Are you going to bed too late and getting up too early to feel truly rested? The hustle and bustle of daily life keeps you moving from the moment you wake up until you collapse into bed at night. Fitting in time for a workout can feel impossible, and home-cooked meals have been exchanged for drive-thru snacks. Unfortunately, all of these habits allow stress to build up in your body, making it likely that you will feel tired and short-tempered.
Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to keep your stress in check. These five activities are proven stress reducers, making it possible for you to juggle your many responsibilities without losing your peace of mind.
Mobile devices have transformed the workday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. to 24/7. It is common to find yourself checking email in the middle of date night or working on presentations long after bedtime. A critical component of managing stress is turning off the noise - and that means closing your laptop and putting your cell phone on silent for a while every day. If work simply can't wait until tomorrow, schedule a specific period of time to catch up - perhaps an hour after dinner. Handle only urgent items, and make a commitment to shut down when the hour is up.
Feelings of stress start in the mind when there is simply too much to process comfortably. Meditation is the art of clearing your head by focusing your thoughts on the present moment. Otherwise known as mindfulness, meditation supports you in putting past events to rest, while easing worry and anxiety about the future. You spend this time concentrating on your breathing, which relaxes both body and mind. There are a variety of methods, some of which include Transcendental Meditation, Guided Visualization and Zazen. Explore meditation styles that appeal to you until you find the specific form that is most effective in reducing your stress.
These ancient arts have been a cornerstone of Eastern wellness and alternative medicine for thousands of years. Each is focused on the mind/body connection, combining mindful breathing with postures designed to promote strength, flexibility and overall health. Essentially, yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong combine meditation with movement. Practitioners experience a reduction in stress as a result of the physical activity, in addition to the relaxation that comes with clearing the mind of racing thoughts.
Writing out your hopes and dreams - along with the issues causing you anxiety - has been proven effective in stress reduction over and over again. Journaling helps to reduce the intensity of strong feelings, taking the sting out so you can release them and move on. Many people who rely on daily journaling report that the act of writing increases their sense of wellbeing and calm and soothes stressful emotions.
Touch is a proven stress-reducer. Increase the benefits when you treat yourself to the expert touch of a massage therapist. The benefits of Shiatsu massage, Swedish massage and deep tissue massage include the relaxation of tense muscles as well as a sense of comfort, connection and caring. Many clients experience a reduction in physical pain, anxiety and insomnia.
If carving out time for a massage is too difficult, don't worry. The M Cushion shiatsu massage cushion makes it possible to enjoy the stress-relieving benefits this technique in your home, anytime of day or night.
As lifestyles get more hectic, levels of stress are increasing - and along with increased stress come increased anxiety, depression and a host of physical ailments. Reducing and managing stress is a critical component of your comprehensive wellness plan. Disconnecting, practicing meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong, journaling, and massage therapy are all effective in getting stress under control.