Excessive stress can have an immense effect on our health and quality of life. Manifestations include: headache, chest pain, high blood pressure, muscle aches, such as back and neck pain, digestive troubles, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain or loss, and impaired sexual function to name a few.
How do we prevent stress from draining our health and our joy? Briefly, here are eight ways to help you manage your stress and stay in a healthier and more peaceful state:
- BREATH - Did you know that if you are breathing more than eight times per minute, your body is in a stressful state known as “fight or flight.” Simple and accessible and great in emergencies, grounding deep breaths can change your body chemistry and get you out of the stressful state of fight or flight in minutes. One technique is Kundalini yoga breathing technique: Inhale for five seconds, hold for five seconds, and exhale for five seconds. Continue until you feel relief, usually about two minutes will do.
- CULTIVATE AN OPTIMISTIC WORLD VIEW – “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Life is much easier if you believe it is benevolent and on your side.
- LEAVE A BUFFER IN YOUR DAY AND DON’T OVER-SCHEDULE YOURSELF.
- HYDROTHERAPY Fill your tub with warm water and add one half to two cups of Epsom salt. The more salt you add, the more detoxifying it will be. Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, both of which are highly absorbable through the skin. It promotes relaxation, diminishes pain and inflammation, eases migraine’s flush toxins, and improve sleep and concentration. Find more information at http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp
- ADEQUATE SLEEP – The body needs sleep to rejuvenate and heal itself, and the mind needs sleep to process thoughts.
- MEDITATION. Take time to get calm and centered each day. This is where the magic happens. It doesn’t have to be hard. You can try meditating by focusing your attention on one thing, such as your breathing, an image you visualize, or something real you are observing such as a candle flame. Here are some ways to incorporate meditation into your life: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/how-to-squeeze-meditation-into-your-busy-schedule
- EXERCISE AND STRETCH – Physical activity, like meditation in motion, helps you shed tension and releases endorphins which reduce pain and the negative effects of stress.
- SOCIAL NETWORK – A strong social support network provides the comfort and reassurance of knowing that people are there for you if you need them.
If you would like to learn more about self-care, stress management, and how massage therapy can be an important part of your well-being, I invite you to schedule a special session with one of our massage therapists at Inner Wisdom Wellness Studio.