Stress and anxiety reduce our happiness and ability to enjoy our lives and loved ones. They also contribute to many types of afflictions of the body/mind. Here are simple and enjoyable ways to calm your stress response:
- Breathing. Simple and easy, deep breathing reduces stress hormones and calms the nervous system. So next time you feel overwhelmed, pause and take some long, slow abdominal breaths.
- Movement. The combination of aware breathing while you gently stretch or do yoga is a great relaxer. Dancing is also a wonderful, fun way to unwind tension. Do it with your partner, and children love it too!
- Massage. Therapeutic touch is one of the most effective ways to release tension, rebalance your nervous system, and support your body’s natural healing mechanisms. Ask your partner to massage you, and give your children back rubs at bedtime. Or nurture yourself with professional massage at Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto!
- Meditation. One benefit of meditation is that it allows the brain to relax for a bit and get integrated. It helps you tap into the calm always available within you and to feel more grounded. Sit quietly and breathe in and out slowly, 10 times, with full awareness on where you feel each inhale and exhale in your body. Just let yourself be, without effort.
- Imagination. Visualize a scene in nature, a place that has brought you peace, and let calm feelings wash over you. Or imagine a happy memory of a time when you felt at ease, and let yourself savor the joyful feeling of the experience.
- Music. Peaceful music can reduce stress by activating bio-chemical mechanisms in the brain and stimulating relaxation.
- Walking. Early morning or evening is very relaxing time for a quiet walk. If you can walk in trees or near water, it is especially beneficial.
- Tea. Sipping hot herbal tea or water throughout the day soothes and calms the nervous system.
- Laughter. It’s not a myth that laughter is good medicine. It releases endorphins that make your body feel good, and relieves tension to bring more ease in the body. So watch a comedy or share laughs with your family.
You can incorporate some of the above practices into your massage at Massage Therapy Center. As your therapist is working with you, you can bring your attention to your breath, relaxing into a place of comfort and safety. As you listen to the peaceful music, let yourself feel nourished and taken care of. Afterwards at home, sit in silence for a few minutes to allow space for balancing and healing to happen.