How many times have we heard: “If only I could relax!” Well, even if the world is moving increasingly faster and stress seems to want to envelop your daily life, you should know that it is possible to develop or learn various methods that will help you to better manage stress.
Have you been dealing with muscle tension, headaches, fatigue or sleep issues for the past several days? You may be experiencing stress in your daily life and you don’t even know it. Not only does stress make life disagreeable, it can even make you sick in the long term. However, it is possible to learn how to build up your mental and physical defence to stress, and even transform it into a positive driving force. You just need to find the time and the right tools to accomplish this.
In addition to adopting a healthy lifestyle, for example through a healthy diet, regular physical activity and sufficient restorative sleep, here are a few examples of relaxation techniques or stress management tools that can help you:
Breathing. Breathing is the foundation of relaxation, and is used in a good number of relaxation techniques. For example, deep abdominal breathing allows you to regulate your heart rate and help you relax. Various books and professionals such as a yoga teacher can teach you how to breathe better.
Yoga. Yoga brings peace and harmony to the body and the mind. It promotes the circulation of energy in the body and the mind through relaxation, breathing and posture exercises. There are several different yoga techniques, some focussing on relaxation and others on more intense activity. Moreover, the exercises learned in class can then be done in the comfort of your home. People who begin yoga often thank themselves later, as they derive many benefits from the activity.
Meditation. There are several types of meditation (movement, repetitive, concentration), but they all aim to help you find internal peace and improved clarity of mind. You can also learn to meditate in the comfort of your home. Here again, if you want to learn how to “meditate properly” you should contact a specialist or consult books on the subject, especially when you are first starting out with this technique.
Art of visualisation. This allows you to defeat the mental mechanisms that feed stress by focussing on an image, a place you find pleasant, and imagining yourself there. Some people benefit by combining this technique with meditation.
Massages. Massages are an excellent means to relax and fight any stress-related tension. There are even massage techniques that you can use on yourself at the office or at home.
A wide variety of options is available to you, not only to help you manage stress spontaneously, but also to include it in your daily lifestyle. Whether you decide to try sophrology, hypnosis, luminotherapy, or simply modify your breathing habits, it is up to you to decide which technique works best for you. But don’t forget: if you feel you are even more affected by stress, it is vital to contact a healthcare professional who will guide you to the proper resources, which may include medication or psychotherapy, among others.
Slow down your pace for perfection and breathe in slowly... because life is too short to have it ruined for you by stress!