Even though the relationship between stress and health is complicated, it has been well-documented that stress is a major contributing factor to the six leading causes of death in the United States. These include cancer, coronary heart disease, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis, and suicide.
That’s why learning how to manage stress is a skill that needs to be taught in schools, universities, and corporations everywhere. If you are having a hard time managing stress and want to learn how to relax, check out the 5 primary ways listed below to get started.
1. Laughter Yoga
Laughter what? Did you know that there is a kind of yoga that promotes health through laughter? That’s right!
Get those belly muscles exercising by laughing your stress and worries away. Laughter yoga is up and coming in the healing world, but you already know the effects of a good laugh on relieving tension in your body and mind.
That’s why it’s so relaxing to spend time with babies and children who are constantly laughing, playing, and having fun in the present moment.
Not only will laughter yoga allow you to relax and stop worrying about the future or ruminating over the past, but it will also help you spend some quality time on your own, in the peace of a yoga studio.
When was the last time you slowed down and really laughed to yourself? Maybe it’s been a while, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get into laughter yoga right now in this very moment.
2. Meditation Practice
Yes, yes, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of meditation practice a hundred times before and you are sick of it. But there’s a reason why meditation is lauded as the ultimate cure to coping with stress.
When you are feeling stressed out, you are probably spending way too much time in your head, worrying or ruminating about something in the future or the past. You are not in the here and now.
That’s why as soon as you start meditating, you feel a sort of instant relief, as you drop back into the present moment and feel this sense of aliveness and joy.
Think about it – when was the last time you spent time in the quiet watching your mind and your thoughts? Most of us are so afraid of what our mind has to tell us that we run away from it by watching TV, listening to audiobooks, or having the music blaring away in our cars and homes.
Stop doing that. You might think it’s helping you cope with your stress, but in fact, the more you run away, the more stressed out you will feel. Meditate and lean into your stressful situation, and watch it dissolve in your mind and body.
3. Releasing Tension from the Body
If you have been paying attention to your body, you must have noticed that whenever you feel stressed out, you have extra knots and areas of tension in particular sections of your body. For example, some people tend to store tension in their shoulders, so they hunch their shoulders up when tense. Others tend to store tension in their bellies, resulting in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Whatever your preferred method of storing tension might be, it’s a great idea to hit the problem at the source. Use the services of this local chiropractor and watch as years of tension, stress, and anxiety slips away from your back, shoulders, and glutes. You will feel like a new person altogether.
4. Getting That Body Moving’
Do you know those people who shake their legs or tap their fingers when stressed out? Their bodies know that through physical movement, stress, tension, and anxiety can be dissipated, so it’s doing so in a minor fashion.
But what if you amped it up a bit. Whenever you feel stressed out or unable to cope with your day, go for a brisk walk around your office building, run up and down the stairs, or put on your sneakers and go for a run.
This will help your body release some of that tension and stress stored in your body, it will get your body amped up and energized, and it will help you feel a whole lot better in many other ways. Not only that but exercise or physical movement of any kind can alleviate a lot of the stressors and negative symptoms that crop up due to stress and anxiety.
So get stress-busting by moving that body in any way you wish. It could be going for a dance class, romping about in the sheets with your partner, or trying out a new ax-throwing class.
5. Spending Time with a Furry Baby
Interacting and playing with pets has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the body and also lower blood pressure. If you have a pet, you probably already knew that.
It feels so relaxing and calming to spend time with your furry babies. They give you lots of unconditional love and relieve your loneliness to boot. And they are so undemanding in their ways.
In addition, if you wish to increase your level of physical activity, getting a dog can help you do that. That’s a double whammy against stress.
This only applies though if owning a pet will not add another stressor to your already packed life. If you don’t have the time to take care of a pet, getting one will make you feel obligated and overloaded. Think through your decision carefully.
As You Learn How to Manage Stress You Will Come Up With Your Own Tips
The great thing about learning how to manage stress is that as you go along this path, you will come up with your own unique ways to cope with stress. You will also learn what causes stress in your life and learn to let go (slowly but surely) of these stressors.
Learning how to de-stress takes time, but this doesn’t mean that you should give up. Stay on the path and you will be relaxed and recuperating from the ravages of stress soon enough.
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