Tips for Reducing Stress - Get Your Life Back
Looking for valuable tips for reducing stress? When stress is getting the better of you, you must first remind yourself that stress happens to everyone. Nevertheless, we all need tips for reducing stress, so look through these suggestions to find the ones that suit you best.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Anyone who needs instant stress relief should begin by taking slow, deep breaths. If stress occurs regularly in your life, you can learn that practicing deep breathing techniques allows you to begin those techniques automatically when stress strikes.
Some people learn them through specific yoga positions. In the last couple years, people who have the Nintendo Wii fitness system are following the deep breathing instructions on that game.
The most important thing to remember is that you must sit up straight, exhale and inhale deeply several times, leading up to an exhalation that really feels as if it's clearing your lungs. Then you place your hands just above your waistline so you feel your diaphragm muscle move as you breathe in slowly and then release.
Of the many tips for reducing stress, this is one that's practiced across the board by many different types of therapists.
However, you can do this yourself, and you can find stress relief by using this technique on a daily basis. Guided imagery most often involves an audiotape -or someone reading to you- about relaxing scenes that require your input.
You are asked, for example, if you are standing on a sandy white beach, you turn around and see -what? Then you are guided to build on this imagery until you paint a mental picture, and both the effort and the picture relax you.
If audiotapes are not your thing, you can also find books, written for both adults and children, containing images that you can build upon for relaxation.
Choose whatever kind of exercise suits your body. Whether you run, walk, lift weights, practice yoga or Pilates, or play golf using your Wii, you will find stress relief.
Have you ever noticed when you begin a cardio class, for example, you start out feeling inept, but five minutes later your muscles are singing? That physiologic response demonstrates why exercise is one of the most important tips for stress relief.
Your exercise forces biochemicals like cortisol and adrenaline to work their way out of your body.
It also generates the flow of soothing serotonin and uplifting endorphins into your central nervous system. So whenever you are feeling really stressed, take a hike. You will feel better.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Just like deep breathing, you should practice PMR regularly so that when you need it, your body responds. The idea is that you focus on one group of your body muscles at a time, contracting and then relaxing them, and then move on to another group.
If you're pinched for time, limit it to four muscle groups -face; neck, shoulders, and arms; abdomen and chest; and then buttocks, legs, and feet.
To gain the full benefits of this stress-relief therapy, lie down and focus on your forehead and then the eyelids, and work your way down to your toes.
You might scoff, but think about the last time the people in your office joked about an uptight coworker who just needed to get laid.
This is one of the most effective tips for reducing stress, because it is the most fun you can have in the world without laughing.
A successful encounter releases an entire flood of those great endorphins into your system. Even if you have to play all by yourself, you will still enjoy a positive, if lesser, benefit.
Using External Factors
There are many tips for reducing stress that put your five senses into play. Many people enjoy music, and some take it to the next level by listening to CDs with relaxing sounds-waves breaking on the beach, or the wind in the willows.
Another favorite is aromatherapy: Some people just feel better if there is a candle burning. Hang paintings that you love. Put fresh flowers in a vase. Squeeze a rubber ball.
These stress relief practices involve your senses of hearing, sight, touch, or smell; you can use them alone or combined with other modalities such as guided imagery or deep breathing. And if you like, you can taste one or two small squares of dark chocolate.
No list of tips for reducing stress is complete without a discussion of what you put into your body. If you smoke cigarettes or have more than one alcoholic beverage per day, you are sabotaging your body's ability to handle stress.
Cigarettes raise your blood pressure long before they ruin your lungs. Alcohol might be fun in small quantities, but ultimately it is a depressant. Sugars create artificial stimulation and then you crash.
Too many carbohydrates or fats bog down your body; neither your rest periods nor your exercise will yield maximum benefit.
Instead of harmful sodas or coffee, introduce green tea into your diet. Reduce your carbohydrates and boost your proteins for a better overall sensation of fitness.
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