8 Effective Stress Relief Techniques
Achieve your best by pushing a little each day.
Feeling good starts within you. In our daily lives, we deal with stressors, irritations, pain and stimulation from every direction. Even when it feels like things can’t slow down, it’s a good idea to carve out some time each day — even just 10 minutes — to get centered and relax. Meditation and breathing exercises can clear your mind, relax your muscles, and provide a feeling of inner peace and control. Do a quick Web search and find a technique that works for you. If you ever feel out of sorts or just not quite yourself, go to a private, quiet spot —bedrooms, backyards or wooded areas work great (bonus if there’s running water within earshot) — and emerge spiritually refreshed.
Eating and feeling good always seem to go hand-in-hand. Being mindful of what goes in your body can impact everything from your digestive and immune systems to your joint and bone health.
Some things to keep in mind when thinking about a diet that can help you thrive:
- Certain foods, like fish, citrus fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil, beans, and onions can control inflammation.
- Processed foods often contain high amounts of sugar, sodium and fats, which can lead to major health problems and depleted energy.
- Fresh produce is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Cooking classes are a fun way to learn about nutrition and techniques to get more flavor from your food. Look online for helpful tutorials you can watch at your leisure.
Diet changes can affect how you feel. Keep a food journal to track what you eat and how your body responds physically and mentally. More control over your food means more control over your life.
Feeling good starts within you. Even when it feels like things can’t slow down, it’s a good idea to carve out some time each day – even just 10 minutes – to get centered and relax.
Solid sack time is one of the most important things you can do for whole-body restoration. Sleep can not only help heal sore and aching joints, but also revitalize your mind. It’s a physical, mental, emotional refresher that can do wonders for your overall happiness and well-being. Unfortunately, many people have trouble taking full advantage of the benefits of sleep for a variety of reasons.
If you find that you wake up in pain, your pillow could be a factor. Try one that’s specially designed for proper spine alignment, and you might rise with a little more shine. Never underestimate the power of a pillow.
If falling asleep is a problem, try a power(down) hour. Avoid watching TV and using your smartphone or tablet. The stimulation can cause your brain to keep firing, which could make it hard to fall asleep. Instead, relax with a book in a quiet space or try meditation and relaxation exercises (see Tip 1).
Bonus Tip: If pain keeps you up at night, try ALEVE® Nighttime, which combines a sleep aid with the 12-hour pain relieving strength of ALEVE®.
Focus on life beyond pain. Taking up new hobbies is a great way to enrich your life. Try something you’ve never done before, like woodworking, cooking, gardening, biking, Frisbee golf — basically anything that could bring you happiness. Photography, painting or book clubs are lower-impact activities that can boost your creativity and offer an enlightening perspective on the world. Learn a new language, volunteer for a charity, join a wine-tasting group. It’s a great, big world. Discover something new to keep your mind and body active, provide a welcome distraction from pain, and fulfill your soul.
Write Your Story
Everyone has a story to tell. Writing about where you’ve been and where you are can help you set goals for where you want to go. Think back and write about your accomplishments, disappointments, family, friends, career, joys and sorrows. And remember: This is for your eyes only. Spelling and grammar are not as important as the story itself. Exploring The Story of You can be therapeutic and offer you a fresh perspective. To be your true self, you must truly know yourself.
Music in one form or another has a place in most of our lives. But it can be more than a soundtrack to your workout or a distraction on your commute. Music has been found to have therapeutic qualities that can affect how we feel. [ Source: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music.aspx ] Finding daily opportunities to turn up your music consumption could be beneficial emotionally and physically. Music can make you smile, cry, reflect, relive moments and, yes, even dance. Singing, playing music and writing songs are great ways to experience music and express yourself.
Whether you passively listen or actively participate, don’t miss a chance to feel the beat and embrace music in the key of you.
It’s no secret that exercise is good for you. But exercise, in a traditional sense, doesn’t always fit into people’s lives — especially people who experience pain. Luckily, there are ways to avoid the gym, skip the sweat, and still keep your body moving and feeling good.
Swimming, light walking and simple stretches can keep your body strong and your joints loose. Even 10 minutes of low-impact exercise per day can release endorphins that make a big difference in how you feel.
Use these tips to proactively manage your pain so you can feel your very best:
- Keep a journal to chronicle your good and bad pain days. Rate your pain when you wake up and track your diet and activity throughout the day and again before you go to bed. You’ll start to see patterns and triggers that can help you eliminate some behaviors or amplify others.
- If pain is making it hard for you to do something you love, set a goal to make it happen. Along the way, make small, achievable milestones so you can track progress toward your end goal.
- Plan for breaks if you know you’re going to be doing an activity that may cause pain. A quick rest lets your body reset and restore so you can keep going strong.