When you have been stressed for a long time, it may feel as though that stress is simply part of your life and that you just have to live with it. However, that is not and never should be the case. We all get stressed every now and then, and it is perfectly natural to come across situations in life that are far from our comfort zone, and that makes us feel unnerved and anxious. The problem is when these normal stressful episodes become chronic, meaning that they last for the longer-term, or are even permanent.
Chronic stress can cause heart problems and heart disease, high blood pressure (which leads to stroke), depression, ulcers, and other physical and mental problems, and it should therefore be dealt with as soon as possible. This may not be an easy thing to do, but it is vital for your overall well-being. Here are some ways to lower your stress levels. Remember, if these do not work and you still feel unwell, seek medical advice.
Have A Massage
If it sounds like something you only do when you want to pamper yourself, it’s time to re-think what a massage can do. When you are feeling stressed, it is one of the best ways to relieve that stress and help you to feel better again. Whether you attend a spa and enjoy the other facilities there at the same time or you have a professional masseuse visit you in your home, the result will be the same – you will feel more relaxed and less stressed. A massage will balance your hormones, lowering the cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in your body and raising the serotonin (the happy hormone) levels instead. You will, therefore, feel calmer, happier, and more at peace.
As a side effect, a massage can also help to relieve pain from muscle injuries. Since pain causes stress, this can be an additional help. A massage will allow the muscles to loosen, and when they are less tense, the pain will reduce.
Soak In The Tub
When you have had a stressful day for whatever reason, having a good long soak in the tub can make a big difference. Make sure the water isn’t overly hot as this can raise your blood pressure and make you feel worse than when you got in. A warm bath complete with essential oils and perhaps some candles and music around you, however, can do wonders for your health. The warm water increases the blood flow around your body and any pain that you may have been feeling will be soothed away and you will also feel much more relaxed.
One of the most important elements to enjoying a relaxing soak in the tub is that you need the time to do it. If this means that it needs to be arranged days in advance, then so be it – you need a good hour to really make the most of what this anti-stress technique can do for you.
Visit Your Doctor
Since chronic stress is a recognized illness, and since illnesses will often need a medical professional’s help to deal with eventually, it can be wise to seek that help sooner rather than later. If you continue to try to battle the worst extremes of stress by yourself, then you could make yourself worse rather than better. Visit your therapist or doctor and discuss the options open to you – there is no shame in being stressed, and it is something that many people suffer from due to the fast-paced, digital nature of the world in which we live. Depending on where you live, the healthcare professionals will be able to offer a variety of different solutions from therapy to medical marijuana which you can learn more about here.
Whatever solution is offered it is important to do as your doctor says to ensure that you gain as many benefits from your prescription as possible.
Meditation can be a wonderful way to de-stress and relax more, and it can help in all kinds of ways in your general life too. If you have never tried it before, it can be difficult to get started in, and this is why it might take a while of practice to get it right. The results and the feeling of relaxation and bliss that come with good meditation, however, are well worth the effort of learning how to do it right. To effectively meditate you need to make your mind as blank as possible, ‘zoning out’ if you can. When your mind is blank, you won’t be worrying about anything, and you can truly allow your body to rid itself of any tension and stress. If you can do this for just 10 minutes each day, how you live your life will be vastly improved.
Following on from the idea of meditation is something linked closely to it – breathing exercises. When you are feeling stressed, your breathing will change and you will take much shorter, shallower breaths. This means that less oxygen is getting to your brain and other organs, and as such your entire body will stop functioning in the way it is supposed to, and you will feel unwell. If you can, stop and take some deep breaths when you are feeling stressed. This will improve the oxygen flow around your body and allow you to think more clearly.
Making regular exercise part of your daily routine can help hugely with your stress levels and ensure they are lowered. Not only that, but as a bonus, you will also become much healthier and fitter (which will give you less to worry about in the process). Exercise de-stresses because it encourages you to focus fully on what you are doing, and therefore you won’t be thinking about the things that are causing you so many problems in other aspects of your life. Your brain will therefore be told that everything is fine, and it will send out signals to the rest of your body to that effect, reducing your stress levels immediately.