1 April 2019
Breathe, come back to center, and release that stress.
Everyone experiences stress at some point or another, whether it be from day-to-day life or major life stressors. When stress builds up and that energy does not get dissipated or properly released, it can take a toll on your overall well-being. Therefore, learning how to relax from mental stress is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself. It is recommended to try a number of mental stress relaxation techniques to see what you connect with.
Here are 5 ways to relieve mental stress and relieve your mind:
Meditation is essentially a practice and is certainly one of the most powerful mental exercises to reduce stress. Psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD, a Chicago health and wellness coach says, “Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.”
Meditation looks different for everyone, and each session differs from the next. One method is to sit up, close your eyes, and practice easing your mind into calmness, letting thoughts float in and out of your mind. You could also follow a guided meditation or participate in a meditation class.
Breathwork can be done in a number of ways, so you can decide what to do according to the stress you are experiencing.
For example, if you are dealing with mental stress and are feeling anxious, try some deep breathing to slow your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure. Simply inhale and exhale, focusing on feeling your breath moving through your body. Do this for as long as it feels good to you, perhaps for around 3-5 minutes.
If you are experiencing racing thoughts or have pent up stress, maybe after a long commute or before you deliver a presentation, try alternate nostril breathing. This will settle your stress and restore the left and right hemispheres of your brain. To do alternate nostril breathing, close one nostril and inhale and exhale through the other. Then, do so on the other side. Repeat as needed.
Movement releases those feel-good chemicals and the built-up stress in your body. It doesn’t need to be anything intense or take a significant amount of time either. You could simply take a lap around the block, stretch, or jump up and down a few times.
Don’t you just feel so much better and lighter after a big belly laugh? Laughter is a wonderful way to reduce stress, lower your cortisol and boost endorphins.
Music gives your mind something to focus on, a melody of your own choosing. Try listening to the soothing sounds of nature or blast your favorite song and sing your heart out.
When you feel stress building up, having these techniques in your back pocket enable you to get ahead of the stress and move forward in a healthier state of being. Be patient with yourself and remember that everyone gets stressed sometimes. Now you have effective tools to successfully to manage it!
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