In all the beauty, laughter and excitement life can bring us, there are of course times of stress. Stress is inevitable; No matter how hard we try, we can never avoid it. It’s universal and everyone throughout their lives will encounter stressful situations, perhaps even daily.
Stress has been proven to cause physical and emotional problems in the body such as headaches and emotional distress. Studies have shown that stress can contribute to and worsen serious health conditions in the body such as obesity and heart problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, recognized by U.S News and World Report as the best hospital in the nation 2014 – 2015, stress can have negative effects on your body, mood and behavior. Negative effects on your body can include headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive or sleep problems. The Mayo Clinic also stated that problems from stress cause mood problems such as anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation, irritability or depression while behavioral problems can include overeating or under eating, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol abuse, tobacco use and social withdrawal.
Relax and Lower Stress For Health, Well Being
Because we know stress is everywhere and hard to avoid, the main struggle becomes how to cope and deal with stress in a healthy and productive way. Stress can be like an illness, if not combated it can swallow you whole. So, it’s healthy to incorporate activities or other ways to de-stress and relax your life on a daily or weekly basis.
Everyone finds solace in different places whether it’s a solo bike ride, a day at the spa or a long night’s rest. If you feel stuck in the aggressive bustle of daily life, consumed by responsibilities, obligations and stress, here are a few ways to keep yourself relaxed, your body calm and your mind clear of negativity.
- Nature – Wherever you are, get out in nature. Scientists have proved that sunlight eases depression, but more recently researchers have expanded on the theory of ecotherapy, or green therapy, which explains that spending time in nature boosts mental health. The University of Essex released a study published by the mental health organization, Mind, in which researchers found that taking a walk in nature reduced depression scores in 71 percent of participants. If nature walks aren’t your thing, try starting a small garden indoor or outdoors.
- Aromatherapy – One of the most nostalgic things in life is the power of scent. By filling your house with good scents that trigger happy memories, the mind can ease and the body feels relaxed and calm. Oil burners and oil diffusers are great for this and can have purer scents versus general wall plug-ins.
- Hobbies – The best way to ease stress is to forget about it. Immerse yourself in something, whether it’s an art project or an intense book, anything that takes the mind to another place outside of the stress world will help to forget and relax.
- Cook – Sometimes stress can be inflated by poor diet. When you eat too fast, there’s no time to stop and appreciate the food. Take a day to slow down, pick a favorite recipe, hit the grocery store and spend some time in the kitchen. When you take the time to think about the food, use the energy to cook and prepare, you can taste all the love and effort that’s involved. There’s nothing like a satisfying home cooked meal. Plus, cooking a successful meal is an accomplishment and it’s something that can be shared with others.
- Movement – Movement therapy is known to have benefits on the body and mood. Movements like dancing, tai chi, yoga, swimming, or just stretching, moving the body has been proven to heighten positive self-image, self- esteem and overall health.