Self-care has become synonymous with facials, haircare, and pedicures; it also involves finding ways to feel better on the inside, especially reducing stress. Dedicating time and energy to reduce stress has become equally crucial to living a healthy lifestyle. Please continue reading to discover how damaging stress can be, why it is important to reduce stress, and three new ways.
Stress is the way our body responds to challenges and demands. Sometimes stress can be acute, and for some, it is chronic. We are all triggered by different events and can deal with a certain range of trauma and disappointment, some more than others. However, understanding that we experience physical symptoms from stress such as elevated heart rates, spikes in blood pressure, sweaty palms, and emotions like fear and anger may help us know how important it is to relieve stress.
In conjunction with eating healthy and remaining physical, finding healthy ways to relieve stress can be lifesaving. That is because, over time, stress can be harmful to our overall health and cause severe health problems. In addition to high blood pressure, stress can cause:
- Depression and anxiety
- Heart disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Alzheimer’s disease
Three new and great ways to relieve stress are:
Meditation is a technique of quieting your mind and practicing mindfulness. It is a way of focusing and training your attention to have a clear and stable mind. Many have complained that they cannot turn off and fully meditate, but it simply takes practice.
There are several types of meditation, including:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Spiritual meditation
- Focused meditation
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Mantra meditation
- Vedic meditation
All forms listed above seem self-explanatory by their titles, except you may now be asking, “What is Vedic meditation?” Much like the others, Vedic meditation is another easy meditation. In addition, however, it has a gratitude ceremony as part of its core.
Most meditations involve finding a quiet place, in comfortable clothing, and doing the following:
- Sitting in a quiet place.
- Set a time limit. Start with a few minutes and increase.
- If you are in a chair, put your feet on the floor. If you are on the floor, sit Indian style, kneel, or in a position that you can hold for a few minutes.
- Pay attention to your breathing in and out.
When your mind begins to wander (and it will), bring it back to your breathing.
- When your timer goes off, encourage yourself with kind words or affirmations to yourself.
- That’s it. You are practicing mediation. Practice several days a week and increase your time.
A massage is the manipulation of the soft tissue of the body. A professional massage therapist does it, and they generally use their elbows, forearms, feet, fingers, hands, or a device to work the body and reduce pain and stress. There are several different types of massages, including the most popular:
- Hot stone
- Deep tissue
Massage is a great way to relieve stress because it smooths out where we hold stress in our muscles. We cannot typically feel it ourselves, but we have knots in our shoulders and other muscles mainly caused by stress but can only get worked out through massages.
There is nothing new about the effects of exercise and how good it is for relieving stress. In addition to improving your overall health, exercise is a great mood elevator and tool to boost confidence and endurance. Exercise not only makes you feel better, but it also makes you want to take better overall care of yourself.
The ways that exercise reduces stress is that it:
- Produces feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. This is what people call releasing endorphins.
- Exercise reduces the negative effects of stress that cause cardiovascular problems.
- Exercise helps you focus, and you become more productive in your other work or chores.
As you have read, stress can have serious and negative effects on your overall health. That is why more people are reading for self-care mechanisms like meditating, massages, and exercise to reduce stress.