No Stress, No Anxiety: 5 Subtle Changes for a Carefree Life
Tension and stress have become a mainstay in the lives of most people, be it from being stuck in traffic to issues at home or at work. Constant exposure to stress is harmful when it comes to your health so it’s important to relieve it as fast and as often as you can. To do so, there are certain useful exercises and techniques. If you feel the burden of everyday life is becoming too heavy, read on.
Being tense can lead to some serious health problems and productivity issues. Our mission at Bright Side is to make the lives of people brighter and tension-free. We would like to offer you advice on how to fight tension and ways to prevent it from occurring.
Exercise to relieve neck and back tension
This 4-part exercise will help relieve tension in your head, neck, spine, and lower back.
- Shoulder shrug: Lift your shoulders up, as close to your ears as you can. Hold it there for 5 seconds, and then drop your shoulders back. Repeat this process 3 times.
- Chin turn: Sit straight. Slowly turn your chin towards the right shoulder, as far as you can get. Hold it there for 10 seconds. Then bring your chin to the center. Now follow the same process by turning your chin towards the left shoulder. Repeat twice.
- Head tilt: Sit upright and look forward. Then slowly tilt your head towards the left side, trying to touch your shoulder. Hold it in position for 10 seconds. Bring your head to the normal position, let it rest for 2 seconds. Then tilt your head towards your right shoulder, holding it there for 10 seconds before bringing it back to the normal position. Follow the same process by bending the head forward and then backward.
- Backstretch: Put your palm flat on your lower back. Apply pressure to push your back forward. Hold it for 10 seconds.
Instant relief using acupressure
3 pressure points to relieve you of stress:
- Union Valley: This point is located in the webbing between the thumb and the index finger. Use the thumb and the index finger of your left hand to press this spot on your right hand. Hold for about 30 seconds while breathing slowly and deeply and then release. Repeat 3 times. Then switch hands.
- Great Rushing: This point is situated in the webbing between the big toe and the long toe of your foot. Apply firm pressure for 20 seconds and then do the same for the other foot.
- Spirit Gate: This point lies on the inner wrist crease, towards the little-finger side of the wrist. Feel for a hollow space at the base of this location. Apply gentle pressure for 2 to 3 minutes. Do it for your right wrist first and then for the left wrist.
Yoga for stress and anxiety relief
Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend Pose: Sit erect with your legs stretched out in front of you with your toes slightly bent towards you. While taking a deep breath, raise your arms over your head and stretch. Exhale and bend forward with your chin moving towards your toes. Stretch out your arms and let them reach as far as they can. Inhale and slightly lift your head. Exhale while moving your navel towards your knees. Inhale and come back to normal erect sitting position. Slowly exhale and lower your arms.
Uttana Shishosana or Extended Puppy Pose: Come to all fours (Tabletop position.) Exhale and slowly move your hands forward while lowering your chest to touch the ground. Release your head so that the forehead touches the ground. Inhale and pull your hips up and back. Breath deeply and hold on to the position for about 10 breaths. Then release the pose.
Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend Pose: Stand straight with your feet touching each other. Raise your arms overhead and then slowly bend forward and try to reach your toes. Take deep breaths and hold on as long as you are comfortable. Then slowly start raising yourself and raise your arms overhead and then slowly come back to the normal standing position.
Massage your head, eyes, and hands
Massage your temples: Use your index, middle, and ring fingers to apply pressure on your temples for about 10 seconds. Take a 5-second break and repeat. Perform it 3 times.
Eye Massage: Close your eyes and use your index and middle fingers to start massaging your eyes from the inner side of your eyes near the bone marking the start of your nose and work your way toward the outer side of your eyes in a circular path. Repeat it 5 times.
Palm Massage: Using your right hand gently rub the inside of each of your fingers on your left palm and then rub your palm. Repeat the same for your other palm.
Don’t forget to drink water before and after this massage therapy as water helps dissolve the toxins released.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
- Exercise regularly: Engaging yourself in some sort of physical activity is a great way avoid tension and stress. Form a daily exercise routine and stick to it. Physical activity helps in the secretion of endorphins in the brain and the nervous system which helps fight pain in the body.
- Stay happy and laugh: Laughter is also known to aid in the secretion of endorphins, a pain fighting hormone.
- Mind your posture: Sit upright and stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
- Avoid food that causes headaches: Caffeine and MSG are thought to trigger headaches, so it is advisable to stay away from them. Other foods to avoid include: fermented or pickled food, peanuts, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken liver, etc.
Avoid alcohol and smoking.
Stay hydrated: Drink about 2 l or about 8 glasses of water every day.
Sleep well: It is necessary to give the body proper rest. It is recommended that you sleep 8 hours daily. Try sleeping in a dark room, with no noise to distract you. Also, it is important that you maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Bonus: In serious cases of stress and anxiety, seek professional help or take medication.
Take over-the-counter medication: If you seek immediate relief, you may try some over-the-counter drugs. But exercise caution while using them and do not make it a habit.
Visit a doctor: If over-the-counter medication does not work or you have a recurring problem, it is best to seek a doctor’s guidance.
Seek a licensed chiropractor’s help: Spinal manipulation therapy performed by a licensed chiropractor can help you get rid of headaches and backaches.
We hope that this article will help you deal with tension and stress. Do you have other techniques to deal with tension and stress? Do let us know in the comments which of these methods are most preferred by you!
Illustrated by Igor Polushin for BrightSide.me