Spas in Ireland

Easy Ways to Beat Stress

By , August 9, 2010

Stress is one of those things that unfortunately we all experience.  Work, family and friends can all be sources of anxiety and often there is very little we can do to control it.  However we do have power over how we react to stressful situations, and doing so in a positive manner can actually be essential to your health.

Stress has been linked to a multitude of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, a weakened immune system, ulcers and depression. It has also been implicated as a possible factor in many cancers and other serious illnesses.

So while we can’t always remove the causes of stress from our lives, there are some easy ways to deal with the resulting urges to tear you hair out.  And the best part is, the seven we have listed here all cost nothing!

Turn Off
Take some time every day to turn off the mobile, blackberry, laptop and any other devices you can be reached by.  Try to last an hour without them as well as the television, radio and newspapers.  Cutting yourself off from the world, even for a short time, will help you gather your thoughts and compose yourself.  With no distractions you may even be forced to relax.

Have a Hobby
Simple activities like cooking, painting or gardening can give you something stress-free to concentrate on every day.  Physical movement is important for relieving stress, even if it isn’t strenuous. 

Many studies have shown that laughter really can be the best medicine.  Even forcing yourself to laugh or smile can lift your mood so watch a funny film (or youtube clip if you’re in work) or call up an old friend who you know will rouse a chuckle.

If you really feel more like crying than laughing, do.  Obviously weeping uncontrollably at your desk may not be an option, but if you can get a quiet moment crying is actually very therapeutic.  Tension builds up in our chest muscles when we are deeply upset or angry and crying opens up the diaphragm to release this.  It also increases oxygen flow and releases chemicals that promote relaxation.

And concentrate on it.  Breathing is something we do without noticing, which can mean we don’t always do it in the most efficient of ways.  If stress is building, take just one minute to breathe slowly and deeply and concentrate on it as hard as you can.  This will relax you and push all other thoughts from your mind for awhile.  Try yoga or other similar relaxation techniques if you have a little more time.

This is the best way you can fight stress and boost energy levels.  If you come home at the end of the day harbouring a lot of pent up anger, go for a run.  A short burst of giving it all you’ve got will release a lot of the tension you are holding.  Otherwise, take up a sport like kickboxing to help you vent.

Stress can leave you feeling like there are a hundred thoughts running around your head at once.  The only way to get them out of there is to express them.  Find a ranting partner in the form of a friend, family member or better half and allow yourselves time in the evenings to share the day’s major events and minor irritations.  You may find yourself laughing about incidents that had you furious earlier on.


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