Most of us are stressed. According to a 2018 Mental Health Foundation study, 74 percent of people felt so stressed they were actually overwhelmed and struggled to cope.
In America, the number was even higher, with eight out of ten people feeling stressed more than once a day.
Things such as work, kids and comparing yourself to others are always cited as key causes of stress, as are relationship issues, money worries and even social media and technology.
Triggers are all around us, and a long-term worried mind can have a seriously negative effect on the body, with problems such as insomnia, high blood pressure, diabetes and even heart conditions all being linked to stress.
However, not all hope is lost. There are steps you can take to relax your mind and manage your stress. Here are some of the best.
Identify causes of stress
You can’t relax your mind if you don’t address the things around you that are triggering stress. Ignoring the signs in the hope they will go away may not be an effective technique because it compounds the feeling of being overwhelmed. However, by breaking down all the stressors in your life, you can take action and overcome each one, thus regaining control, which is in itself an empowering act.
Slow your breathing
This is a special, calming type of breathing technique that can help relax a worried mind and only takes a few minutes. Take a deep breath through your nose, making sure the air flows down to the stomach region. Exhale through your mouth slowly. It’s important to keep a gentle rhythm, and counting up to 5 and back down as you breathe may help. By slowing down and breathing gently, it sends a signal to the brain to relax.
Have a massage
To relax the mind, you must relax the body, and few things are more relaxing than a massage. A good rub down can not only release tension in the muscles and relieve aches and pains, but it can also lower stress levels and promote a state of relaxation that stays with you long after the session is over.
Run a bath
Another great way of relaxing your mind that requires you to do absolutely nothing! A nice, warm bath is known to help everything from muscle pains to mood and stress levels, as well as improve your general health and even skin conditions. Add some lavender-infused Epsom salts to truly sooth your body and mind.
Read a book
We live in a technology-saturated world, with mobile phones that constantly demand our attention, social media posts that get our blood boiling and screens in general that lead to a sensory overload. Sometimes, there’s nothing better for the mind than to sit back and shut off the outside world by opening a nice, engrossing book. There won’t be any annoying notifications, no vibrations or calls. It’ll be just you and the story.
Have a nap
According to a 2018 study, 20 percent of Americans have a sleep disorder and people on average get under seven hours of sleep a night. To put that into perspective, the average person in 1910 got nine hours of sleep. While napping is not the panacea to a bad night’s sleep, a quick 20-30 minute snooze can work wonders for our mood and alertness and is a great way of relaxing in a world where that’s quite a hard thing to do.
We all have a lot on our mind, so sometimes it’s just great to do an activity that directs all our attention away from the stressful situations to an easy, achievable goal like lifting a heavier weight, reaching the next 5km running goal or perfecting a yoga position. Moreover, exercise is proven to increase the release of endorphin chemicals, which are also known as the ‘feel-good hormones’.
Try a new hobby
We’re creatures of routine and once in a while it’s good to throw ourselves a curveball that reignites our passion for life and activities, and gives our minds something new and exciting to work on. Go out and try pottery or the latest craze, glass blowing!
Go to the movies
Occasionally, there’s nothing better than getting lost in a story on the silver screen. Sitting back in a dark room and letting your mind wander away from outside stresses and mobile phones is a great way to relax the mind!
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(Provided by: Buzz60)