Relaxation Techniques for Stress Management

By regularly participating in a relaxation techniques for stress management, you will be able to manage stress and keep anxiety at bay. When we are chronically stressed, it's easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. Much of the time we become overwhelmed and consumed by by these stressors and forget about spending time doing the things we enjoy.

Plan a Scheduled Time Just for You

When you take the time each day to invest in yourself and the things you want to do, you are investing in your own stress management and good mental health. A big part of overcoming the stress, anxiety and depression in your life means taking the time necessary to plan for your own enjoyment. Although it may be hard to picture yourself enjoying anything right now, especially if you are consumed with anxiety, panic, or depression, but through taking the time to participate in a relaxation techniques for stress management you are being proactive in your own recovery. These activies help us to get out of our heads and into the present moment. Being present in the "here and now", helps interrupt the negative cycle of obsessive, negative thoughts that often plague anxiety sufferers. Maybe you are thinking, "I can't, I'm too tired, I don't feel like it, I'm afraid, I can't focus"... but no matter what excuses you come up with to sabotage your efforts, you need to choose to do it anyway. Only through taking this time and actually participating, will you begin to take steps towards your own recovery. Maybe, you don't know what your good at or what you enjoy? Maybe, it has been a long time since you have taken time for yourself and you feel like you have lost touch with who you are. This is very common with workaholics and those with a lot of demands, such as caretakers and business owners. Either way, you are encouraged to be patient with yourself and try different things until you find something you enjoy. Adding pressure is not something that you want to do to yourself, but instead, you want to float with it and try to have a little funas you explore your options until you find something you really like to do.

Benefits of Using Relaxation Techniques for Stress Management

There are mental and physical benefits to participating in relaxation techniques for stress management. You are giving yourself permission to step outside of your own head. It is important to the take time each day and to focus your attention on something outside of yourself, something other than the things that stress you out. For some people, the idea of doing anything at all may seem impossible but it is only through daily practice that you will help break the negative cycle of stress and negative thinking. The more you get outside your head and practice being in the current moment, active with your activity, the better and easier it will be. When practiced regulary, you'll eventually notice a positive change in how you are thinking and feeling. Taking time for yourself each day is not selfish no matter what you think, or what others have made you believe. After all, if you don't take care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of others? This is especially important if you are a parent or a caretaker. Taking time just for you is time to refuel your mental and physical energies. It is the healthy choice!

Stress Management Activities

  • Physical Exercise - Exercise reduces stress. Physical activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, lifting weights, sports to name a few, are all helpful in keeping our stress levels down and promotes good mental and physical health. Exercise is also one of the BEST stress reducers. It burns away excess adrenaline generated by stress and reduces the fight-or-flight response.

  • Gardening - Whether indoors or outdoors, large or small, gardening is a great way to help alleviate stress.

  • Photography - Photography is a creative and fun hobby that can help distract you from the stress, anxiety, and depression you may be feeling.

  • Massage - Massage not only feels good but it relieves stress and has many health benefits. Whether done by a professional or through self-massage, when done regularly it can provide long lasting results for stress management.

  • Home Spas & Day Spas - Spas create a wonderful relaxing experience while promoting stress reduction for the body and mind. Day spas are a wonderful treat that will enhance your personal stress management program. On a budget? You can still create the atmosphere you long for through home spas.

  • Scrapbooking - Imagine sorting through your favorite photos and placing them together in a unique and creative way! Scrapbooking is not only one of the hottest hobbies around, it's a great stress management activity that you can use to balance the stress in your life.

  • Woodworking - This hobby is loved by many and provides an outlet for relieving and balancing stress. People make all kinds of things with wood. Whether big or small, the projects that are created are very rewarding.

  • Reading - Everything from Romance, Sci-Fi, Biographies to Self-Help, there are books for everyone of all interests. Reading is a great way to take time for yourself, to de-stress and put your mind on something else.

  • Beachcombing - There is nothing like taking time at the beach. The beach is a great place to lay down your burdens and soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean. Whether you are searching for seashells, sea glass or taking a walk looking for buried treasures, the beach is a great place to lose your stress!

  • Journaling - Taking time each day to write about your thoughts, feelings or even your ideas is a very helpful way to relieve stress. It helps us to empty our thoughts onto paper and see them clearly for what they really are.

  • Prayer & Meditation - This quiet time is priceless. Handing over our burdens through prayer and meditation is a great way to release negative stressors and put them into the hands of a higher power. Many people have a habit of meditating on negative things but through learning positive meditation you can learn to let go and accept on a much deeper level.

  • Arts & Crafts - The creativity of arts and crafts enable people of all kinds to express themselves without limits. Are you creative? Do you have a hobby that is unique or do you have a special gift in the arts? Maybe it's time for you to explore and have some fun!

  • Music - Most people find enjoyment and stress reduction through music. Whether you play an instrument, sing or just listen for enjoyment, music has a way of touching our mind, body and soul.

  • Maintaining an Aquarium- Ever just find yourself staring at the fish in an aquarium? Aquariums have the ability to calm and soothe and bring peaceful feelings that melt your stress away. Studies show that having a home aquarium can contribute to your mental health.

  • Stress Relieving Puzzles & Games - Placing your focus on these puzzles and games are a great way to distract yourself from everyday stressors and build brain activity at the same time. Most stress relieving puzzles and games are small enough to take anywhere.

  • Mini Vacations, Road Trips, Sight Seeing - Taking time away from home is a great way to relieve stress. Sometimes just a break from those things that we associate with stress in our everyday lives is just what the doctor ordered.

  • Fishing, Boating - These are both great activities that can help to relieve stress and bring you into the fresh air. They are not only fun but very rewarding as well.

  • Cooking, Baking - Like to cook new meals or bake healthy goodies? Maybe you don't know how to cook but want to learn. Either way cooking is an activity that many enjoy. It has the ability of relieving stress and bringing people together. Healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals help boost our body's immune system, making us less susceptible to illness due to stress.

  • Sewing, crochet, knitting, needlepoint - These hobbies have been used for many years to relieve stress and promote creativity.

  • Stress Management Tips

    So, what else can you do? Here are some great tips for making your relaxation techniques for stress management successful and enjoyable.

    Prioritize Your Life - Find a Healthy Balance

    Set your priorities in order! Before participating in a stress management activity, be sure to take care of the important things first. If you are entering into stress management with knowing you have something important that needs to be done and is waiting for you to take care of it, it can interfere with your ability to relax and actually enjoy your activity. So, prioritize your concerns and take care of the most important things first.

    Laugh - Like they say, "Laughter is the Best Medicine"

    That's right! Laughter changes the brain to involve more positive, feel good brainwaves. You have nothing to lose but only to gain, because laughter brings positivity to your life and health to your mind and body. It is an effective stress management strategy that can have a profound long-term stress-relieving affect. Encourage yourself to smile, laugh and be more joyous!

    Control Your Emotions - Effective Ways to Keep Yourself in Check

    Learn to stop overreacting! There is no room for bad attitudes during your stress management activity. When you feel yourself stressing out to an unhealthy level, remind yourself that "this too shall pass", give yourself permission to let it go during the time you spend practicing stress management. You have plenty of time to look at those stressful things later on, and decide a better way to respond to your problems. Be realistic! Is it worth the reaction you are giving it?

    Visualization Exercises - Forecasting Positive Realistic Outcomes

    By visualizing success you create a less stressful response in your reality. Learn to be visually optimistic! This will bring balance to your emotions and help your anticipatory anxiety. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. Visualize success before attempting your goals. A little visualization goes a long way.

    Stop Procrastinating - Turn your worries into real solutions!

    Turn worries into solutions. Worrying makes you feel bad and it does not serve any purpose at all. Many of our worries can be put to rest simply by doing something about it. By taking action, we are taking control. Even if we cannot solve a problem, we can control how we react to it. Part of finding a solution to something we cannot control, is figuring out how we can look at something and turn our problems into opportunities for growing. When we put things off, they tend to pile up, it is more enjoyable participating in a stress management activity when we dont have a bunch of stuff just sitting and waiting for our undivided attention.

    Slow Down During Stress

    Learn To Slow Down During Stress: If we are always rushing around and keeping busy then we never feel like we can really ever relax. Everyone needs time to take a break and recharge. Time times to enjoy the things around you that really matter. And, don't rush through your stress management activity, that just defeats that purpose! Take your time - and if you have a lot to do, then set aside time specified for stress management.

    Talk Therapy - An Effective Stress Management Tool

    Talk Therapy: Talk to someone! By talking to a trusting friend you can reduce stress tremendously. Plan events with friends, a time to relax and talk. If you don't have any good friends you can do this with, then plan a time to speak with someone who will listen and help support you. This person could be a Therapist, a Life Coach, a trusted Pastor of your church, or even a family member.

    Make Time for Fun

    Have Some Fun When Coping With Stress: Learn to balance work and play. Setting aside time for yourself is healthy so do not feel guilty for doing it. Do something you enjoy!

    Progressive Muscle Relaxation - It Really Works!

    Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation: The more you practice progressive muscle relaxation to relax the body, the better results you will have. This will help produce the automatic relaxation response when done on a regular basis.

    Isometric Exercises for Everyday Situations

    Isometric Exercises: Isometric exercises can be done just about anywhere. Whether you are driving in your car or just sitting in a waiting room at the doctors office, they can be done discreetly and bring effective relief when you are stressed out and don't know what to do with all that extra stressful energy.

    Time Management -Balancing Your Time for Less Stress

    Time Management: Be realistic with your time. Do not try to cram so much in such a small time frame. Accept it when things pop-up, because they always do, even if you don't plan for them. Plan a realistic amount of time to do the things you want to do. If you find you didn't have enough time to work on your relaxation techniques, then adjust the time to suit you better next time. Don't stress over it. It's okay to adjust things at you go.

    Get a Good Night Sleep

    Get Some Sleep! A good nights rest goes a really long way! If you are having trouble sleeping, learn what you can do for insomnia. There are things you can do that will make a world of difference.

    Talk to yourself Properly and focus on the positive

    How you talk to yourself matters more than you realize. Try to stay focused on whats good in your life. Even if something negative happens, try to find something positive about it. Remind yourself of the good that is in your life. Make a list on paper, so you can see it with your own eyes!

    Use Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace

    Meditation: As you breathe in, imagine that you are inhaling peace, that is, imagine that peace is filling you up, coming in through your lungs and circulating around your body. As you exhale, visualize all the stress and negativity leaving your body through your nose and mouth. After several repetitions, you should feel your stress significantly lessened.

    Additional Resources for Stress Management

    DIY Stress Relief offers natural, hands-on ways to combat the negative effects of stress on your health. Tips and techniques for inducing relaxation; including meditation, breathing, using essential oils and herbs, as well as massage and other lifestyle tips.

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