Stress from day-to-day life can have an extremely negative impact on our health, emotionally, mentally, and physically as well. Long-term or extreme stress can result in frequent or chronic headaches, muscle aches, sleeplessness, anxiety, fatigue, depression, etc. All of these problems only present even more problems to our health and overall well-being. How can we prevent stress from our everyday lives from becoming a much larger problem in our lives?
In the interest of being helpful, I have compiled my favorite 3 tips to easily alleviate your stress, hopefully to the benefit of many individuals suffering from stress-related ailments in their lives.
1. Learn different breathing techniques
Belly breathing is a good one. Many people don’t breathe deeply enough to really get enough oxygen to their cells, resulting in greater stress on the body. When you breathe properly, your stomach will swell and release, rather than your shoulders simply moving up and down. Taking a short break of maybe just a few minutes to sit and really focus on belly breathing can work wonders when an individual is getting overly stressed out. Alternate nostril breathing can also help to really center an individual in the moment and to keep focused on their breathing, distracting themselves momentarily from the stress. To perform alternate nostril breathing, simply take your thumb and close your right nostril, inhaling deeply (not too quickly) through the left nostril. Close your left nostril with your forefinger, hold for one second, and then open the right nostril, exhaling deeply through the right nostril only. Then, inhale deeply through the right nostril, close it with your thumb again for one second, before opening your left nostril and exhaling completely through it. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.
2. Cool off
Go outside into the cold air if it’s chilly out. Splash some cool water on your face. Take a cool, wet towel or an ice pack and place it on your neck. This will help to cool a person down quickly and reduce stress greatly.
3. Give acupressure a try
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that can be traced back at least 2,500 years, and is highly effective in getting the body in sync with itself and functioning at its best. A variation of acupuncture that you can do on your own is acupressure, or applying pressure to certain points of your body that will give you the desired effect. A good acupressure point for relaxation is on the top of the foot. Look at the space between your big toe and your second toe. The point is two thumb widths up from that space, on the top of your foot. Use your fingertip, the knuckle of your middle finger, or the eraser of a pencil to apply pressure to this point. Apply pressure until you notice a change in the area of your foot – for example, a numbing feeling, or a release of tension. Repeat on the other side. You should feel more relaxed afterward.
These tips can help in briefly relieving momentary stress during high-stress situations, but there are much better methods that will provide much more relief, that just require a bit more time investment. Nothing beats a great afternoon of relaxing music and massage at your local spa! Pick up your phone and give us a call today, and we’ll get you nice and relaxed before you know it!
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