For many people these days, life couldn’t get more hectic.
With an unstable political climate and an economy that’s up and down like a yo-yo, it’s no surprise that stress is becoming a larger health concern. In fact, in 2014 alone, almost 40% of work illnesses was attributed to stress. With such a prevalent issue wreaking this sort of havoc on our personal and professional lives, isn’t it time we did something about it? Well, if you’re suffering from stress through work or anything else, there is some hope. New techniques are developed all the time, some of which prove highly effective – so let’s look at three of the best you might not have tried.
Rightfully touted as the ‘next big thing’ in relaxation and stress-busting, mindfulness is a concept that stems from the Buddhist beliefs of meditation. At its core, mindfulness teaches you to bring your mind into the present moment and stay there for as long as necessary to regain some perspective. By focusing on the feelings in the body and keeping the mind clear, it’s possible to create some ‘headspace’ and disconnect from those feelings of tension and anxiety that come with this condition. You can learn more about mindfulness from authors such as Dr Danny Penman, who has written a book with an accompanying CD / MP3 collection of guided meditations. Even 10 minutes a day practicing mindfulness can have a hugely beneficial impact.
Progressive muscle relaxation
When we’re stressed, we often suffer from knotted muscles and a lot of tension throughout our body. The aim of progressive muscle relaxation is to dispel this using a series of flex and release movements throughout the body. In simple terms, progressive muscle relaxation is done by tensing the muscles in your feet for a few seconds, then releasing. Next, tensing the muscles in your calves, and so on. The idea is to work all the way up the body and release the built-up tension. This method works very well after enjoying a whirlpool bath, due to the fact that your body will be naturally relaxed to some extent already.
There are a number of herbal remedies out there that claim to tackle stress, but only a couple of them have any proven effects. One of these is chamomile, available in the form of teabags in your local supermarket. Switching your regular tea or coffee for chamomile tea can be a fantastic way to keep your stress levels down during a long or hectic day. Other supplements that work in the same way include valerian root, which you can find in capsule form. Again, these have been clinically proven safe; however it’s always worth checking with your GP before taking any supplements because everyone is different. If you’re suffering from the negative effects of stress, why not try one of these techniques? You’ve really nothing to lose – but a lot to gain.
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