Marcela De Vivo is a writer for Bellezza, a Miami spa, yoga enthusiast and business owner in Southern California. As being a mother and running her own business can get very stressful, she makes sure to take care of herself through exercise, eating right and meditating. Follow her on Twitter today!
Everyone feels stress at one point or another in their lives, some feel it more than others and some even more than they should. Regardless of whether you’re in the high-anxiety camp or the nothing ever seems to bother you camp, there’s going to come a time in your life where you’re going to have to deal with stress.
While exercise is a crucial part of your approach when dealing with relieving your body’s stress response, you need to have a full complement of solutions and a more comprehensive approach when it comes to truly dealing with the root of your anxiety.
A healthy body is certainly the best defense, so you want to make sure you’ve got that in place; however, if it’s not enough, and you find yourself facing chronic or intense anxiety, you should take a few more steps to provide yourself with some relief.
At the point where our stress affects our quality of life, or becomes too common we need to break the cycle by taking active steps to prevent and eliminate the stress we’re experiencing so we can get back to square one.
There are plenty of options, but here are some things you will try on your own, without the need for a specialist:
1. Regular Fitness: Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, which can relax and calm your senses, which is why a lot of people will go workout whenever they’re feeling stressed. Try to avoid getting into the habit of only going when you’re stressed, but make it a matter of going on a consistent basis, perhaps two or three times a week if you’re just starting out.
Not only will this help relieve your stress in the short term, but if done consistently, exercise will be your best long-term defense against chronic anxiety. If you’re just starting out, try a three or four week beginner’s workout to help get you in the gym game.
2. Breathing Exercises: It sounds like a cheap fix, but breathing exercises are actually proven to be tremendously effective in reducing stress and improving one’s focus. Depending on the source of your anxiety, there are different breathing exercises that have been practiced for centuries, in both yoga and meditation, to maintain composure and balance.
3. Neurogenic Tremoring: This is a relatively new method of exercise that is designed to help those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The concept is that you intentionally evoke neurogenic tremors for an elongated period of time, which then releases chronic tension. This might be something you’d want to look into if you believe your stress is a result of PTSD.
4. Massages: Even if you just get a few over the span of a couple weeks, massages can have a tremendous impact on your ability to relax, and will help you to avoid anxiety altogether.
When doctors treat patients for stress, they’ll have them do exercises that teach them to relax their muscles and identify areas where they are tensing. A massage can help your body do that naturally, without you having to concentrate on it. Try a couple sessions and see how you’re responding over the course of a few days.
5. Do something you enjoy: One of the best things you can do for stress is to simply take a break from the grind of life and do something you enjoy. Whether that be hiking, watching your favorite TV show, baking, reading, etc, take some time (every day if possible) to do the things you enjoy most and just relax.
Focusing on Life
Chronic stress tends to take your mind away from life and the realities you face, even if it might seem like you’re focusing on negative realities. Although stress is a necessary part of our psychological makeup, it’s important that we don’t allow it to take all of our focus and rob us of our quality of life.