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10 ways to destress after a long work week

December 26, 2017

 

 We all know that the best way to combat stress is to remove ourselves from the situations that cause it. But how possible is to remove ourselves from stressful situation in this date and age? How wonderful would be to leave our lives behind and join the Dali Lama in daily meditation? But for must us, it is impossible to leave everything behind.

There are plenty of events that cause stress; situations as divorce or breakups are known to be quit disturbing, discrimination, financial difficulties, uncertain future, and experiences of loss and illness can be life changers.

But, do not despair; there are things that can be done in order to create a more a peaceful existence.

  1. Psychotherapy. Stress is a state of mind; therapy can help on experiencing events in our life in a less stressful manner. Therapy allows you to vocalize your views and believes so that they can be process and better understood.

  2. Relaxation techniques. Relaxation allows for a slowdown of the heart rate, restructures our fight-or-flight reactions, reduces our blood pressure, and increases the blood flow to the brain. Some of these techniques are: Breathing exercises, yoga, taichi, and meditation. These techniques also help us be more effective and to have more control over our impulses. Consider setting aside some time during the day that is only you and for you and practice some form of relaxation. For some free exercises, go to https://cmhc.utexas.edu/mbl_audio1.html and https://cmhc.utexas.edu/mbl_audio2.html.

  3. Massage and self-massage. It involves a combination of strokes that relieve muscle tension. Try gentle chops with the edge of your hands or tapping with fingers or cupped palms.

  4. Exercise. Any form of exercise, been running, walking, swimming, or rowing, increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. Regular physical exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits; It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.

  5. Mindfulness Meditation. This technique is based on the focus of the here and now so we can be fully engaged in the present moment. This is particularly helpful when the greatest source of stress is our negative thinking.

  6. Progressive muscle relaxation. This is an easy visualization based in the mind-body connection. It is based in a body scan geared to finding areas we tend to store stress. It involves the focus on the various parts of the body in order to achieve relaxation of the whole body.

  7. Music. Playing and listening have a very positive effect on stress; The right form of music which causes an experience of “chill” which engages the areas of the brain that involve paying attention, predicting, updating, and memory. Music can improve our sense of wellbeing, our ability to relax, and to exteriorize our feeling.

  8. Comedy. There is a great stress relief in laughter; it stimulates various organs in the body, increases the production of endorphins, laughter cools down our responses to stressful situation, and soothes tension by stimulating circulation and relieves muscle tensions. So go ahead, watch your favorite funny program and go to watch comedy, tell everybody it had been prescribed for your health.

  9. Socializing and altruism. Socialization, or enjoying other people's company and maintaining a sense of connectedness to others, is an important component of stress reduction. Joining a club or group, chatting online, calling a friend on the phone, or hanging out with family are all examples of socialization. These activities decrease a sense of loneliness while promoting feelings of safety, security, belonging and enjoyment. Social support seems to affect our balance of hormones; it increases the levels of a hormone called oxytocin, which functions to decrease anxiety levels and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system calming down responses. In addition, spending time with others directs our energy outward; when we are focused on reaching out to other people, we are temporarily distracted from our circumstances, pain, or stress levels. People who are socially connected feel wanted, included, and cared for. These individuals can talk through problems and share feelings with others (which can decrease stress feelings). So, go out there and make new friends or call old ones.

  10. Hobbies. Hobbies bring a sense of fun and freedom to life that can help to minimize the impact of chronic stress. In other words, hobbies can help buffer the effects of a stressful job, and mitigate factors that contribute to burnout. Pull out your knitting needles: lengthen a scarf tucked in her handbag that you haven’t time to complete yet. Whether you're into gardening, fixing up vintage cars or even knitting; new research has found that hobbies are just as important to good health as exercise is, thanks to their ability to relieve stress. That's right; your love of running model trains is just as good for you as your love of running.

So, start with something small, choose an activity that you enjoy, and continue with the activity until it becomes a source of stress for you. Remember, when it is a matter of stress, a little change can go a long way.

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