stress is a part of life. There are bills to pay, friends and family to get along with, and challenges to overcome. The good news is how you handle stress is completely within your control. When you’re feeling stressed you can let your emotions take over, or you can take steps to instantly relax and decrease stress.
1. Take Deep Cleansing Breaths to Reduce Stress
The first step to any relaxation exercise is to realize that you’re stressed. Begin to learn the signals your body sends when it experiences stress. Does your heart rate increase? Do you feel your fists clench or your brow furrow? Are you only taking shallow breaths or are you holding your breath? Do you grumble to yourself or begin pacing? Does your mind race with negative thoughts, worries, or doubts?
When you begin to experience signs of stress, one of the easiest steps to take is to stop everything and take five to seven slow, steady deep cleansing breaths. Each breath lasts for a slow steady seven count in, hold for a count of four and then exhale through your mouth for a slow, steady count of seven. Repeat until you feel the stress signs disappear and you feel more calm and in control of your emotions.
Practicing gratitude is an amazingly rewarding experience. Many significant studies have shown that gratitude helps a person feel more joyful and happy. It puts things into perspective and helps you feel more optimistic and resilient. When you’re grateful for what you have, the challenges of life don’t feel quite so powerful or overwhelming. If you have a flat tire, instead of feeling like a victim, frame it that you are grateful that you have a car to get a flat tire. It may seem trite, but just this small shift can make an amazing difference in how you handle your day and your life.
Massage and the power of touch have been shown to release anti-stress hormones. These hormones actually create a feeling of calmness throughout your body and help you manage stress. Of course a professional massage isn’t an option for everyone. It’s not always convenient. You can receive much of the same benefit by learning a few self-massage techniques. By massaging your hands, neck, temples, head, and even your feet, you can experience instant relaxation. Acupressure and reflexology are other means of using self-touch to help reduce stress and improve wellness.
Learning to identify signs of stress and to immediately self-treat can help you reduce your reaction to the stress. You’ll feel an immediate benefit and a better sense of wellbeing. Feeling like you have control over your responses to what happens to you is empowering. You’ll also improve your long term health and reduce your risk of stress related conditions.
Make Your Life a Thin Strong Healthy One!