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Stress is an unfortunate fact of modern life. The hurried, demanding rigors of our daily lives require much of us – and stress is often an unavoidable result of busy schedules, challenging jobs, and taxing children and partners.
A small level of psychological stress is a normal thing for most people. Stress is a natural physiological adaptation that can be quite beneficial in some situations.
However, excessive stress can lead to truly dangerous conditions like ulcers, headaches, strokes, heart attacks, and other harmful afflictions – as well as mental health issues like depression, anxiety.
And while it’s neither possible nor beneficial to totally eliminate stress from your life, there are many simple steps you can take toward managing your stress more effectively and keeping your mind and body in peak condition. Check out these three simple stress management exercises, and take control of your mental and emotional health today.
1. Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises offer an excellent method by which you can refocus your mental energies on something simple, calming, and relaxing – a steady inhalation and exhalation of breath.
Performing a basic deep breathing exercise is very simple. Sit in a comfortable chair, or seated cross-legged on the floor. Ensure that you are comfortable in your surroundings, and free of distraction.
Inhale very deeply through your nose, and breathe out through your mouth. Repeat. Focus on nothing but your breathing. Feel the air as it moves through your nose, into your lungs, and then out of your mouth – hold only the action of breathing in your mind, and discard everything else. Repeat as desired.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Stress is surprisingly physiological in nature. You hold a lot of stress in your muscles – and you may not even realize it. Progressive muscle relaxation is a simple way to relieve your muscles of stress.
Lay flat on your bed, or on a comfortable flat surface. Begin by tensing up your muscles – and then focus on relieving the tension in your body, beginning with your toes. Concentrate on releasing your muscles entirely, section by section, working your way up from your toes – calves, legs, abdomen, upper body, neck, shoulders, and head. Hold yourself in this state for up to 30 seconds, and then repeat as desired.
This technique allows you to focus on your muscles and the stress contained within by actively relaxing each muscle group.
3. Autogenic Visualization
This can be thought of as your “happy place” technique or “safe place” exercise. In this stress relaxation technique, you begin with an image from within – a memory that makes you happy, a place at which you love spending time, or a person who is special to you.
Focus on that image – focus on the physical sensations and meaning of the image in your mind, and concentrate on breathing deeply and steadily while thinking of that perfect mental image.
This technique allows you to divert your attention from any current issues you may have, and focus on something positive. Doing so minimizes stress by reminding you of the good things in your life.
Share Your Feelings With Paralign
Stress cannot be contained. No matter how well you control your stress, it will make its way into your day-to-day life, unless you connect and communicate with someone who can understand your feelings, whether that be a professional psychiatrist, a friend, a family member, or even a stranger on Paralign.
Paralign allows strangers to communicate anonymously. Hence among others, it is a great digital sanctuary who are suffering from feelings of psychological stress to connect with one another – to share their techniques for dealing with stress and their feelings about their situations, aiding in stress management.
So if you’re feeling stressed, don’t hold it in. Try one of these stress management exercises, and sign up for Paralign to communicate with others who can understand your perspective.