Techniques To Help Reduce Stress
In many cases, stress and tension can be managed in a number of ways that do not require medication. One or more of the following suggestions can help reduce stress and anxiety. The methods listed have a calming, clearing, and uplifting effect on mood as well as productivity. Not every possibility is listed here but from my experience, these suggestions do indeed help. The methods described transform stress and frustration, they move stuck energy in the body as well as in an environment where stale, stagnant, dull atmosphere can cause a space to feel gloomy and depressing. It helps to be mindful that a cluttered room can be one of the visible stimuli that can trigger anxiety for some people. The bedroom is another important area to tend to when looking to create a calm and peaceful environment, Read through the suggestions here, personalize them as you like to better suit your own needs. Perhaps you will be inspired to create your own method best suited to your liking.
Sweep! Grab a Broom
Myths and magical lore from cross-cultural traditions describe something akin to a power that is found in a broom’s ability to shift energy via intention. The physical motion, the bodily activity of sweeping, cleansing negativity from a space, is believed possible when using a broom to sweep away elements that are not harmonious to a person or place. A broom is oftentimes used to cleanse an area prior to a ritual. This idea of cleansing is not limited to ancient customs. Some modern people will cleanse a space with specific intention, whereas some people do so by instinct and only afterward do they notice they feel lighter, happier, calmer. After cleaning or sweeping people describe that their minds are less cluttered, they feel less agitated and more peaceful. Brooms represent clean spaces, even if simply hanging on a wall or leaning against a corner evoke images of cleanliness. The combination of intention to clean plus the active physical motion of using a broom to sweep, combine as a powerful method for removing stuck, stagnant, and distressful energy.
Sweeping enlivens physical energy too. The arms, shoulder, back and chest muscles are needed to move the broom, even the abdominal muscles are activated. When sweeping is done with some vigor the breath will respond too. The action of sweeping stimulates circulation in the body and shifts the physical and energetic atmosphere of a room. It’s no secret that lots of people sweep and clean when they are feeling stressed or when waves of strong emotions such as anger or sorrow are present. I have heard from clients and friends that they felt so much better after cleaning.
In addition to sweeping the interior walls, ceilings, floors, and thresholds, it is beneficial to sweep outside too whenever possible. Pass the broom over the walkway, stairs, balconies, window frames, and the thresholds between the outside and inside, also the thresholds between interior rooms. Sometimes uncomfortable energy can be sensed, a gut feeling, a heaviness felt somatically. Negative events and emotions create a build-up of stress. While sweeping imagine clearing the air in the room and send it outside. Open windows and doors to help clear the space. Sweep any and all uncomfortable associations away from you with your intention. Clear out your thoughts, memories, anxiety, and distressing issues that worry you. The cardio workout is a bonus too, emphasize the sweeping motion with arms fully engaged as if you are pushing against something sluggish and heavy, visualize you are sweeping the debris away! Imagine that all the stress is pushed out an open window or doorway. Use a regular kitchen broom or if desired find yourself a special broom that you set aside just for such projects. A small broom can work well, but sometimes a longer handle is helpful if you want to sweep the ceiling too. Whatever size or style you do choose, make sure it’s something that is comfortable for your body to maneuver, not too cumbersome so you can lift and direct it easily to get to all the spaces you want to sweep clean.
The healing work of aromatherapy and its many benefits is an entire field of study in itself, a few suggestions for decreasing stress are made here. Scent can transform a mood, inhaled or when essential oils are added to a cream or carrier oil and massaged into the skin. Scent can also trigger memories and recollection of people and events that come to the surface of the mind just from inhaling. The spices used in certain foods have an association for some people. Thoughts of community and emotional warmth, delicious flavours and good feelings emerge when memory is ignited from familiar and pleasing smells. Scent can help lower stress. For me personally, when I inhale any of my favorite natural (non-chemical) fragrances I immediately feel a positive emotional improvement. Some scents create a soothing calming atmosphere, others a fresh invigorating one. Think about the experience of inhaling the fresh brightening scent of a grapefruit, lemon or lime, it is quickly noticed, right? Scents can make a difference to our moods in no time at all. Fresh flowers placed nearby so they can be seen and inhaled do the trick too. Flowers in a vase with a pleasing scent, such as freshia, roses, lilacs are beautiful to look and delicious to inhale. Dried herbs, fruits, essential oils, such as lavender, orange, grapefruit, plus resins like myrrh and frankincense create a wonderful scent when burned or sprayed throughout a room. A few drops of essential oil can be added to a spray bottle with water, shaken and spritzed around a room where a pleasing scent creates a positive shift right away. Scented sprays can be used in a bedroom, around a bed, on the pillows and the linens too. They can also be misted over the body. Essential oils dropped in a diffuser with a small tea candle to heat the oils is a nice method for adding scent to a room. Incense sticks or cones provide another option.
A fantastic method for reducing stress is to bite down on a soft safe teething ring! For many people, stressful tension is stored in the jaw muscles. The ache and tightness can be noticeable during the day but at night clenching and grinding of teeth is often intensified during sleep, sometimes bad enough to wake a person, and certainly felt in the morning by most people. By consciously releasing the tightness and over activation of the jaw muscles, including the temporomandibular joint, much of the tension is released and relief is felt immediately. A teething ring is safe for babies, they gnaw on it with gums and baby teeth to ease discomfort. Adults can do the same with a strong teething ring and experience the therapeutic benefit. Clench down hard, growl and snarl, let all sounds out, exaggerating grunting or growling sounds can be quite helpful, at the very least the laughter is fun. Allow your clenching muscles to do all they can on that teething ring, bite down with a strong grip. Exhausting the over-tightened muscle on a teething ring helps the jaw to deeply relax. The relief is more than physical it is emotional too, there is a feeling of satisfaction that comes from this exercise! You can also bite down hard on the ring and use a hand to try to pull the toy away, as some people do when playing with their puppies, it really does work well for releasing muscle tension in the jaw.
Clients often describe that they feel they are holding a deeper layer of stress inside certain areas of the body, the jaw is one of those areas. The throat can feel tight, the brow knitted together, the jaws ache. Teeth grinders love this teething ring technique for releasing chronic tension. They find it provides more than immediate relief, they report less grinding for a number of days afterward. Clench down as hard as you want without worry if you use a teething ring designed for this purpose.
Listen to music that makes you feel good. Listen to music that soothes you and makes you happy. On certain days sounds of nature and meditation type of music might work best on other days your music choices might be the opposite. My own energy shifts when I play upbeat danceable music, especially at the gym, it makes me happy. There are times when very slow, quiet and peaceful music works best. Classical music, nature sounds, and brainwave neurologic music therapy reduces stress. Binaural sounds with patterns created for calming brian-waves are designed to relax mind and body. These meditation options significantly reduce stress and enhance the depth of a meditation experience. Soundwave music requires earphones (to learn more research on binaural music). Making sounds yourself can release tension too. Inhale fully and then let the breath go with a loud long exaggerated sigh, make it a long sigh. Hum with lips closed and feel the vibration inside your head. Another technique is to make a sound using any word, for example, the word peace, sounded as, peacccccccce or the word calm (calmmmmm). Or vocalize any vowel and use your breath to carry the sound smoothly from inside your body to outside. Examples: aaaaaaaa, ahhhhhh, oooooooo, eeeeee. When you hum, sigh, hiss like a snake, laugh and giggle, make a sound, you release tension! Simply exhale long loud sounds to release stress.
Playful Art for Fun
Creative expression, either a first time attempt at playful abandon or something more refined from a focused artist, another method helpful for releasing stress.
Coloring books for adults are a trend now but certainly not required to be able to play with crayons or pencils. Find a sketch, a design or create one yourself and colour it in. Colouring outside the lines is rebellious fun… Putting crayons, pencils or pastels to paper or canvas is creative fun. Finger painting is playful and therapeutic fun for all ages. Exploring with colours, clay, paints, painting on fabric or glass, can provide an emotional release and a calming effect. Art is another way to release stress and create a pleasing sensation, or inspire insight. Draw, paint, sculpt, play with putty, scribble on paper, use crayons, pastels, write feelings in a journal, or write and burn pages describing the things that cause frustration, light candles with lovely scents and colours. Gaze at soothing healing colors, wear clothing that helps you feel better. Listen to music or play music. Imagine scenes that are calming and uplifting for you.
Be out in nature, even if only for 10-minutes. Pay attention to the beauty of the colour and scent of flowers and plants. Notice the sunlight, the moon, the sound and feel of the wind, the sound of water, the scent of fresh-cut grass, the quiet stillness after a snowfall, the freshness in the air after a rain shower. Listen to sounds of the ocean, bird songs, the rustle of the wind through the leaves of trees. Imagine nature if you are unable to spend time in it, even looking at images and listening to sounds can have a positive effect on the body and mood.
Laugh! Read jokes, watch funny movies, listen to sounds of laughter! Humour is a fantastic way to release stress.
A man was having a reoccurring weird dream so he went to an analyst.
Doctor: What was your dream about?
Man: I was being chased by a vampire or a monster.
Doctor: And what else is happening, what is the environment or scenery like?
Man: I’m running down a hallway.
Doctor: Then what happened?
Man: Well that’s the weird thing. In every single dream, the same thing happened. I always come to this door, but I can’t open it. I keep pushing the door and pushing the door, but it wouldn’t budge!
Doctor: Does the door have any letters on it?
Man: Yes it did.
Doctor: And what did these letters spell?
Man: It said “Pull”
Move Your Body
Go for a walk, work out at the gym, make love, garden, dance, swim, hula-hoop, just move!
Move your body and energy any way that releases pent-up frustration. Do the things that make you smile, breathe deeply, and feel better.
Don’t isolate yourself. Be around friends, community, family. Call people, call one person, stay connected. If you don’t have any friends consider exploring a support group or joining a class, cooking, art, photography class.
Animals and Pets
Animals can be a comfort. They help trauma victims, vets, people in hospital to feel soothed. Many people are calmed and soothed by being close to animals. Visit friends who have animals if you do not have a pet. Look at images of puppies and kittens. If you like bigger animals go for a horse ride. Listen to the sounds of dolphins/whales. Comfort pets can make a difference to emotional well-being.
Drink water! Get enough of it, soak in a tub, soak your feet in a foot bath with salts.
Supplements and Nutrients
There are many options of herbs, teas, and nutrients that are known to ease stress. The family of B-vitamins have been researched and are known to be good for the nervous system. Vitamin B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which helps the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress, and anxiety. Experiment to learn what works best for you, not everyone will respond in the same way or to products from the same company. It is possible the same nutrient will work better for a person from a different company. The form it is taken in can make a difference too. Powders are more quickly absorbed as are capsules. Nutrients are offered as liquids, powders, capsules, tablets (some more easily digested than others), and as chewables. Do some research on the nutrients that are best suited to your own specific needs. Chamomile tea, a soothing herb tea without caffeine is known for its calming benefits. Some versions have lavender flower in them, known to have a calming effect. Passionflower in another. Magnesium helps the body relax. Supplements can be found with powdered versions that can be mixed with water or juice and taken at bedtime to help with sleep and relaxation of muscles. When muscles cramp magnesium helps relax the tightness. It can be helpul in lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.
Taking on more than you can handle is a recipe for stress.
Take time to stop and rest when needed, 10-20 minutes rests can help.
Avoid people who stress you out.
Seek help when you needed. Allow your community, family, friends, and pets to help you. Find people who you can talk with, people who listen to you, who soothe you.