Stress is a state in which our mind goes through immense emotional tension during demanding circumstances. Scientifically, it is the body’s response mechanism to adverse experience when it releases hormones cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline.We experience stress every day.
hen we get up in the morning and are getting late for office, we are stressed. We are stuck at traffic jam, we are stressed. The degree of stress varies with what we are experiencing and how much weightage we give to it. In our daily life, we accustom ourselves to handle stress.
However, there comes a situation sometimes when the situation goes out of our control and this stress becomes detrimental to our health. Relaxation techniques are the effective ways of limiting the stress in our lives.
Relaxation techniques, unlike medicine, aren’t risky. We can perform them anytime and almost anywhere.
Following are our top 5 picks of relaxation techniques which will help you in stress management:
Meditation is by far the most popular and known method of stress reduction. Sit on the floor and start deep and controlled breathing. Focus on your breath as you inhale; right from your nose and go down till your belly. Track back your breath as you exhale. At first, you will find it hard to focus, and your thoughts will keep on wandering. But as you keep on performing it, you will realise your of focus is getting better by the day. You don’t have to sit for hours in meditation. Performing it for 20 minutes and you will start feeling good.
2. Yoga and Tai Chi
Yoga and Tai Chi are one of the oldest relaxation techniques. These are performed in the east for thousands of years. Now people all over the world are adopting them. These can be considered as sequel of meditation. In this technique, you combine certain body movements and postures with deep breathing. This technique not only calms down your mind, but also relaxes you muscles.
3. Guided Imagery
In guided imagery, you imagine a safe and pleasurable place. A practitioner or professional guide you to imagine a situation inside you mind, like a beach. The beauty of this therapy is that you not only use your mind to form an image, but you also activate other senses like smell, sound, touch, etc. It is a powerful technique which transports your mind from your current state to a situation which soothes your mind. You can either join a program or use recorded audio tapes and scripts and perform it individually.
When you go through stress and tension, a hormone called cortisol, or simply stress hormone, is released in the body. When you work out, your body releases endorphin hormone, which is a feel good hormone. Exercising doesn’t mean only running on treadmill or lifting heavy weights. Dancing, Zumba, swimming, sports activity—you can pick any work out of your interest.
5. Go Social
This is not a technique but a valuable tip. We spend most of our time in digital world and are losing connect with the physical world. This is also one of the reasons for increasing stress. Going out with friends and meeting with family also helps in reducing stress. By spending time with friends, we think having rounds of beer. But you need to know that alcohol and smoking actually feed stress.
Stress is impossible to avoid. However, we can certainly manage stress by using above techniques. When you want to see a change in your physical and mental state, there is no single technique or formula which will bring a change. Fitness is a combination of activities. So instead of picking just one activity, incorporate all the above mentioned activities in your lifestyle. You can meditate, perform Yoga, and exercise alternatively. Take guided imagery session weekly or fortnightly. Follow it for days, weeks, and months; you will slowly see yourself becoming a better individual.