Stress is everywhere. We are constantly under pressure by our work, our family, society, the news, and our own thinking. We feel overwhelmed with life. These days there is too much information input, in fact, we are on information overload. We have screens everywhere around us from our smartphones to tablets to computers to TV. This causes us to be bombarded with too much input. And all of the above, leads to stress.
Stress stems from the fight, flight or freeze response. This helped us when we were being chased by wild animals in the long past. These days our “wild animals” are the situations and experiences in our lives. We think we are about to be attacked around every corner. As my yoga training teacher said, “There is no tiger.”
The fight and flight response does assist us when we do need it most. However, our minds don’t differentiate between a tiger attacking us and a deadline for a project, or a bill that is overdue. Stress effects us mentally and physically.
Why is stress a big deal? Why should you bother to relax?
Here are some reasons why you need to learn how to relax.
1. Your Body
Your body reacts to stress with various side effects. Headaches, high blood pressure, muscle tension, insomnia, rapid breathing, ulcers, weakened immune system, a more rapid heart beat and many other symptoms. This can take a toll on the body. You may even be experiencing some of this currently.
Relaxation can counteract these effects by giving your body a chance to calm down, slowing down your breath and heart rate, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to bring you to the stage of “rest and digest.”
With relaxation, the muscles are relaxed, the nervous system is quiet, mind and breath are also quiet. We have to practice this. it sounds funny or outrageous, but it is true. If we stay in the state of stress, the body gets out of balance and this makes us sick.
Relaxation will help us sleep better and come into harmony with our body’s natural rhythms.
2. More Clarity of Mind
When we are under constant stress, we can experience depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and have trouble thinking straight. It bogs down how we think and can cause us to make poor decisions.
When we take time to relax, you are allowing your mind to recover. Sometimes after we relax and slow down, the perfect solution to a problem will appear. If you mind is calm you can react to stimuli faster.
3. Even Out Emotions
Many times we have all experienced at one time or another that inability to control our emotional responses to those around us. Usually this happens when we have a deadline for a project due or a surgery procedure scheduled. When we are feeling stressed or tired, we have less conscious control over our emotional response and we may lash out at others in our path.
Relaxing allows you to have better control over your emotions and your response. You won’t be as reactive and be able to approach situations with a sense of calm.
4. Work More Efficiently
Work! staying relaxed at work can be most difficult when we are faced with deadlines, demanding supervisors, annoying co-workers, and difficult clients, students or customers. Situations like these can be hard to keep a level head. When we are stressed at work, we don’t enjoy our job in the slightest.
It’s important to still try to stay relaxed even at work. You’ll be able to reason and problem solve more efficiently. You’ll also enjoy more energy and concentration as you are feeling calmer. As you feel calmer, it will rub off on co-workers and customers, thus making the workplace more pleasant.
5. Boost Others Around You
Emotions and attitudes can affect others. You probably have been in a room where there was tension in the air and could cut it with a knife! Compare this with an atmosphere when you are relaxing with friends in a comfortable place.
Stress has a tendency to spread. If one person is stressed out and worried, sometimes those you life with will start to feel the same. It causes you and others to think about those items that are concerning and anxiety-provoking.
The best way to combat stress is by using varied relaxation techniques. When you do so, you will impact your life and the lives of others in an amazing way.
Stress will happen it is a given in life. How we respond to the stressors in our lives is what will make all the difference in the world. We can indeed stress less and live a more happy and peaceful life.
Are You Ready to Feel More Calm, Relaxed, and Balanced?
If so, Meditate Madison can help you!
I have had trauma and stress in my life over the years. Sometimes I dealt well with it and other times not so well. The times that were not-so-well were the times I had forgotten my list of Stress Reliever and Relaxation Techniques. All these we offer at the studio. Come join either Dineen and/or myself (Deb) for a group session or schedule your private session(s) today.
You can learn to handle stress in a healthier way!
Here is what is available to you:
- Meditation and Mindfulness (including Guided Meditations)
- Restorative Yoga (and all forms of yoga including breathwork)
- Progressive and Conscious Relaxation
- Sound and Energy Healing
- Working with a Coach or Therapist on various topics: Anxiety & Stress Reduction, Bringing Balance to Your Life, Self-Compassion, Releasing Negative Thoughts & Beliefs, Forgiving & Healing Relationships, or Accessing Inner Wisdom and other Transformational types of topics.
- Mindful Eating
- Creative Endeavors: Art, Poetry & Song