Even it you’ve kicked stress out, it’s always looking for an opportunity to come back. Sometimes it’s obvious, like an illness or scrambling to finish a project or getting your taxes done at the last minute. Many times it’s very subtle, with just a little thing here or there and before you realize it, stress has unpacked its bags and has made itself at home. It then commences to kink up your neck, keep you awake, disrupt your concentration, and in general make you miserable.
Toss out stress along with those leftovers you can’t identify anymore. Here are four quick ways to keep stress at bay.
Meditation does not have to be about turning your body into a pretzel, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day. Take a minute to do some deep breathing and observe how your mind slows down and things seem a little less urgent and more manageable.
It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule fills up and tensions get high. But that’s when it becomes even more important and helps the most. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness as well as giving you an energy boost. If you can’t make time for daily workouts, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.
Laughter and Music
Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication.
So cue up the “Who’s on first?” or dance around with your kids while making dinner and work some giggling and humming into your day.
I’m sure you saw this one coming, but it is true. Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve your mood. Plus, massage feels good. When you feel good, you play more, laugh more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a massage now and send stress packing.
Commit to taking care of yourself! You may be surprised with the results.
Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio. Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com