How To De-Stress
What is stress? You hear it so many times, it seems to be part of our lives. It can be caused by a couple of things. It always starts with a thought process. Is it worth getting anxious about it? If you think it is, your body will react to these thoughts. When we feel that we can’t handle a certain situation and cope with the amount of pressure that we have been put under, we are under stress. What are the symptoms? People cope with stress differently. Most people have a quickened heart rate, a higher blood pressure, a fluttery feeling in their stomach and it can happen over a very short period of time. Your stress hormones pump up very quickly and cause these unpleasant symptoms. The body’s response is called fight or flight which means the heart rate jumps up, our breathing becomes heavier as the body require more oxygen. It is very similar to the situation when we had to escape from our predators and survive dangerous situations in the pre-civilization world. The body is unable to tell the difference between a dangerous approaching bear or terrible traffic jam, our response to stress is the same even when we are not in direct danger. While the increased blood flow to the heart and muscles usually helped with escaping, it doesn’t do us any good in this world as it contributes towards several chronic conditions for example headaches, hypertension, depression and anxiety disorders. Furthermore, it can cause other problems like irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and asthma just to mention a few common ones. Luckily there are different ways to handle stress to slow your breathing down and to decrease your blood pressure. In an ideal world there is no stress at all but since it doesn’t exist, all we can do is to work on its effects. Let me list a few effective ways to de-stress:
- Controlling your breathing
Breathing plays an important role in maintaining the body therefore breathing exercises are absolutely essential. They relax the body straight away. Even taking a few deep breaths helps the body calm down, it relieves stress and reduces tension because of the extra amount of oxygen. The lack of deep breathing stimulates the sympathetic nervous system while the opposite calms us down. Breathing exercises can even help with regulating high blood pressure.
- Treating yourself to something nice (be careful, though)
There is a great connection between our guts and our brains and that explains why many people start to eat more when they are stressed. Have a snack to cheer you up. I am not talking about unhealthy food here; your rewarding treat can be some nuts, fruit, or an avocado. Instead of eating in front of your computer, make an effort and take your snack away and sit down somewhere quiet for a few minutes. Use this time to concentrate on the food itself, its flavours, textures and see how it makes you feel afterwards. This way you can meditate while you are having your snack.
- Listening to music
We all know that classical music does have a calming effect but do we know what it does to the body? It lowers the blood pressure, decreases the stress hormone levels and even slows down the heart rate. When you listen to any music that you like, you feel much happier. Knowing this beneficial effect, it is definitely worth listening to some nice music while you are driving or travelling by public transport to make sure your mind is calm. You can also try to make your own music which helps with stress relief even more.
- Getting yourself a plant
Did you know that plans actually calm you down? It is enough to be around them, they have a relaxing effect. Look around, there is so much to choose from and get the one you like to help you with stress management.
- Going for a 10-minute walk
Walking can also turn into a kind of meditation so it definitely has a calming effect. It clears your mind especially if you walk in a nice green area. It will make you feel happier and you will be able to deal with your problems more easily.
- Having regular breaks during your day of computer use
If you sit in front of your computer all day long without any breaks, it can cause insomnia, depression and stress. Using the computer late at night has an even worse effect. Because of these reasons you need make sure that you take regular breaks during the day and also try to turn off your PC at least an hour before you go to bed. It will help you sleep better.
Your brain releases endorphins while kissing so it is a pleasant way to calm yourself down and de-stress. Don’t only kiss when you want to it to develop to something more, kiss regularly to be content all the time.
- Trying tantric massage
Getting a massage is always relaxing but trying tantric massage is even more beneficial. You will be put at ease immediately and your body will have a much better energy flow while being massaged. There are a lot of great agencies in London, why don’t you call PEARL London® and book an unforgettable massage session?
- Short visualisation
The subconscious mind cannot make a difference between reality and imagination. A short visualisation will help you relax immediately. Take a seat somewhere comfortable and imagine a peaceful scene, it can be anything, a future vacation destination, your favourite place in the world or just let your imagination wonder. You can even programme yourself this way to achieve certain goals as the more you visualise something, the more you can make it real.
- Turning off your mobile phone from time to time
Being available 24 hours a day is undoubtedly very stressful. Allow yourself some me time by not being glued to your phone. Enjoy some time for yourself without being under pressure because of your mobile phone. Smartphones are particularly bad as you feel under pressure to respond to every message continuously.
- Chew a chewing gum
This might sound interesting in the beginning but if you chew something constantly, it can help you relieve stress, anxiety and it can improve alertness.
- Make yourself laugh
Having a good laugh is probably one of the most effective way of relaxation. It increases your intake of oxygen so has a stimulating effect on your heart, lungs and muscles and endorphins are also released. Laughter leads to total relaxation as it activates then deactivates your stress response. Watching short comedies or reading jokes will help you calm down.
- Seeing your friends
Meet your friends on a regular basis and have fun with them. This will make you forget your everyday worries and you will be able to handle the problems in a much more effective way afterwards.
- Having a banana
Blood pressure rises while the body is under stress and potassium helps you regulate that. Eating a banana improves energy and recovery while you are feeling stressed. It will boost your running energy and can protect you from the negative effects of stress.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Work your way up from your toes, make your foot muscles as tight as possible then relax them. Keep doing this with every muscle you have until you reach your face. It might sound silly but the muscles are able to relax much more if they are tightened first. This exercise is also great when you have butterflies in your stomach. By practising this exercise, you will be less anxious and stressed.
- Creating your own relaxation room
It is a wonderful thing to create your own place where you can relax and rewind. It doesn’t have to be a separate room, it can be a designated area in your bedroom or anywhere at your home. You can put a comfortable armchair there, candles, anything that makes you relax. The idea is that you can rewind and chill out. You can also read a book or listen to music as long as your mind is not full of distractions and stressors.
- Having a long, hot bath
Having a long, hot bath relaxes both the muscles and the mind. Use your favourite bath oil or salts and decorate your bathroom with candles. You can fully relax by sitting in a bath and just float in happiness.
When you are anxious most of the time, have constant headaches and you find it harder and harder to go to sleep, it is time to start dealing with stress before it does more damage to you. If you allow yourself to relax regularly, your body will be recharged and able to cope with these situations in a much more effective way.