Tips to De-Stress

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In today’s world, many people take stress as a given. Work always seems to be stressful, but then there are other things that pile on top of that. Stress from divorce, being in debt, dealing with a child custody battle, being sick…there are so many things that can stress us out. Fortunately, there are a number of ways of dealing with stress. Some people immediately go for medication, but that’s not necessary if you learn how to meditate or practice one of these other forms of de-stressing.

Exercise

Exercising releases certain endorphins that will make you feel happier and more relaxed. Any type of exercise does this, so you don’t have to worry about buying expensive home exercise equipment or paying for a gym membership. If you go for a walk every other day for about 30 minutes at a time, you’ll start to feel the effects. You’ll also get more in shape and benefit from the many different health effects of exercise. If you’re stressed out about your health, this has the added bonus of helping you directly deal with the source of your stress.

Meditation

Meditation is one of the best ways of dealing with stress because it requires absolutely nothing. You can meditate anywhere—at home, at the office, outdoors, in your car while sitting in the parking lot… anywhere you can take a few deep breaths and clear your mind. If you’ve never meditated before, there are a number of different books, websites, and video series that can help you. You can even sign up for a meditation class. Some gyms offer these classes, but you can also find meditation sessions through a local Buddhist temple and from yoga studios.

The first thing you should do when you’re going to meditate is find a quiet place. This isn’t always easy, especially if you’re in the middle of the day with people all around you. But most of the time, you can find a few minutes where you can close your office door or step out of the room. If nothing else, you can step out to your car or even go to the restroom for a few minutes. If you can’t get away from the noise, you may be able to put on headphones to block it out.

Next, get rid of distractions. In today’s world of smartphones, that’s not the easiest thing to do, but realize that the world can do without you for ten minutes. Don’t just put your phone on silent—the vibrate function does make noise and can disturb you. You might also see the blinking light that tells you a new text has arrived. Instead, turn it off. This has the freeing feeling of knowing that you’re now totally off the grid, too. That by itself can be relaxing if you give yourself permission to do so. If you’re going to meditate at your desk, turn off your computer monitor.

Get comfortable. Meditation is about centering yourself mentally and emotionally, and you can’t really do that if you’re not physically comfortable. While many people assume that you have to meditate by sitting in the traditional cross-legged position on the floor, that’s not true. You can meditate in any position, even sitting in a chair or lying down. Whatever is comfortable for you. You will need to be able to take deep breaths, though, so keep that in mind.

As far as meditations go, there are a number of different forms you can go with. Some involve chanting, while others have you hold your hands and position your fingers in certain ways. Some involve lighting a single candle to use as a focal point. You can use any of these methods you find helpful. Sometimes, it’s not possible to have a candle or chant, which is why many people use the simple meditation technique of focusing on their breath.

To do this, you slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, taking long breaths each time. As you breathe in and out, you may want to mentally chant a mantra to help you focus and clear your mind. Others image a specific scene such as a peaceful glade or a lake. Again, it’s all about what works for you. The goal is simply to clear your mind and find a place of calm peacefulness. You want to become the calm eye of the storm, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Aromatherapy

Some people use aromatherapy as a supplement to their meditation or as a way of relaxing and de-stressing by itself. Certain smells from essential oils, potpourri, and candles can be used to trigger different memories, emotions, and feelings. Aromatherapy can help you relax, which is why it’s often used in meditation by adding a scented candle or burning incense. You can also use it in places like the bath or in bed.

Conclusion

Meditation, exercise, and aromatherapy are just three ways you can de-stress and give yourself a chance to recharge. These techniques are all good ways of setting aside the stress of money, work, divorce, or whatever else you have going on. You’ll find that if you take about 10 minutes or so a day to de-stress, you’ll feel much better. You can lower your blood pressure, reduce your chances of having a cardiac episode, and much more. So do whatever you need to—meditate, run around the block, light a candle—to keep your stress levels under control.