Simple Tips to Relieve Stress
Stress is commonly defined as physical, mental or emotional strain or tension. When events occur that disrupt our physical or emotional balance, we feel stress. This can be a very real psychological and physiological condition. In other words, stress isn’t just in our minds, it can affect us physically as well and lead to serious problems including migraines, ulcers and depression.
Stress is not always a bad thing, however. From another perspective, it is stress that drives us to do our best and accomplish our goals in life. It motivates us and helps us to stay alert and focused on the task at hand. It’s when we start to become overwhelmed with our many responsibilities that stress starts to impact us in a negative way.
While they can vary greatly from person to person, many signs of stress are easy to identify. Stress can severely affect our body, mind and emotions. Stress can manifest itself as fatigue, mild to severe headaches, stomach problems and ulcers, skin rashes, hypersensitivity and irritability.
There is no quick fix or pill you can take to immediately cure or prevent stress. The following are a few tips that will assist you in managing and relieving the stress that can interfere with your daily life:
* Deep Breathing. This doesn’t have to be full blown meditating. Slowly, take several deep breaths through your nose. Concentrate on letting the air fill your lungs. Clear your mind and envision the tension draining from your muscles. Do this for several minutes. It seems simple but deep breathing can be very relaxing.
* Laughing. There is perhaps no saying that is truer than “laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter naturally relaxes your body and allows you to release tension by taking your mind off of problems.
* Relax your tongue and other muscles in your mouth. If you grit your teeth while working or driving, make a concerted effort to relax your jaw and let your tongue and mouth rest without tension. Try to maintain these relaxed facial muscles throughout the day.
* Listening to Music. Find something soothing or uplifting to listen too. Singing along with your favorite songs can distract you from your problems, allow your muscles to relax and relieve stress.
* Exercise. This is a tough one for a lot of people (myself included) but is a tried and true stress buster. Don’t try to force yourself to go for a run if you hate running. There are hundreds of ways to exercise that don’t cause excruciating pain. Go for a swim or a walk, wash the car or play in the park with your kids. Anything that gets your heart rate up will get your stress level down.
Pick one or two of these tips and give them a try. Find ones that you like and stick with them. Actively practice your stress management techniques and you will increase your mood and productivity while decreasing your chances of stress-related ailments.
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