Have you ever searched for stress reduction activities to stay fresh, healthy, energetic, and perform your work efficiently? It is critical to reduce stress to perform your activities efficiently because feeling anxious and stressed at work can cause negative physical and emotional health effects. Stress triggers physiological responses that alternate functions of the nervous, immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems such as an increased level of circulating inflammatory factors, elevated cortisol levels, increased heart rate, and blood pressure (Van Der Zwan et al., 2015). Numerous stress reduction activities activate your body’s natural relaxation response. The Natural relaxation response is a state of complete rest that slows your breathing and heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, puts the brakes on stress, and brings your body and mind back into balance. The Natural relaxation response can be achieved by practicing different activities such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, rhythmic exercise, body scan meditation, and various types of yoga.
The best activity is the one that resonates with you, fits your lifestyle, and focuses your mind to allow a relaxation response. The selection of the best activity can be done by some trial-and-error method and its regular practice can help reduce stress and anxiety, boost energy and mood, improve sleep, and improve overall health and wellbeing.
Deep breathing is a simple and easy stress reduction activity. It is practiced by following some steps:
- Sit comfortably with the back straight.
- Put one hand on the chest and the other on the stomach.
- Then breathe in through the nose.
- The Hand on the stomach should rise.
- The hand on the chest should move truly little.
- Afterward, exhale through the mouth.
- Push out as much air as can.
- The hand on the stomach should move in an exhale.
- The other hand should move truly little.
- Continue to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Try to inhale enough so that the lower abdomen rises and falls.
- Count slowly as exhale.
Visualization is another stress reduction activity that involves imagining a scene in which one can feel peace and free to let go of all anxiety. It can be practiced by following some steps:
- Close eyes.
- Imagine a restful place.
- Picture it as vividly as can.
- Everything sees, hear, smell, taste, and feel.
Rhythmic movement and mindful exercise are another way to get someone to relax and keep in a flow of repetitive movement. It involves running, walking, swimming, dancing, rowing, and climbing.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
It is a simple exercise that involves tension and releases all the muscles in the body, working your way up from the feet and toes to the head. Deep muscle relaxation helps to reduce physiological stress.
- Find a comfortable place whether you are sitting or lying down.
- Try to tighten and loosen each large muscle for about five seconds and then relax the muscles.
- It starts with a few breaths in the abdomen. Change, grasp, and relax each major muscle group, working your way up or down the body.
- And Try and notice the difference between a tense and open-air situation that smells as you strengthen muscles and exhale as you relax and move on.
- Once you have mastered this process, you can do a quick version where the complete muscle groups are relaxed and relaxed at the same time.
Yoga is involved in reducing anxiety and stress and it can also improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. It involves a series of moving and stationary poses, along with deep breathing. Various types of yoga reduce stress. Power yoga is a type that focuses on fitness and it is better suited to those people who look for stimulation and relaxation. Hatha yoga is another type that is suitable for beginners. Satyananda is also suitable for beginners. It involves deep relaxation, gentle poses, and meditation.
Body Scan Meditation
The body scan meditation is also called body awareness. It is an exercise that permits you to tune out distractions while focusing on different parts of the body. Body Scanning is helpful to become more aware of how you are feeling at a given moment. There are various steps in the body scan meditation:
- Find a comfortable place. You can sit or lie down.
- Close your eyes to make a deep practice.
- Start with your feet and toes, open, and pay attention to any feeling you feel, such as pain or discomfort. You may also notice sensations such as tingling, tingling, pain, and tingling.
- Take a deep breath into your nose, exhale through your mouth, and release the uncomfortable feeling. Let that part of your body relax, unwind, and soften.
- Go up to your body, paying attention to how you feel as you focus on your legs, buttocks, back, abdomen, chest, neck and shoulders, arms, and hands, and finally face.
- Move your body continuously, focusing on each muscle group.
There are various forms of meditation such as mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, and concentration meditation.
Mindfulness Meditation involves meditation by focusing on something or a process, such as your breathing, flames, mantra, visions, music, and so on. This means that even when you are focused on something, you keep an open mind about everything else that is going on around you and inside your mind.
Walking Meditation involves awareness using simple repetitive steps. Other examples are Tai Chi, yoga, or simple walking exercises.
Concentration Meditation often involves the case with religions. It is like meditating on
(1) Focusing on religious prayer
(2) You need to keep your focus closed where you close your understanding to anything other than prayer.
Tips to practice stress-reducing activities.
Learning the basics of these relaxation activities is not difficult but it takes regular practice to truly harness their stress-relieving power. Try to set aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice.
- Set aside time in your daily schedule.
- Establish a routine and keep track of progress.
- Make use of smartphone apps and other aids.
- Expect ups and downs.
- Do not skip a few days or even a few weeks.
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