Mindfulness And Mantra Meditation
Mindfulness is an ancient form of meditation that promotes awareness of whats happening in the moment.
It encourages you to focus on your body, your thoughts, and whats going on around you.
Mantra meditation, on the other hand, is the opposite of mindfulness. In this practice, you place all your attention on a single target, like a mantra, a candle flame, or a phrase.
In both types of meditations, whenever your mind wanders — and it will Smith says — you simply re-focus.
It’s a brain skill, he says. In that in the first 2 weeks you won’t be able to do it very well. Your mind will constantly chatter and distract, and that’s normal, that happens.
But as you practice, youll get better at it.
Tense And Relax Your Muscles
One of Dr. Saltzs favorite de-stressing techniques actually involve tensing your muscles, holding them in that tense position for 5 to 10 seconds and then releasing, creating a near instant feeling of relaxation. This practice reduces stress through the mind-body connectionwhen we’re feeling very stressed, we tense up our bodies, says Dr. Saltz. And when we tense up our bodies, it reinforces the message to your mind to be stressed. It’s a signal of physiological arousal. Doing what you can to relax your body helps relax your mind.
What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Stress
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you cant just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touchor through movement. Since everyone is different, youll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for youbut the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.
Social interaction is your bodys most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension. Although you cant always have a pal to lean on in the middle of a stressful situation, maintaining a network of close relationships is vital for your mental health. Between sensory-based stress relief and good listeners, youll have your bases covered.
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Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
Say No To Things You Dont Want To Do
The most stressed people are those who say yes to everything. Sure, Ill pick up the kids. Of course, your kids can come over for a play date. Yes, I can take on that work project too. Absolutely, we can hang out after work on Tuesday. And before you know it, youre so swamped with a million things that youre actually dreading. If you want to be stress free, you need to say yes to things you want to do. Say yes to things thatll make you happy. Say yes to things you want to do. Say yes to things that meet your values. Say yes to things that reduce stress.
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Create A Room Dedicated To Relaxing
Everyone needs their own space sometimes. This can be difficult if you live with multiple other people, but its not impossible. To reduce stress at home, try creating a dedicated relaxation room. This could feasibly be anywhere a bedroom, a living room, a spare room, or an office. What you need to do is cultivate an atmosphere where you know you can relax in. If you need a breather from your chaotic life or need some alone time, a room where you can relax in can be a lifesaver. How you approach it depends somewhat on the individual. However, you should try and think about the things that allow you to relax. Is it peace and quiet? Maybe its a comfy tub chair?
Stress And Sleep Hygiene
Now that weve looked at some small changes you can make to create a stress-free zone, its time to examine another important matter. This gets an entire section, as there are a lot of factors that impact it. Sleep is vital to our survival. However, not getting enough sleep can cause stress, whilst stress can cause you to have difficulties sleeping. Its a vicious cycle that can soon take its toll. Having good sleep hygiene is important for a restful and stress-free night of sleep. But what exactly is it?
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How To Live A Stress Free Life In A Way Most People Dont
What does it look like to eliminate stress in your life?
No, it doesnt look like a made-for-television movie. No, it doesnt look like something only people with extra time and money can do. It looks like your lifebut without any self-created stress triggers.
Here are 12 ways to help you live a stress-free life:
Let Go Of Grudges And Anger
For me, it took 20 years of adulthood to figure out that holding on to grudges and anger only hurt me. Lucky for you, though, you can benefit vicariously from my experience just by reading one short paragraph!
No one is holding your feet to the fire, demanding that you hold on to grudges and anger. The energy of anger slowly eats away at your body, mind, and spirit, until one day you wake up more resentful than optimistic.
One day, people no longer want to be around you because the stink of negativity is oozing out of your pores. One day, you even get tired of hearing yourself get angry. And the person or people you are angry at or holding grudges against probably havent been affected at all.
Who gets hurt the most in that process of repeating negative thoughts? You do.
Some good advice for you here: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger
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How Can We Avoid Stress
Experiencing stress from time to time is normal, but it is important to prevent stress build up that leads to high levels of stress and possibly burnout. Some simple ways to avoid stress include finding effective ways to balance all your responsibilities, getting enough sleep, not taking on too much, eating a healthy diet, and taking part in physical activity.
Ways To Reduce Stress In 5 Minutes Or Less
Here are the best techniques for finding fast stress relief and for keeping your blood pressure in check and your spirits high in the process:
Theres nothing wrong with reaching for a superfast, short-term solution when youre feeling stressed. Its important to understand, however, that when it comes to stress and its impact on health, you may want to think about trying longer-term strategies and changes in lifestyle, says Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a staff physician at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Calming breathing techniques, for instance, can be even more effective once they are part of a meditation practice, because youll get more out of them, says Dr. Dossett. These quickie techniques can help you break the stress cycle in the moment so you can calm down, refocus, and go about your day.
1. Take a few deep breaths from the diaphragm. Theres a very close link between the breath and the body, says Dossett. When youre anxious, breathing becomes shallow and constrained, which raises blood pressure, increases heart rate, and has all kinds of negative effects on the body. But when your breathing is calm and measured, your body calms down, too, she says. Ive seen patients break out of panic attacks by using diaphragmatic breathing to change their mental state.
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Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
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Simplify What Youre Working On At Any One Time
At work or at home, some requests or projects can at times seem overwhelming.
When the ask is large or complex, its hard to know where to start. This feeling of being overwhelmed triggers stress, and you naturally start doubting yourself. You think how you can possibly get this done with everything else going on in your life.
How do you solve this?
You simplify everything. This doesnt mean the request has just become simple and easy to do, but you break it down into more straightforward tasks by compartmentalizing them.
If a project has multiple tasks, group them into different compartments or areas to break it down and name these areas. Then pick an area and move through each task one by one. If a task is too hard or complex, break it down again into smaller tasks until you can do them.
Focus on one area at a time. Youll never complete all your tasks in one go, so why worry about them? Each time you complete a task, youre one step closer from completing them all.
Why Yoga For Stress Relief
Life can be stressful. For starters, there’s your busy schedule waking up super early for school, studying late at night for tests, juggling sports practice, homework, and meals. It’s a lot to balance!
Everyday issues can add emotional stress, too counseling a friend through a breakup, regretting a disagreement with a parent, weighing an important decision, or stressing over whether you’ll make final cuts for the varsity team. With lots on your mind, it’s easy to feel stressed.
There are many different ways to cope with stress. Talking with friends, exercising, and seeing a school counselor are just a few. Yoga can help reduce stress because it promotes relaxation, which is the natural opposite of stress. Yoga can benefit three aspects of ourselves that are often affected by stress: our body, mind, and breathing.
You don’t have to wait to feel stressed out to do yoga, and you shouldn’t! People who do a little bit of yoga each day often find they’re better able to handle things when life gets a little crazy. Practicing yoga builds your ability to calm, focus, balance, and relax yourself.
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Practice Compartmentalizing Through Visualization
Starting to visualize your journey towards a long term goal or vision helps you to begin compartmentalize.
One approach is to visualize yourself going on a journey in a car taking on board whats going to help you achieve your goals and not taking on board what isnt serving you.
Let me explain:
Any issues or stress in your life as you come alongside them, move them into another car or house thats not on your journey or isnt on your journey yet.
For example, you have a big pitch coming up at work, but its weeks away, and its already causing you anxiety. Place it in a house thats much further up the road as you shouldnt be worrying about it yet. Then focus hard on the house telling yourself its okay to have it there and you will deal with it when youre ready. You then continue on your journey.
Keep going on this journey, moving each dominant thought into another car or house until you feel you have a place for each of your main worries or thoughts. Anything that you dont want on your journey at all, say no to it and remove it.
Youll soon feel more in control and calmer the more you practice this approach.
Make A List Of Things Youre Grateful For
We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.
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Work On Your Relationships
Relationships can be so stressful. Sometimes they start falling apart leaving us feeling scared, lonely, or depressed. But there is a way to work on a relationship, even if its not doing so well . You can focus on improving your communication with each other. Often times, relationships fall apart because people fail to articulate their needs in a way that is heard by the other person. Instead, when we communicate our needs, it often feels like an attack and so the other person becomes defensive instead of working to solve the problem. Ive written about this book a few times . But if youre struggling with a relationship you might want to check out Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg.
Embrace Your Inner Child And Play
When was the last time you colored, played hide and seek, or watched cartoons? Dr. Saltz believes that embracing playtime as an adult can be amazing for stress. Bonus points if you have actual kids around to play with. However determining what that is is entirely up to you and your childhood. Dont be afraid to get silly and embrace whatever uniqueness comes to mind.
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Trying Hard To Be Someone Else Instead Of Embracing Your Actual Self
Instead of focusing your time, effort and attention on other people’s lives, take that time and focus on your own. Concentrate on making yourself better instead of comparing yourself to someone else.
You will never be that person, no matter how hard you try. Reflect on your life and your decisions and figure out a way to be the best possible version of yourself you can be.
Let Go Of Things That Are Out Of Your Control
The biggest thing you can do is to just let go of worries about things that are totally out of your control. One big thing you can do is lessen how much you listen to news programs, whether they are on television, radio or podcast. News feeds on people fears and anxiety and lead with stories that push those buttons. The vast majority of the things on the news are so far out of your control that they are in no way going to affect your life.
Unless it is your job to worry about international politics, the economy or what case the Supreme Court is hearing next, then you probably shouldnt worry too much about it. It is good to be informed, but dont get sucked into the 24/7 fear-mongering and drive your stress levels up. Let it go and worry about things that you can make a difference in like local politics, how your family is doing and taking care of them and your friends.
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