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We all know that stress is a huge part of our modern society. Up to 95% of visits to a health care practitioner can be stress-related.
So, what can one do for stress relief?
There are a number of activities you can do or habits you can adopt to immediately lessen stress and its negative effects on your health. The point here is for you to implement a couple of these stress reduction techniques and weave them into your lifestyle so you can start reducing the stress in your life now.
Deep Breathing in the Early Morning: Deep relaxation and oxygenation of the cells at the same time, which also boosts energy. The best time I find is around 8 A.M, shortly after rising. Do it as a normal routine at home next to a window or sliding door that is open so you are breathing in fresh air.
Deep Breathing to Vent Stress, as needed: If you find yourself in a stressful situation at work, or in the home, and need to vent right away, do the following steps:
- While sitting down, take a deep, long, slow breathe through your nose.
- Hold your breathe for six seconds.
- Then breathe out slowly through your nose or mouth for six seconds.
- Finally, pause for another six seconds.
- Repeat this cycle five more times.
The above procedure will definitely relax you.
Yoga Practice in the Late Morning: Learn to perform Sun Salutation, Postural, and Yin Yoga sequences. The poses in each sequence will relax you, as well as tone the body, improve flexibility, and impart postural gains.
In addition, yoga helps to soothe the mind and lower stress levels by focusing the mind on the moment and the movements rather than on external distractions. The best time is around 10:00 A.M. after you have had time to move around for a couple of hours. The latest research recommends that the back muscles are really tight first thing in the morning, so it is best to wait and warm-up your back with some regular movement before starting your yoga session.
Considering the scientifically proven link between stress and nearly every single negative health condition, we know that anything truly capable of reducing long-term stress, such as yoga, has enormous health implications.
The same can be said for yoga's ability to improve sleep problems, which are, like stress, epidemic in modern North Americans, and which are proven to harm your health in significant ways.
Meditation Practice in the Mid-Afternoon: Twenty minutes in a timeless state each day to clear the chatter from the mind. There is no past or future while in a meditative state, just the present. Learn to do it. The best time I find is around 3 P.M.
Stretching in the Late Afternoon: Total body stretching should be done after a workout, but do not stretch muscles that are cold before your workout. However, for tension in the neck and upper back, stretch the muscles in the neck region to reduce stress, when needed.
Walking in the Early Evening: Better and easier relaxation and sleep after walking, especially interval walking. Start with regular walking, then progress to brisk walking, and finally up the intensity even higher and try interval walking.
Relaxation Music in the Late Evening: De-stressing CDs and certain types of music, such as jazz and classical, dramatically reduce stress. Use the music to wind down while laying on the couch. Consciously, listen to the sound, and tune everything else out of your mind.
That concludes the stress relief article.