We all have stress. Stress at work, stress at home, stress, stress, stress. And most of us know how harmful chronic stress can be to our bodies and minds. Stress can cause us to be fatigued, irritable, sad, restless, anxious and unmotivated. It can also lead to detrimental habits like smoking, drinking, drug usage and overeating.
What if you could combat and alleviate stress in 10 minutes or less? Your body, family, friends and co-workers would probably thank you. So, let’s explore three easy ways to fight off everyday stress.
Meditation can help relieve symptoms of stress in as few as five minutes. Anybody can practice meditation and it can virtually be done anywhere. It’s simple, inexpensive and you won’t need anything special to practice. Meditation produces a state of relaxation while calming the mind. It allows you to focus your attention on peacefulness instead of the hectic everyday life most of us live. There are tons of books, magazine articles, apps and videos explaining how to meditate. One of the easiest forms of meditation is using a guided meditation video or recording. You can find numerous options online. There are also many different forms of meditation, such as walking meditation, mandala coloring meditation, yoga meditation and even Qi Gong. Explore and see what form resonates with you best. You can also choose more than one type and interchange them for even better results.
You might like to diffuse essential oils for added meditative benefit such as arborvitae, or frankincense.
2. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing relieves stress by activating our natural relaxation responses. Relaxation responses are the exact opposite of our body’s stress response. Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that brings your body and mind into an equilibrium state. The deep breathing technique is very simple. One sits comfortably with the back straight and then proceeds to breathe. The breaths should be very deep and felt in the center of the abdomen. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe in, your abdomen should expand accordingly. The breath should be let out slowly and with purpose. You can also silently count to 10 on each inhalation and exhalation. This practice works really well in an office setting where you only have a few minutes to spare. Give it a try.
Along with the deep breathing exercise, try inhaling an essential oil such as a respiratory blend with peppermint or eucalyptus. These can be placed in a diffuser, or a drop can be rubbed over the chest area or center of your breast bone called the heart center.
Acupressure can help alleviate stress anywhere and many times, nobody will even know you’re doing it. Acupressure utilizes acupuncture points on the body, but without the deeper stimulation that occurs when acupuncture needles are used.
There are several points on the body you can use to combat stress. All of the points about to be mentioned can be either pressed upon or tapped upon lightly.
The first point is located between the breasts, level with the nipples, directly over the sternum or breastbone. Applying pressure or tapping this point will help relieve stress felt in the chest and back areas. A great essential oil to apply over this area is lavender.
The next point is located in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. This point helps relieve muscle tension associated with stress and it’s great for pain located anywhere in the body.
Finally, try the point located directly between the eyebrows, known as Yin Tang. This point will help calm your mind and reduce overall stress. It is also great for tension headaches and eye strain associated with excess stress levels. Frankincense is the oil that connects one to your spiritual beliefs, and higher power, and it helps bring self-awareness.
There are many ways to alleviate stress. Most can be done fairly quickly and without drawing too much attention to yourself. Investigate the options and decide which method works best for you. Happy Relaxing!