How to combat life’s tensions.
We all have stress and strain within our lives. All of us; it’s how we choose to deal with them that sets us apart. Here are ten easy ways to relieve stress:
1. Get some zzz’s.
I’ve been sleep deprived since the last month of my pregnancy—and my daughter is over two. Let me tell you from personal experience, life’s challenging moments are much harder to deal with when you’re tired. Go to bed an hour earlier or steal 15 minutes for a nap if you can. However you manage to get a few more moments of shut eye doesn’t matter—just do it.
2. Practice yoga.
I suggest practicing yoga for a plethora of reasons—especially for fighting stress. Simply practicing any style of yoga, connecting your breath with your physical movements, will bring ease and relaxation into your body and mind.
3. Get a massage.
I mentioned in my last blog that yogis and other healers believe that our bodies can hold onto our emotional tensions. A massage not only feels good when you’re getting it, it can be beneficial to releasing yourself from long-held stress.
Hugs are hugely positive for us. Try hugging your partner, mom, sister or anyone you love for two full minutes. You can literally feel the tension drain from your body during a loving embrace.
5. Yoga Nidra.
Yoga nidra, or yogic sleep, is a science based around our cognitive ability to relieve ourselves of stress. Find a yoga studio near you with a qualified yoga nidra instructor—and give it more than one shot. Often, students fall asleep in the first class (or more); and this relates to many factors such as, ahem, sleep deprivation or your readiness to process the feelings that arise during your yoga nidra practice.
6. Do something different.
I don’t know about you, but I find that life can be stressful when I’m underwhelmed just as much as when I’m overwhelmed. Sometimes having too much time—and too much time to think—is not a good thing. Do something different. Go to your local art museum, visit a friend you haven’t seen in awhile, take a trip if you can. Anything—as long as it’s different and exciting to you.
7. Drink water.
Okay, water isn’t going to beat all of life’s tensions away, but did you know that one of the early signs of dehydration is irritability? Staying hydrated is seriously important to your overall health and well-being. While it might not chase away the blues, it sure can’t hurt either.
8. Eat a balanced diet.
Having a balanced diet is crucial to optimizing your health—and lowering your stress levels. I’m not going to give a nutrition lecture here, but I will say this: eat a diet plentiful in color and not so plentiful in processed foods.
9. Ask for help.
If you’re the kind of person who has a hard time asking for help when you need it, then ask yourself why. People are social creatures. We have families and friends and live in a society because we can’t do it alone. Learn to ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Start small. Ask a friend to listen to a concern you have; ask your mother to watch the kids while you take a bath; and by all means, don’t turn down a sincere offer of help when you really need it.
10. Have a physician and see her regularly.
If you find yourself frequently frazzled and anxious, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your doctor. Additionally, make sure you have an annual check-up so that you can catch your health concerns in their early or, ideally, preventable stages.
Life is not always simple and straight forward. We live in a world of complex problems and equally complex answers. Yet, life doesn’t have to be hard.
Learning to manage your stress levels is a skill that can be learned, but like all great skills it takes practice. Hopefully these tips help put you ten steps closer to your healthiest, most peaceful self.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
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