We live in a very demanding, stressful world these days, with an array of gadgets at our finger tips, all designed to make everything quicker. This in itself creates a certain level of stress, as people generally expect everything "now". In this digital world, taking time out is even more important. It would seem that everyone is suffering the effects of stress in varying degrees of severity. Stress can be attributed to a number of ill effects on the body, such as IBS, skin disorders, insomnia, weight gain, headaches...the list goes on. It is very important that we try and address the balance by affording ourselves a little rest and relaxation to try and counteract the negative effects of stress.
Below is a list of quick fixes that you can do to try and calm yourself both mentally and physically.
It’s not as new age as it’s sounds - no incense required. It’s really quite easy and effective. It's basically awareness: listening to your own breathing, looking at a view, or it can be whatever you like as long as you clear your mind of other thoughts and cares. You may find it helpful to repeat a mantra at the same time to make focus easier.
By slowing down your breathing and breathing from your diaphragm, you can immediately relax yourself. When we are stressed we tend to take shallow breaths which don't give us enough oxygen.
This is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. It's quite closely linked with meditation. The idea is to be mindful of something and appreciate it in that present moment and block everything else out.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
Music has the power to transform your mood. If you feel the tensions rising, stick on a little classical music to transport you to a higher plane or plug into your favourite song to transport you to good times and happy memories. Listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety.
Exercise is well known as a stress buster. When we do it our bodies release feel good hormones which make us calmer. Exercise also uses up some of the hormones that the body makes when it's stressed.
Try visualising a peaceful scene away from your current tensions. It could be a golden sandy beach with the azure waves lapping at your toes; it could be a warm bath with scented oils. The idea is to take your mind of the current stressful situation you’re in - an imaginary holiday!
HAVE A CUPPA
It's a well-known cliché that many-a-problem can be solved by putting the kettle on, or that a cup of tea's the best thing to calm you down after a shock. The classic, common-sense way to relax may actually work! You could try camomile (good for relaxing the mind).
Please note, these are just a few examples of how to de-stress but bear in mind, I'm not a Doctor. If you feel your stress levels are getting too much for you to cope with, go and have a chat with your GP to discuss a treatment plan that best suits you.