Do you ever feel like your mind is racing like a speed-track and you can’t slow it down? If this is you, you’re probably feeling health effects. So, how do you manage stress, so your mind and body relax rather than race? These stress management techniques will help you overcome stress so you can relax and enjoy life!
Stress Relief Techniques
Does the phrase, “stress relief” bring a sense of calm to you? It does in many people because the term brings up activities you probably enjoy. Whether it’s time at the pool, a massage, a form of exercise, or reading a book. We all have our go-to stress relief activity. Some people even rely on gadgets like stress balls.
While these go-to activities help, consider these other stress relief activities to get rid of stress fast!
There are many forms of yoga. No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong with it, as there are many benefits, especially for stress relief.
Most people are familiar with traditional yoga, which involves different body positions.
You practice Yoga Nidra lying down. It translates to “yogic sleep,” but there’s no sleeping! It’s a form of systematically guided relaxation that transforms your body into heightened awareness.
It involves elements of guided imagery, mental body scans to identify areas of tension and discomfort, and rhythmic breathing but none of the standard yoga poses.
In a state of Yoga Nidra, you relax your senses, body, breath, and conscious and unconscious mind.
When you reach a level of deep relaxation, there’s a positive impact on your body. It relieves stress, improves sleep, reframes negative thoughts, and helps you hit the reset button, so you feel happier.
How to practice Yoga Nidra
So, how do you get started with Yoga Nidra?
Richard Miller is a leader in the teachings of Yoga Nidra and identifies 10 steps to practicing this ancient therapy. The overall idea is to work through your thoughts and emotions, set a goal and focus on your breathing, so you come away with a greater sense of awareness and a healthier well-being.
You can also choose a FREE Yoga Nidra download like this audio guide to walk you through the practice and on the path to more joy.
You can also purchase Yoga Nidra audio sessions from Dr. Gina Sager. She’s undergone training from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the godfather of mindfulness.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that focuses your mind and breathing, through slow and low-impact body movements. It’s perfect for every age and ability, especially older adults or anyone recovering from an injury. Again, the goal is to focus on the present and clear your mind of all your worries.
The Mayo Clinic points out benefits may include decreased stress, anxiety, depression, improved mood, better aerobic abilities, increased energy and stamina, better flexibility, balance and agility, and better muscle strength and definition.
Guided imagery is a technique that directs and focuses your imagination in positive ways. It’s also called guided meditation and self-hypnosis. It’s so powerful, athletes and cancer patients use it to overcome obstacles. It’s a great stress relief technique as well.
During guided imagery, you focus and direct your imagination. For example, a gymnast might imagine what it feels like when she lands a dismount perfectly. You invoke all the senses with this technique – more than just envisioning the performance.
Jane Ehrman, M.Ed., of Images of Wellness and a former Mind/Body Coach on staff at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine for 8 years, describes guided imagery as purposeful daydreaming. You use your imagination while engaging all your senses.
The intense relaxation has positive impacts on your health by relieving pain, improving sleep, reducing stress, and balancing the immune system. According to Ehrman, there are significant benefits pre and post-op, such as the need for less anesthesia, fewer complications, faster healing, and less pain and bleeding.
For a series of guided imagery meditations, Ehrman offers monthly subscriptions to Minute Meditations. None of them are that lengthy, making it easy to find that moment of zen in your busy life.
Plus, small steps you can take to change your life each month.
Mindfulness to relieve stress fast
If you set aside just five minutes a day, you can also practice mindfulness. to relieve stress and anxiety fast. It’s so easy to do, you can use it as a stress relief technique at the office.
It’s a technique where you pay attention to the present, rather than worrying about what happened or what will happen.
You focus on one task at a time, and at the beginning, it’s the simple task of breathing. Observe how you feel with each breath and it develops from there.
Consider reading the bestseller, Wherever You Go, There You Are By Jon Kabat Zinn. It’s about mindfulness in everyday life. You can take a break and do nothing, or use one of the many stress reduction practices to calm down and achieve a more relaxed state. I also offer a complete guide, walking you through all the steps to find success in practicing mindfulness daily.
Take time to do nothing
Though we often complain about being too busy, it seems that human nature these days tends to revel in non-stop activity. It’s almost as if we take on packed schedules, no vacations, and constant technology connection as a badge of honor. We never stop running the race.
When you’re having surgery or flying on a plane, you expect the surgeon or the pilots to be well-rested, focused, clear-headed and have more than enough energy to get the job done. Why should you and your colleagues, friends, and family deserve any less from you?
Doing “nothing” is actively doing something — decompression, reflection, and recharging. Ironically, many of us face more challenges with slowing down and doing so for a long enough period to make a difference, than we do with trying to multi-task and burn the candles at both ends, even though it does not feel right.
So, do nothing! Yes, do it every single day. Even if it’s just five minutes. Over time, gradually increase the number of times per day or the amount of time in a single session you give yourself to clear your mind and relax your body.
Find time each year to take a technology vacation. If you unplug for a few hours a day or even just one day a week, you’ll feel refreshed.
It may be difficult at first. Researchers at the University of Virginia and Harvard found people aren’t happy when they’re alone with nothing to do. They’d rather be doing something. In these studies, the participants did nothing for six to 15 minutes. Yet, they still struggled.
Interestingly, psychologist Timothy Wilson doesn’t blame technology. He thinks smartphones are a response to our need to always have something to do. We just think they’re to blame, but it’s an inherent problem in all of us.
While it’s difficult to do nothing, it’s a proven way to help ease your mind, make you more productive, and happier.
Much like sleep recharges you, the simple step of doing “nothing” may seem small but will do your brain a world of good.
Be Less Stressed
It takes a fundamental shift in your thinking to be less stressed. As the author of “Be Less Stressed” I provide readers with a year’s worth of motivation, resources, and activities to stay focused on your goals without overwhelm.
In the end, you’ll enjoy better health and feel happier!
Addressing stress can positively impact your well-being, your outlook on life, your productivity, and your ability to enjoy life more and get more out of each moment.
What small step are you taking to overcome stress in your life?
As a physician, healthcare executive at a Fortune 100 company, and integrative health practitioner, Z. Colette Edwards, MD, MBA knows the unique value of a holistic, whole-person approach to health and well-being. She also understands the challenges health inequities can present. Known as “The Insight Doctor,” she offers guidance and powerful tools that prepare your body, mind, and spirit for menopause, stress, and inflammatory bowel disease. Lastly, Dr. Edwards coaches individuals in the development of self-advocacy and health system navigation skills.
The foregoing information, resources, links and/or references (collectively, the “Materials”) are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as medical or other professional advice. No representation or warranty of any kind is made in connection with the content of the Materials. The Materials may not be current and no one should take any action based on the Materials without first consulting their healthcare professional.