Beat Chronic Stress With Basic Postures Of Yoga
No, you wont be tying your body in knots or standing on your head for hours to learn basic yoga. Like millions of other yoga students around the world, you will probably look forward to your sessions. You will enjoy how it can tone your body, strengthen your muscles, and ease your tension.
Although there are several types of yoga, most use the basic positions, called asana. They are easy to learn and dont require a lot of effort. There are ways to modify postures of yoga if you find that its not comfortable for you to do, such as if you have chronic knee pain.
You dont need any expensive equipment to get started. Just have a clear space to move and wear comfortable clothing. If you dont have a yoga mat, simply spread a small blanket on the floor. Feel free to play soft, soothing music and light candles and incense that are conducive to meditation.
You may also enjoy practicing your postures of yoga outdoors with nature as your inspiration. Practice a few minutes each day or whenever you feel your stress levels are too high. While basic yoga poses are safe and simple, talk to your professional health provider if you have back, joint, or other health issues before starting a yoga regimen.
Take Action: Get Active
Regular physical activity can help prevent and manage stress. It can also help relax your muscles and improve your mood. So get active:
- Aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity try going for a bike ride or taking a walk
- Do strengthening activities like push-ups or lifting weights at least 2 days a week
Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!
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Ways To Relieve Stress
For our ancestors, stress was a survival skill during brief, life threatening situations. Once the danger passed, their stress levels lowered. However, in todays world, we are constantly bombarded by stressors, such as work deadlines, traffic, and family obligations. We rarely get a break long enough to relax and relieve the stress. The over-activation of our stress hormones have been linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, lower immunity, depression, anxiety, and more.
So how can you relieve stress? Here are five easy stress relievers to get you started.
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Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.
What Are Some Strategies To Reduce Stress
It may not be possible to remove the stress from your life, but managing your stress may help you to get things done.
Below are some ideas for managing stress.
- Take charge deal with unhelpful sources of stress before they build up and become a bigger problem.
- Make choices look at areas in your life where you could manage your situation better or change the way you respond.
- If youre already feeling stressed, consider postponing major changes like changing jobs or moving house.
- Sort out any personal conflicts or relationship problems by communicating honestly and seeking counselling.
- Spend time doing things you enjoy.
- Try to avoid long hours at work. Learn to say no.
- Try to avoid smoking, alcohol and caffeine.
If youre feeling stressed, its a good idea to have a general health check with your doctor. You can talk to your doctor about ways to help you bounce back and cope with stress.
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Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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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General Apps That Can Be Used For Stress Management
Some apps aren’t specifically geared toward stress management but have been found to be helpful in relieving stress just the same by supporting other healthy habits. Here are a few of the best:
- My Fitness Pal: This app helps you to track your eating patterns and provides articles and recipe ideas for staying in shape as well as a tracker to enable you to track your weight, caloric intake, and more. Because healthy nutrition can affect your mood and your stress levels, this one can really be helpful.
- Happify: Because a happy mood and a positive outlook have both been linked to decreased stress and increased resilience. This app helps you to minimize stress and anxiety by managing your thoughts.
- Fitbit: This activity tracker and sleep monitor can be used for stress management by helping you to see what you’re doing well and motivate you to sleep more and move more, both of which can be mood boosters. In addition, Fitbit has expanded its line of products to include Fitbit Sense. The Sense smartwatch and app can measure your body’s response to stress, give you a daily stress management score, and track mood over time.
What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
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Removing Or Reducing The Causes Of Stress
It is important to identify what makes you stressed, then take steps to avoid it or reduce the feelings of stress.
Everyone is different. What one person finds stressful, another wont. It depends on your personality, cultural background, past experiences, stage of life and what support you have around you.
Some common causes of stress include:
- family or relationship breakdowns
- death of a loved one
- experiencing a traumatic event, including physical or emotional abuse
- losing a job
- having a baby
- money problems
Many things that cause stress can be changed, but others are beyond our control. Work out what you can control and take steps to make a change.
For example, if you are one of the many Australians who is stressed by financial issues, setting up a budget or consulting a financial adviser may help.
If the stressor is work, it may be possible to change your work hours or job duties. If the problem is relationships, take the time to resolve conflicts.
It can help to talk to a friend, doctor or counsellor about removing the causes of stress. Dont be afraid to ask for support.
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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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.
Top 10 Most Effective Ways To Relieve Stress
The human population has never had more work load, a tougher educational system or more information overload than in the past 100 years. This has taken its toll by creating stress and anxiety. Although everyone has different ways of dealing with stress, here are the top 10 most effective, healthy and productive ways to relieve stress.
#1. Express Yourself and Let It Out
Express yourself and if something or someone is bothering you, dont keep it bottled inside. If you want to cry or need to confront someone over an issue, just do it. Emotions were created to be expressed, not suppressed. If they were bad for your health, evolution wouldnt have kept them safe in our mind for millions of years.
#2. Get a Hobby
Sometimes all you need in life is a hobby or passion that you can put all of your pent up mental energy into. A hobby will keep you busy, take your mind off your troubles and give you a sense of achievement. People with healthy hobbies like gardening, painting or reading are less likely to be stressed.
#3. Get a Pet
Its a medical fact that having a pet as your companion will decrease stress. Even a simple eye contact with your furry little fellow can increase your oxytocin levels and melt your heart Petting cats and hugging a purring cat has been scientifically associated with lesser risk of a heart attack. Lesser by one third, actually!
#4. Unplug: Switch-Off Your Cell-Phone and WiFi
#5. Meditate and Do Breathing Exercises
#6. Do Some Cardio or Yoga
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Breathing Exercise Reduces Stress
Even without formal meditation and controlled breathing, the gentle muscle stretching of yoga can reduce stress. “Full service” yoga is even better. But if that’s not your thing, simple breathing exercises can help by themselves. Rapid, shallow, erratic breathing is a common response to stress. Slow, deep, regular breathing is a sign of relaxation. You can learn to control your respirations so they mimic relaxation the effect, in fact, will be relaxing.
Here’s how deep breathing exercises work:
1. Breathe in slowly and deeply, pushing your stomach out so that your diaphragm is put to maximal use.
2. Hold your breath briefly.
3. Exhale slowly, thinking “relax.”
4. Repeat the entire sequence five to 10 times, concentrating on breathing deeply and slowly.
Deep breathing is easy to learn. You can do it at any time, in any place. You can use deep breathing to help dissipate stress as it occurs. Practice the routine in advance then use it when you need it most. If you find it helpful, consider repeating the exercise four to six times a day even on good days.
Cut Out Things That Add To Your Stress
Sometimes, the best way to reduce your stress is to cut something out of your life. Get rid of the things that are adding to your stress so you can experience more peace.
Watching the news, being constantly connected to your digital devices, drinking alcohol, and consuming too much caffeine are just a few of the things that may add more stress to your life. Making some changes to your daily habits could be instrumental in helping you feel better.
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Can Stress Be Positive
Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.2 However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived.
Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.4
What Research Shows About How Video Games Help Relieve Stress
Much of the research that has found a link between video game violence and aggression does not actually show a clear link between exposure to in-game violence and real-world aggression.
Similarly, while there may be some stress responses triggered by games, overall self-assessments provided by gamers failed to show a link between problems with social life, academic behavior, work behavior, or physical reactions , showing that, if there is a negative effect, gamers themselves are not aware of it and its effects on their lives.
One study examined players as they played either competitive or cooperative games. As predicted, there was a difference in stress levels after playing, and those who played cooperatively experienced a greater decrease in stress levels, but the difference was slightboth groups experienced decreases in stress by playing the game.
In addition, both groups retained positive feelings toward the other players, though there was slightly higher regard for those who were cooperative. This is another way in which video games can provide positive social experiences and a decrease in stress.
Another study used a survey of 1614 game players to examine the use of computer games as a tool for stress recovery. Results showed that games are indeed used as a coping tool after exposure to stressful situations and strain and that this recovery experience is a significant facet of the gaming experience.
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Stress And Health: Taking Care Of Your Body
Women are often the caretakers of others. We care for men and children, friends and family, but dont always care for our own bodies.
Because stress itself causes great physical damage, its important for women to relieve stress in ways that nurture our bodies and souls.
Here are some stress relievers that are great for your body:
- Exercise:Getting out and getting active has numerous health, beauty, and stress management benefits, including a leaner body, greater energy levels, improved overall health, the opportunity to blow off steam, a change of scenery, and a catalyst to take your mind off of whats stressing you, among other things.
- Spa Treatments: Whether youre going to a top spa or setting up a home spa experience, pampering your body on the outside can melt away the stress that youre feeling inside, and leave you feeling more refreshed and beautiful afterward. Read more about setting up a spa at home, and make a habit of using it.
- Healthy Eating: A healthy diet has more benefits than just making you thin because a poor diet can exacerbate stress levels, healthy eating can leave you with more energy, thinking more clearly, and reacting in a more even-tempered way to stress.
Listen To Soothing Music
Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
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