We live in stressful times, and we all need some downtime every now and then. Whether you’re looking for a stress-relieving activity for yourself or for those around you, here are five proven ways to relax your body, mind and soul.
You may think you are stressed out, but there is always a way to de-stress and relax. In today’s world, it is easier than ever to stay away from stress. With technology and a constant influx of information, we are not only exposed to stressful situations, but are expected to be constantly in control. We try to keep up with our jobs and families while balancing the demands of our personal lives. As a result, we can feel stretched beyond our limits. It’s not surprising that many people turn to drugs, alcohol or worse yet, self-medication to help them relax and cope with the stress of everyday life. Fortunately, we can learn how to take back our health and our lives through a combination of relaxation exercises and meditation. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
1. Find a Good Stretch
There are lots of ways to relax, but many people don’t think of stretching as one of the best ways to de-stress. However, there are some proven benefits to stretching. Stretching increases flexibility, reduces back pain, relieves stress, and improves muscle performance.
But, as with any exercise, you need to choose stretches carefully to ensure that your muscles are ready for the activity. It is important to warm up before stretching, especially if you are new to this type of exercise. You should also stretch in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Once you’ve warmed up, follow these steps to find a good stretch:
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Slowly bend forward at the hips until you feel a comfortable stretch in your hamstrings. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Bend your knees slightly and reach your arms up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Bend your knees slightly and reach your arms behind you, touching your back. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
If you’re looking for ways to relax your body, don’t overlook your food. According to health experts, food has become one of the most common ways people relax. People who are stressed eat more than others. When they do, the body releases hormones that make them feel better. The problem is that when people stop eating, the stress hormones continue to rise.
In addition, if you’re eating junk food, you may be tempted to overindulge. This can lead to overeating, which can make you feel even worse. Instead, try to eat healthy foods. They’ll help you feel better, and they won’t make you feel guilty. Foods high in iron can be both calming and relaxing, while foods high in protein can be energizing and uplifting. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed or anxious, make sure you fuel your body with foods that can provide you with both nutrition and relaxation.
3. Get Active
A recent poll by the American Heart Association found that 90 percent of Americans say they do not get enough physical activity. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym in order to get active. It’s all about what works for your schedule. Whether you decide to run, walk, swim, dance, ride a bike, throw a ball, or even play a sport, just make sure you are getting some form of exercise that you enjoy and that is going to help you relax. Also, don’t forget to stretch afterward.
For example walking is a great way to get moving and relieve stress. It’s also a great way to burn calories. A recent study published in the Journal of Physiology found that walking 30 minutes three times a week can reduce stress levels by about 20 percent. And, a walk is a great way to meet people, too. According to a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, people who walked with others had higher levels of self-esteem than those who walked alone.
4. Make Peace With Stress
The next step is to start looking for ways to relieve stress. What stresses you? Is there anything in your life that you can let go of to help alleviate stress? Start by focusing on things that aren’t that big of a deal—or aren’t even deals at all—and take steps toward that end. Don’t wait for life to get better—take action now.
Plus, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by making peace with stress before it becomes a problem.
5. Learn to Meditate
When you are feeling stressed out, meditation can be a great way to relax. Meditation helps you focus on your breathing, which can help you calm down and clear your mind. You can meditate while lying in bed, sitting on the couch, or even while driving.
The key to meditation is to set aside time for it. Try to find 15 minutes every day where you can sit quietly and focus on your breath. Even if you have to take a few deep breaths to get started, you will soon notice that your mind begins to slow down and your body relaxes.
In conclusion, there are many ways to relax. Find what works for you and stick with it. A good way to begin is to find a comfortable place to sit and practice deep breathing. You may be surprised at the effect this has on your stress level.
All in all, remember that you are not alone. There are plenty of other people who struggle with stress and anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to someone you trust and ask for help.
Do you have any tips for how to relax? Share your ideas in the comments section below!