Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Feeling Stressed Out???

Stress is an inevitable part of our daily life. We all have stress sometimes. What causes stress for some people may not be stressful to others. Sometimes stress is helpful –it can encourage you to get things done. But of course you have to manage and control stress to keep it within certain limits. However, long term stress may be harmful to our body. It increases the risk of some diseases like depression and heart disease.

Researcher Walter Cannon recognized stress as a problem seven decades ago when he suggested that humans react to stressful events with physical and psychological responses that prepare their bodies for either "fight or flight." Stress also contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction and other harmful behaviors.

If you’re looking for some relaxation techniques…try some of these…maybe this can help…

Get a massage

A good massage is not only relaxing, but it may also have some real healing benefits. Therapeutic massages can be given practically anywhere, ranging from a 15-minute massage of the shoulders and back for someone sitting in a chair to an hour-long, head-to-toe massage on a padded massage table.

Breathe in

You've heard of the expression, "take a breather"? Sometimes just five minutes of a little R&R (rest and relaxation) is enough to decompress. This little five-minute exercise was printed in Mademoiselle magazine:

1. Lie down in a dark, quiet room.

2. Take slow, deep breaths, consciously relaxing your feet, ankles and all the way up through your torso to your head and neck.

3. Imagine a place that's tranquil (Bermuda's nice); focus on that image for at least five minutes.

Say yes to yoga

Yoga is a system of exercises (called asanas) for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being. These exercises or postures, called asanas, can increase circulation, improve mobility and bring clarity of mind. There are different styles of yoga. Hatha yoga is probably the most well known in the United States. "Ha" means sun and "tha" means moon, so hatha yoga describes the practice used to balance your system.

In yoga, it is important to learn how to use the correct patterns of breathing to get the most out of your yoga session. The philosophy is that the breath, the mind and the body are so closely linked that whatever you do to one will affect the other. Correct breathing is practiced and observed before meditation and asanas. It's believed that correct breathing alone can relax your entire body, rid it of unwanted toxins and rid your mind of anger, stress, tension and worry.

There are thousands of yoga exercises. Consult a trained yoga teacher or seek medical advice from a doctor first before beginning a program.

Try Tai Chi

Tai Chi chuan (Tai Chi) is an ancient, widely practiced Chinese martial arts form. Like yoga, it is designed to enhance both physical and emotional well-being. Tai Chi consists of breathing exercises superimposed on a series of postures that flow into one another through connecting transition moves. These slow, graceful and precise body movements are said to improve body awareness and enhance strength and coordination while helping the practitioner achieve inner peace.

Advantage to Tai Chi is its low risk of injury. Tai Chi movements are not overly strenuous and are done very slowly. Tai Chi classes, books and instructional videotapes are relatively inexpensive. And once you learn how to do Tai Chi, all you need is about 10 square feet of empty space to practice at home, in a park or even on the beach.

A sniff of lavender

Just about everyone has felt the powerful nudge of "smell memory" whenever they inhale the aroma of a favorite food. Perhaps it's fresh baked cookies that evoke childhood memories of baking with Mom.

That is the way aromatherapy works. Aromatherapy, which relies on the use of essential volatile oils of flowers and fruits to cause biochemical effects, has been proven to have positive effects on the mood. As volatile essential oils are inhaled, they activate receptors in the olfactory bulb at the top of the nasal cavity. These, in turn, induce nerve impulses, which travel rapidly to the brain, where they trigger responses in areas involved in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, emotions, stress levels and sexual arousal. When it comes to stress, lavender is supposed to be particularly uplifting.

No comments: