“Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts.” -Unknown
As someone who suffers from anxiety, when the stress level in my life goes up, my anxiety increases. It is impossible to escape all stress, it comes from work, family, neighbors, or even traffic. This week I have felt extra stressed out. When this happens, I begin to feel panic attacks and my anxiety causes me to feel sick. Once you have noticed the early signs of stress and anxiety, you may learn relaxation techniques to prevent them from becoming severe.
Learning to relax takes time. I have learned to use the following relaxation techniques to help me decrease the stress, tension and anxiety.
A Moment for Myself: 10 Relaxation Techniques to Help with Stress and Anxiety.
- Deep breathing: If possible remove your shoes, loosen your clothing and live down on the floor with your eyes closed and your arms relaxed by your sides. Breathe in slowly through your nose and visualize your lungs expanding and filling with air as you do so. When you have reached your maximum lung capacity, hold your breath for a moment before exhaling slowly (through your nose) to empty your lungs fully. On the next inhale, keep the inhalation short (2 to 3 seconds) then gradually increase the length of every exhalation up to 7 to 8 seconds. Concentration on keeping the air movement slow and continuous.
- Visualization: Sit comfortably in a quiet place with low lighting and close your eyes. Retreat in your mind to a beautiful desert island or a garden filled with plants and flowers of all colors. Using all of your senses to explore this imaginary world. Bring in your sense of smell and hearing. Delight in this scene until you feel calm. When your feel ready to do so let the image slowly fade from your mind, gently bring your awareness back to the present and gently open your eyes.
- Regulate your “body clock”. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Getting into a routine will help your body clock and help with any sleep problems. If you don’t get enough sleep you can’t cope well.
- Finding humor in things. I will take a half hour break and watch a comedy show on TV. Or check my favorite funny Instagram posters or YouTubers.
- Keep a journal for venting, and at the end of every entry close with something positive. To help de-stress before bedtime: write down any nagging thoughts from the day in your journal.
- Practice good nutrition. When stressed out, I always seem to reach for the wrong foods. I try to keep a good supply of nuts, seeds,veggies and fruit for those moments. Also, I try to practice moderation. If I need some chocolate, I will eat one piece or a small mini candy bar.
Cooking a delicious dinner. My favorite fish taco in a bowl.
- Exercise. I love to take a short walk at lunch time or at the end of the day. Walking is excellent for decreasing body tension and alleviating stress.
- Avoid nicotine and caffeine. Both will increase your heart rate and release adrenaline.
- Do things that show respect, care, and nurturing of yourself. Taking care of your self. I will take the time for a face mask, or a warm bath, or even a mani/pedi. Practice a visualization technique or breathing technique.
- Take time to do activities that you enjoy. When stressed, we will often tell ourselves we do not have time for people, or events or our hobbies. This is the time you should do them. Sometimes you have to put everything aside to relax and have fun.
I hope you find these helpful in reducing your overall levels of stress and anxiety. If you have something you do to relax and decrease your anxiety, please let me know.