No prescription needed for everyday stress relief techniques!
It is all too easy to call the doctor and get some happy pills. You know, better living thru chemistry; that feeling of happiness or cheerfulness. But what happens when we run out, or can no longer get our chemical fix? I had to get a prescription for some happy pills and I noticed that I was much better. For a while. My problems were not getting resolved; in fact, they were just getting worse. No problem, I’ll get a stronger dosage.
By the time I was taking 5 times my original dosage, I understood that my happy pills were not solving anything and that I needed to work on myself. Back to the basics. I slowly took myself off the pills (with my doctor’s approval) and resumed using stress relief techniques. My problems did not go away. In fact, with a clear head I realized just how deep a hole I had dug for myself.
Give these techniques a try and see if any can provide stress relief for you. It will not happen overnight and you may have to use more than just one tip. Practice the ones that help. I use a mix of these and more each and every day. No magic happy pill, just everyday stress relief techniques.
Exercise helps boost the body’s ability to handle stress and physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Norepinephrine (a chemical released by the brain) is thought to play a major role in modulating the action of other neurotransmitters that play a role in the stress response. Exercise thwarts depression and anxiety by enhancing the body’s ability to respond to stress. Exercise programs can be from simply walking to the more hardcore aerobics, from weight training to tone the body to bulking up like the Hulk. Consult your doctor before beginning any physical program.Pay attention to your surroundings. We all get caught up in what is just around us. Take a couple of minutes and just look around, even if it is the same things you see each day, every day. This time, take the opportunity to really look. The placement, the shapes, the way the light reflects. Engage your mind with thoughts and observations.
Take a break from social media. It seems as if whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I get on one social network or the other. Most of the social media that I use do not seem very social anymore. In fact, they are on an anti-social trend. I have been leaving my smart phone behind when I go outside to smoke and even that small gesture has helped me to de-stress.
Reflect on who is important in your life. The past and present make up who we are today. The future represents who we may become. Look at the ones in your life (past) who have made a difference. Remember what they taught you, what you learned not to do. Consider the people in your life today. Who are the ones that give freely and who are the ones you are willing to give freely to?
Forgive someone. Unforgiving thoughts bring negative thoughts and emotions, and higher heart rates, and blood pressure. Forgiving thoughts provide greater control and lower stress levels. The most difficult person to forgive is sometimes our self. If you have done wrong; make it right. Apologize and allow yourself to move on.
Distance yourself from stressful people in your life. We all have people in our life that create stress either by what they do to us or just by sharing their own drama. If it is not possible to eliminate them from your life, develop a strategy to limit their impact on you. A simple thought of “That’s them, not me.” may help.
Repeat a positive affirmation (or a mantra). Positive affirmations are short, simple, and positive. Some examples are: ” I can. I will. End of story.” ” I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.” ” I am enough.” Your mantra should be your own, something that resonates with you and helps you reconnect with yourself, even if it’s something as silly as “Unicorns are famous but they can’t fly.”
Read a book for six minutes. Mindlab International carried out research on a group of volunteers at the University of Sussex. Stress levels and heart rates were increased through a range of tests and exercises before they were then tested with a variety of traditional methods of relaxation. Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent. Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.
Music reduced stress levels by 61 per cent, according to the same study. So sing, play an instrument, listen to relaxing music. Soothe the savage beast. For some suggestions, check out my Music tab on the Menu.
Peel an orange. Orange is the new lavender. The smell of citrus can help reduce stress. A study in Brazil had participants spend five minutes inhaling sweet orange essential oil, tea tree oil, or plain water. A stressful test was given while having their vital signs measured. Those who were given the orange oil were less anxious throughout the test, and the effects lingered after the exam. Citrus aromas are often useful in curbing stress and anxiety, as well as helping with digestion and nausea.
Chocolate relaxation technique. Choose a chocolate that you’ve never tried before or one that you have not eaten recently. Open the packet and inhale the aroma. Break off a piece and look at it, really allow your eyes to take in what it looks like. Put it in your mouth. Hold it on your tongue and let it melt. Savor each of the over 300 different flavors. After the chocolate has melted, swallow very slowly and deliberately. Repeat until you give into temptation.
Sometimes happy pills are necessary. Sometimes all we really need are everyday stress relief techniques, ones we practice and make a part of our routine. Use my mix and match approach and find the ones that help you. For more relaxation tips, check out How to have inner Peace and Happiness
There are hundreds, thousands of tips on how to relax and de-stress. One tip will not take away stress, each trigger may need a different strategy. Make a routine of techniques and take daily, in the prescribed dosage or as needed.
Have you tried any of these techniques? Do you have a technique that you think of as your “Go to” when feeling stressed out?
I think I will go and relax…with chocolate. Care to give it a try?
Walking the Path of Peace,