Stress comes from a lot places. Money shortage, emotional stress, work, stress from every corner of your life can add up and significantly affect your health and mood. It’s not uncommon, many Americans don’t take action to manage their daily stress.
The Most Important Stress Management Step
If there is one step you need to take in stress management, it’s that you need to create a time for stress management. Give yourself an hour or two every week or month (depending on your stress reduction activity) to focus on nothing but yourself, or even better, nothing at all. Carving out a time to focus on stress management and stress reduction will help you prevent from pushing it aside and doing other tasks. Think of the time you’ve set aside to reduce stress as another daily task, not as a waste of time.
When doing your stress-relieving activity, try not to focus on errands you have to run or the bills you have to pay. Take the time you’ve set aside to focus on nothing. Consistently following your stress management schedule will make it easier for your body to adjust to de-stressing.
Activities to Reduce Your Stress
Get a Massage
Massage is one of the simplest and effective ways to reduce chronic stress.
Many studies have found that people who take part in massage therapy come out with significantly reduced stress levels. When you get a massage, your brain releases endorphins that calm your nervous system and ease muscle pain. And what’s even better about massage? You don’t have to do anything! Just lie and let today’s problems just wash away.
Patrick Hicks is a certified Reno massage therapist. Each session will bring you total relaxation.
When most people think of reducing stress, they think of meditation. And they aren’t wrong, meditation is hugely popular in both the scientific and the spiritual community. Unfortunately, many people are turned off when meditation doesn’t give them any results right away. The key is to practice focusing your mind. Don’t let your mind wander to worries and other forms of stress. With a couple of days of practice, you’ll be able to control what thoughts enter your head – and which stressful ones to block out. The key is to be open to meditation.
Have a Bath
A soak in a warm bath or a hot tub can go a long way. Heat from the water relaxes the muscles, so even a half-hour can help you reduce stress.
You can get the most out of your soak by adding adding some a bath bomb or bubble bath. After all, bubbles do make everything better. While you’re at it, break out a good book or some wine. If you really want to transform your bathtub into your own personal spa, go all in with scented candles, a bath pillow, and a nice bathrobe to complete the experience.
While it may seem like exercising would only lead to you feeling more worn out, exercising actually does the opposite. Exercising helps to boost endorphins in the body, much like a massage does. Even exercising for 20 minutes will allow your mental muscles take a break while you work out your actual muscles. Plus you’ll be getting fit too.
Yoga is the fusion between meditation and exercise. Performing different poses ranging from the simple to the complex will require varying degrees of physical and mental focus. When you do these poses correctly, your body will release tension from specific areas on your body.
Extra Ways to Help Reduce Stress
If you feel that you aren’t getting enough out of your stress management activity, then you can make some additional changes to bring your stress management to a whole other level.
Improve the Lighting with Candles
You may not notice it, but you spend a lot of time under constant light. Whether it’s the sun or a fluorescent bulb above your desk at work, being under harsh light can lead to increased stress. When you’re doing your stress reduction activity turn off your regular lights and place some candles throughout the room. Creating an environment with subtle lighting will help your body relax more.
Aromatherapy is the inhaling of plant materials, often referred to as essential oils, to improve health conditions. The practice of aromatherapy has been used as a complementary form of alternative medicine for thousands of years. The field of aromatherapy is actually quite complex, with carrier oils, vaporizer oils, herbal distillates, absolutes, and much more.
Aromatherapy has a wide list of health benefits, including relieving stress, headaches, and boosting energy.
If you are planning on incorporating aromatherapy into your stress management activity, start simple. Try basic essential oils such as, lavender, lemon, and peppermint oils. If you are planning on more complex combinations, consult a trained aromatherapist. Some oils may trigger allergic reactions or become toxic if improperly mixed.
Playing some music during your relaxation time can help you get your body and mind in a state to reduce stress. Soft music can be very effective during meditation, yoga, and exercising.
Just like listening to music, white noise can help you get the most out of your stress reduction activity. White noise is the combination of sounds across all different frequencies, much like how white light is the combination of light across the whole spectrum. You’ve used white noise if you’ve ever turned on a fan to block out the sounds of your neighbors or other noises. Find a kind of white noise that you feel is the most effective. Some common kinds of white noise include:
- Ocean waves
- The hum of a fan
- Ambient crowd
- Urban sounds
- Passing cars
Patrick Hicks is a Wellcoaches® certified medical massage therapist in Reno. His focus on health and wellness coaching can help you develop healthy habits that will teach you to reduce stress.