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.
Take Out Your Journal And Write
Have you ever tried writing in a journal? Sometimes, people find that they feel more relaxed once theyve written about their feelings. Putting your feelings into a journal could make you feel heard and understood.
If youre into journaling, we suggest that you tackle stress in this manner. Dont worry about making your entries eloquent. No one else is going to read them aside for you, so dont fuss about making it perfect. Instead, just focus on writing down your feelings.
Tips For Starting A Relaxation Practice
Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isnt difficult, but it takes regular practice to truly harness their stress-relieving power. Try setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice.
Set aside time in your daily schedule. If possible, schedule a set time once or twice a day for your practice. If your schedule is already packed, try meditating while commuting on the bus or train, taking a yoga or tai chi break at lunchtime, or practicing mindful walking while exercising your dog.
Make use of smartphone apps and other aids. Many people find that smartphone apps or audio downloads can be useful in guiding them through different relaxation practices, establishing a regular routine, and keeping track of progress.
Expect ups and downs. Sometimes it can take time and practice to start reaping the full rewards of relaxation techniques such as meditation. The more you stick with it, the sooner the results will come. If you skip a few days or even a few weeks, dont get discouraged. Just get started again and slowly build up to your old momentum.
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Effects Of Uncontrolled Stress
Work-related stress doesnt just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.
A stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper, and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity, and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways, such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, or abusing drugs and alcohol.
Quick Ways To Relax Instantly According To Science
Do you feel overwhelmed? Are your days full of stress and anxiety?
Then its important you learn how to relax and de-stress yourself immediately with these simple and effective relaxing techniques.
Why do you need to relax?
Between balancing careers, relationships, social life, and family, modern lifestyles have become extremely complicated and stressful. By learning how to relax, you can calm your mind and body, heal from your daily dose of stress, and create some much-needed time for yourself.
According to the American Psychological Association , stress levels among American people have increased significantly in the past 10 years. The economy and workplace stress are the major factors contributing to the rising stress levels.
The American Institute of Stress stated, Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away from the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.
Unfortunately, chronic stress can lead to a lot of mental and physical health issues like depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
This is why it has become more important now than ever that you learn how to relax using techniques that can immediately take the edge off from the moment and help you control your emotions.
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Replace A Poor Attitude With Gratitude
The attitude that we have towards stressful situations has a definitive effect positive or negative. A negative attitude is often the automatic, default mechanism that can have an adverse effect on our mental, physical and even spiritual wellbeing.
Instead, consciously attempt to replace this negative, default reaction with gratitude. For example, when you find yourself backed up in traffic, change your perspective. Think about things to be appreciative of. You might find family, friends, work, health, faith, or something else.
Look around for things in nature to admire and appreciate trees, sunshine, or a pleasant view. When you make a conscious attempt to place gratitude ahead of negativity, youll find your attitude changing.
Good Daytime Habits For Relieving Nighttime Stress
In addition to relaxation techniques, there are steps you can take during the day to relieve stress at night. A common aid is to exercise during the day. In addition to other health benefits, daytime exercise has been linked to better sleep in patients with generalized anxiety disorders. Exercise can also assist with issues such as insomnia. Another strategy for sleep hygiene overall is to wake up at a regular time. Even on the weekends, research shows that consistent wake times are an important component of sleep hygiene.
Keep in mind there is no exact schedule for how quickly youll be able to feel less stressed and anxious before going to sleep. However, consistent practice of relaxing techniques can help long-term. If you have questions or concerns about which strategy or strategies are right for you, consult your physician.
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Types Of Relaxation Techniques
However, a whole range of relaxation practices can help you power down and de-stress.
There’s no one shoe that fits all, Smith says. He points to five or six approaches based on scientific observation and experience that really do work for stress reduction. There are other therapies, too, that you might find helpful. You can do one at a time or you can practice some together.
Identify Pressure Points To Calm Anger And Anxiety
Going for a massage or getting acupuncture is a wonderful way to manage anxiety and anger. But its not always easy to find time in your day to make it happen. The good news is, you can do acupressure on yourself for instant anxiety relief.
This method involves putting pressure with your fingers or your hand at certain points of the body. The pressure releases the tension and relaxes your body.
One area to start with is the point where the inside of your wrist forms a crease with your hand. Press your thumb on this area for two minutes. This can help relieve tension.
If youre short on time but need to calm down fast, these quick in-the-moment tips can help.
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Finding The Best Relaxation Technique For You
For many of us, relaxation means flopping on the couch and zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. Rather, you need to activate your bodys natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that puts the brakes on stress, slows your breathing and heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and brings your body and mind back into balance. You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, yoga, or tai chi.
While you may choose to pay for a professional massage or acupuncture session, for example, most relaxation techniques can be done on your own or with the aid of a free audio download or inexpensive smartphone app. Its important to remember, however, that there is no single relaxation technique that works for everyone. Were all different. The right technique is the one that resonates with you, fits your lifestyle, and is able to focus your mind to elicit the relaxation response. That means it may require some trial and error to find the technique that work best for you. Once you do, regular practice can help reduce everyday stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your energy and mood, and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
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Know What Actually Relaxes You
It might sound obvious, but tons of people arent very discerning or creative about how they spend their downtime. People often think theyre resting when theyre really not, clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D., tells SELF.
For example, maybe you tend to count scrolling through Twitter for a couple of hours as relaxation. That might be restful to some people, but for many, its more stressful than anything. Or maybe you force yourself to do things that youve heard are supposed to be relaxinglike meditating, napping, or taking a bubble bathwhen you actually find them super boring or unhelpful. Relaxation isnt one-size-fits-all.
To start to figure out what rest means to you, you might want to reframe how you think about it in the first place. Relaxation is not one activityits the outcome of any activity, says Caraballo. And which activities lead to relaxation will depend on you. Explore hobbies, different types of physical activity, various means of socializing, self-care practices, and more. Then pay attention. Ask yourself, How do I feel after doing this? Do I feel grounded? Do I feel stable? Do I feel at ease? If so, maybe thats something that can be on your list as a way to rest from the world, says Caraballo. And if not, maybe you need to try something else.
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Lastly Be Kind To Yourself
Intentionally optimizing rest so its as effective as possible is a worthy endeavor for a lot of reasonsbut also, it shouldnt be an added source of stress or something you pressure yourself to do all the time. There are going to be days when negative thoughts and guilt creep in or when you opt for numbing out or escapism instead of something you know works better. In fact, there are probably going to be a lot of days like that, and its okay.
I think the best thing that we can do is not get tied up in doing rest perfectly or having the perfect relationship with rest, says Caraballo. Instead, be gentle and patient with yourself and understand its an ongoing challenge.
Common Sources Of Work Stress
Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:
- Low salaries
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement
- Work that isnt engaging or challenging
- Lack of social support
- Not having enough control over job-related decisions
- Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations
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Surround Yourself With Positive People
You probably have a few people in your life who can make you feel stressed just by being around them. While its not always possible to cut these people out of your life entirely, when youre under pressure try to spend more time with friends and family who are helpful, positive, and will lift you up rather than drag you down
Stress Is Such An Integral Part Of Our Daily Lives That Most Of Live With Every Day But If You Are Overwhelmed By Stress Then Heres Help
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Stress is a common phenomenon experienced by everyoneadults, teens, and even children on a regular basis. The question that raises a concern here is that how does a person deal with these nerve wrecking moments.
While stress causes some people to break down, others with a calmer outlay are mentally strong enough to last through the added pressure, failure or disappointment. Ongoing stress and anxiety can sabotage your confidence, give you a knotting feeling in the stomach, and impact your general well-being.
So how can you manoeuvre the rough waters of stress while staying calm? Here are a few tips that can help you out:
1. Think of the glass as half full To begin with, people dont always appreciate what they have and are preoccupied with what others have. Keep a positive attitude and appreciate what you haveand you will see a different side of yourself, full of life and new opportunities.
2. Use a realistic approach Stress can be triggered by a problem that may seem impossible to solve. Learning how to find solutions to your problems will help you feel more in control thereby lowering your level of stress. However, changing a difficult situation isnt always possible.
We have to accept that there are events that you cannot control. You dont need to be over-obsessed with the fact that the problem has no viable solution. Rather, give it your best shot and try to concentrate on the elements you do have control over.
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How To Keep Calm Under Pressure
Stress is a normal part of modern life, but if youre often faced with stressful situations and feel panicked or overwhelmed trying to deal with them, you may benefit from learning some coping strategies that can help you to stay calm.
Pressure can put the body into fight or flight mode an evolutionary tactic that releases hormones designed to get you ready to either fight or run from danger. In modern times, stress triggers these hormones but theyre not so helpful when the danger comes from giving a presentation at work rather than being faced with a wild animal. If you frequently find yourself feeling anxious, or panicked, your fight or flight mode is probably being triggered too easily and its helpful to learn how to calm yourself down when youre entering this state.
Chomp Some Chewing Gum
Maybe youre stuck in annoying traffic, frantically cleaning the house before your in-laws show, or hammering out that final term paper. Chewing gum is an easy way to keep the stress monster at bay while potentially boosting your mood and productivity Allen AP, et al. . Chewing gum: Cognitive performance, mood, well-being, and associated physiology. DOI: 10.1155/2015/654806 .
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Tip : Recognize When Youre Stressed
It might seem obvious that youd know when youre stressed, but many of us spend so much time in a frazzled state that weve forgotten what it feels like when our nervous systems are in balance: when were calm yet still alert and focused. If this is you, you can recognize when youre stressed by listening to your body. When youre tired, your eyes feel heavy and you might rest your head on your hand. When youre happy, you laugh easily. And when youre stressed, your body lets you know that, too. Get in the habit of paying attention to your bodys clues.
Observe your muscles and insides. Are your muscles tense or sore? Is your stomach tight, cramped, or aching? Are your hands or jaw clenched?
Observe your breath. Is your breathing shallow? Place one hand on your belly, the other on your chest. Watch your hands rise and fall with each breath. Notice when you breathe fully or when you forget to breathe.
Have A Centering Object
When youre anxious or angry, so much of your energy is being spent on irrational thoughts. When youre calm, find a centering object such as a small stuffed animal, a polished rock you keep in your pocket, or a locket you wear around your neck.
Tell yourself that youre going to touch this object when youre experiencing anxiety or frustration. This centers you and helps calm your thoughts. For example, if youre at work and your boss is making you anxious, gently rub the locket around your neck.
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Understanding Anxiety And Insomnia
Whats behind the more stress, less sleep connection? If youre frequently triggering your stress response, your body never gets back to its baseline, says Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M.
Stress and sleepless nights are closely linked, Buenaver says. If youre in pain, tend to worry, or are coping with a difficult situation in your life, you may have more stress hormones than usual circulating in your body. A poor nights sleep adds even more. And those hormones may never be fully broken down. Its like running an engine in fifth gear all the time.
Focus On Your Breathing
Learning to breathe more deeply can help you feel a lot calmer. It takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders down and relaxed, and place your hand on your stomach it should rise as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out.
- Count as you breathe. Start by counting ‘one, two, three, four’ as you breathe in and ‘one, two, three, four’ as you breathe out. Try to work out what’s comfortable for you.
You can find more details about this exercise on the NHS website.
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