Many people live in constant stress, and eventually, it becomes chronic. It dramatically affects their health, relationships, and many other aspects of life. To avoid unpleasant consequences, try to monitor your stress levels and reduce them with these basic exercises.
Progressive muscle relaxation
The idea behind this exercise is incredibly simple: successively tense and then relax several body parts for 10-20 seconds: your shoulders, stomach, legs, arms, forehead, and eyes.
Lie on your back, close your eyes, tense one part of your body, and then (after 10-20 seconds) relax it. This helps to release muscle clamps and improve mood and concentration.
Most people are used to breathing through the chest, but breathing in and out is much more beneficial by lifting the abdomen rather than the chest. This breathing is called diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing. It is an excellent stress reliever because it slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and oxygenates the brain, taking the person out of a “hit or run” state.
Get into a comfortable position and place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Slowly exhale through your mouth and then take a deep breath, concentrating on making your abdomen rise above your chest. Breathe in this way for at least a few minutes, and if you’ve been tense, your well-being will noticeably improve.
The scents of certain plants are an excellent relaxing, anxiety-relieving, mood-enhancing, and even headache-relieving method.
So if you can get yourself an aromatherapy session, make sure you take advantage of it. Lavender, rosemary, cedar, juniper, bergamot, and cinnamon essential oils can help relieve stress and tension.
A casual walk in the woods or park helps to reduce anxiety, lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and heart rate. If possible, you should spend a whole day or even a couple of days in nature, preferably leaving gadgets behind.
This not only helps to release the stress but also helps you “reboot” so you are refreshed and in a good frame of mind to get back to work and other activities.
Meditation helps one focus on the present moment and briefly let go of stressful past and future events. It’s unnecessary to sit in a lotus position for hours saying “ohm” to relieve stress and tension and improve concentration: it’s enough to sit with eyes closed and concentrate on your breathing for 5-7 minutes. If you find it difficult to meditate independently, use a smartphone app or a YouTube video.