Six Quick and Effective Ways to Alleviate Stress on the Spot
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There are days when you simply don't have time to let stress get in your way. If bad news, an argument or simply being overwhelmed by everything makes your muscles tense and your head throb, you need to take action and tackle that stress on the spot. Doing this will ultimately lower your stress levels, which is an added health benefit for your heart.
"It is important to recognize your stress," says Wendy Ruggiero, Massage Therapist at Cooper Spa. "Be body and mind aware. Many of us spend our life in a stressed state. We have forgotten what it is like to be relaxed."
In some people, stress may bring on a powerful headache or make your whole body ache. Stress may also cause:
- Tense muscles
- Clenched fists
- Shortness of breath
- An increase in blood pressure
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Changes in appetite (feeling unusually hungry or not wanting to eat)
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling moody
Stress can impact your ability to think clearly and use good judgment. Stopping stress at the first sign can help you get back on track.
"Stress relief on the spot is learning what kind of sensory input helps your nervous system find calm quickly," says Ruggiero.
Find Sensory Stress Relief
You don't have to take drastic measures to de-stress yourself. Sure, a deep-tissue massage may help you sink into a relaxed, sleepy state, but there are plenty of quick and easy tactics to alleviate stress on the spot. "Simply allowing yourself to truly relax and be still can help the stress seep from your body," says Ruggiero.
Try breathing deeply, or spend a few moments in quiet meditation to help restore calm, balance and focus.
"The possibilities are endless when it comes to techniques to alleviate stress," says Ruggiero. "One way out of stress is by engaging in our senses."
Try these stress-busting sensory techniques that won't take much time or make you reach for your wallet:
- Listen to a soothing sound. Turn on your favorite song, peaceful nature sounds, white noise or just sit and listen to wind chimes tinkling in the breeze.
- Soak up some sights. Take a walk in a peaceful place and absorb the serene setting. Flip through some old photos and remember good times, laughs and what it felt like to be relaxed.
- Relax with touch. Soak in a hot bath or cuddle up for a few minutes of rest with your favorite blanket or pillow.
- Breathe, smell, relax. Light your favorite-smelling candle or bake something with a delicious, soothing smell.
- Chew up stress. Start munching on something healthy. Treat yourself to a bite of dark chocolate or chew some sugar-free gum. Sip on a warm mug of your favorite tea or grab a healthy, satisfying crunchy snack like carrots or nuts.
- Walk away from stress. Take a brief exercise break to get your blood flowing and help stress dissipate. Indulge in a private, impromptu dance-party to shake off some steam, take a walk or simply try a few stretches.
"You have to find what works for you," Ruggiero adds. "Everyone responds to sensory input differently. An awareness of your preferences is key for reducing stress."
And don't stress about figuring out the best way to conquer your stress. "The fun part is learning which sense is your key to a stress-free being," says Ruggiero.
For more information on services at Cooper Spa or to make an appointment, click here or call 972.392.7729.