Stress management is a very multi-faceted topic, and should be approached holistically from many angles.
For starters, diffusing essential oils during relaxation enhances the experience! Relax with your favorite oil combo or just use lavender for a calming, relaxing effect. Let’s look at other ways to enhance our ability to relax.
- Meditation and breathing Dr. Andrew Weil has a few easy breathing techniques on his website which takes no time and are easy to follow – the 4-7-8 technique is particularly great for relaxation.
- Yoga– It helps release hormones that are conducive to relaxation. It is a way to encourage conscious, deep breathing. Hip-opening poses are particularly great for releasing stored stress and emotions.
- Very closely related to yoga is stretching. Taking time to hold a stretch can help you slow down and re-focus your energy. Forward bends, whether seated or standing, are very soothing for the nervous system.
- Exercise regularly – exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, releases endorphin, which is a feel-good hormone. It will take your mind off sugar; in fact, most people report a decrease in food cravings and appetite a few hours post-workout. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block for 15 or 30 minutes during your lunch break – just start moving and build on it.
- Stop multi-tasking– focusing on one thing at a time helps you become more efficient and focused.
- Journaling– set aside a few minutes each morning to journal. Set an intention for the day, write about what you are grateful for, set a couple of goals, and write down what you are going to do to take care of yourself and have fun. Or, just simply write down what is on your mind.
- Practice a bedtime ritual to help you wind down – e.g. turn off the TV, computer or any screens at least an hour before bed; have a warm cup of chamomile tea, or read a book. The blue light from electronic devices can interfere with your ability to relax and fall asleep. Getting enough rest is critical to nourishing the nervous system. When we are sleep-deprived, our body secretes more cortisol, creating a vicious cycle.
- Learn Reiki for self-care. Reiki for self-care is a wonderful way to combine energy healing with a meditative process.
Breathe in, breathe out. I hope this was helpful.