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3 Ways to Instantly Relax and DeStress

There’s no question that stress causes disease (dis-ease). Stress negatively affects our immune system and can make us feel grumpy, tired, and unhappy. Stress has been directly linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease just to name a few health conditions.

Stress is a part of life that we can’t avoid. There are bills to pay, friends and family commitments and lots of other responsibilities. However, we can choose the way we manage stress. When we’re feeling stressed we can choose to let our emotions take over, or we can take action steps to instantly relax and decrease stress.

1: Take Deep Cleansing Breaths

The first step to any relaxation exercise is to realize that we are feeling stressed. We need to learn the signals that our body sends us when it experiences stress. The signals will differ for different people.

What are your Stress Signals: Does your heart rate increase? Do you feel your fists clench or your eyebrow creases? Do you feel that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach? Does your mind race with negative thoughts, worries, or doubts?

One of the easiest steps to take, when you notice that you are experiencing signs of stress, is to STOP everything and take four to ten deep cleansing breaths.

Each breath lasts for a 12 count. Count to four in the inhalation and try to breathe in through your nose.

Hold your breath for four counts and then exhale through your mouth for four counts. Repeat until you feel the stress signs disappear and you are feeling more calm and in control of your emotions.

2: Gratitude 

During difficult times it helps to count our blessings. Many significant studies have shown that gratitude helps a person feel more joyful and happy. It puts things into perspective and helps us feel more optimistic and resilient. When we’re grateful for what we have, the challenges of life don’t feel quite so powerful or overwhelming.

So when you’re having a bad moment, or dealing with something that’s stressing you out, try counting your blessings. Focus on anything you can be grateful for: the sun shining, the smile on your child’s face or the nice, warm and steamy cup of tea in front of you.

 3: Self-Massage

Massage and the power of touch have been shown to release anti-stress hormones. These hormones will create a feeling of calmness throughout our body and help us manage stress. Unfortunately, a professional massage isn’t always an option due to money, time or convenience. The good news is that we can receive much of the same benefit by learning a few self-massage techniques. By massaging our hands, neck, temples, head, and even our feet, we can experience instant relaxation. Acupressure and reflexology are other means of using self-touch to help reduce stress and improve overall wellness.

 

Learning to identify signs of stress and to immediately self-treat can help us to reduce our reaction to the stress. We can experience an immediate benefit and a sense of relaxation and calm. By committing to these tips we can also improve our long term health and reduce our risk of stress related conditions.

 

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