Everyday life can be filled with more than one source of stress. From your personal to your professional life, the maze of obligations and stimulation we navigate each day can cause anxiety to build up and interfere with your productivity and relationships.
We have three ways to reduce stress that don't require any medication or expensive equipment. They just take a little time, patience and an open mind.
Relaxation Method No. 1: Breathing Exercises
Learning how to work with your breathing and control it can be a powerful tool to reduce stress and anxiety. Taking deep breaths and allowing your lungs and diaphragm to expand helps bring your heart rate and blood pressure down and can slow a racing mind as well. The best part about breathing exercises is you can do them anywhere at anytime when you need to calm yourself down. Try them before bed if you find you're having trouble "turning it off" to help yourself fall asleep. Start with inhaling deeply through your nose for five seconds, hold it for three seconds and then exhale through your mouth for five seconds.
Relaxation Method No. 2: Meditation
Meditation is another way to relax yourself and build on your breathing exercises. Meditation helps you clear your mind and focus solely on the present and being with yourself. Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed and either sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Dim the lights and maybe light some candles to keep the environment calm and non-jarring. Once you're comfortable, start focusing on your breathing -- this is also a time to try some of your breathing exercises. Keep your eyes closed and give yourself 10, 15 or 30 minutes to just be with yourself and let your cares drift away. When you're done, you'll find greater clarity as well as reduced stress.
Relaxation Method No. 3: Aromatherapy
Essential oils and the scents they provide can have incredible effects on how we feel. Using essential oils alone and in different blends can brighten your mood and calm stress quickly. Citrus oils like lemon can make you feel more energized and focused when you're overwhelmed and lavender and chamomile can help you unwind at the end of the day. You can add oils to a diffuser, carry a small bottle around with you to sniff when you're on the go or mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle to mist yourself with. Lastly, you can add aromatherapy to your meditation and/or breathing exercises.
Try these three techniques whenever you need a break from the stresses of everyday. Check back all week long for more of the latest health news and information!