In these uncertain times, taking care of your mental health and keeping stress to a minimum is essential. Since we don’t always have the opportunity to go for a hike, read a book or take a nap, it pays to know a few quick and effective ways to relieve tension. In this guide, we’ll discuss four simple strategies that will help you stay calm and collected in any situation.
The benefits of deep breathing are extensive and well documented. From progressive muscle relaxation to pranayama breathing, there are various techniques that you can try. Regardless of the method you use, your blood pressure and heart rate will decrease, causing a relaxing effect that can relieve pain and bring you back into the moment.
You probably know how deeply relaxing a massage session at a spa or therapist can be. What you might not be aware of is that you can replicate the effects at home with a self-massage. This involves using a combination of strokes to relieve muscle tension. While it’s possible to use your hands, you can take it to the next level with a massage gun.
Theragun is a popular name here, whose hand-held devices provide a deep massage that also treats pain and tightness. You can check out Theragun prime and the rest of their range at SSENSE, an online store with a huge range of designer brands and competitive pricing. Be sure to explore the rest of their catalogue if you’re looking to treat yourself.
You don’t necessarily need to find a quiet place and focus intensely for half an hour to benefit from meditation. It’s something you can practice anywhere, even if only for five minutes. Simply sit down, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths from your diaphragm. You can use the following steps to keep your attention on your breathing:
- Slowly inhale from your belly
- Move the air into your ribs
- Then into your chest
- Focus on the crown of your head
- Gently hold for five seconds
This process can be reversed for the exhale. The point is to concentrate on the breathing process, which moves your attention away from any stressful thoughts. By the time you’re done, you can get back to the task at hand with a clear and fresh mind. Experts agree, with the world-famous Mayo Clinic telling readers to “focus all your attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils. Breathe deeply and slowly. When your attention wanders, gently return your focus to your breathing.”
Listen to music
Playing your favourite tunes is not only a great mood-booster but also an effective way to wash away tension in stressful situations. The exact type of music that works for you depends on your own preferences.
Whatever it might be, consider putting together a playlist of the songs that make you feel calm. You can also keep a pair of earbuds or headphones with you so that you always have access to your playlist when you’re out and about.
These quick fixes work best when coupled with long-term strategies for relieving stress. In that light, remember to exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and eat a healthy diet to keep your brain in optimal, tension-free condition.