Relieve Holiday Stress: 10 Ways - Mostly Free!
Tips for Relieving Stress
Stress may begin for some of us with Thanksgiving when family gets together, then continues with the crazy shopping of Black Friday, then the Christmas season, followed by New Year's and resolutions that we won't keep (an added stress by February). And debt which goes on and on.
Stress affects each person differently and the effects can have emotional or physical consequences, or both. If you refuse to vow to do less, then make some changes right now by getting enough sleep, avoiding too much caffeine and not taking stimulants.
Then incorporate some of the following stress relievers - many are free and can be done immediately:
1 - Deep Breathing - Start now by breathing deeply - deeply from the abdomen which allows your lungs to take in more oxygen. The more oxygen you take in the more excess lactate and carbon dioxide will be quickly removed from your body. This will help you, right now, relieve many of the effects of stress.
2 - Sing a Song - Singing a song or listening to music gets both halves of the brain synchronized. Singing helps increase deep breathing and increases serotonin, a mood stabilizer.
3 - Roll Your Eyes in A Circle - Do this by closing your eyes and moving clockwise for 30 seconds then do the opposite for 30 seconds. This will stimulate the connections between the two hemisphere's of the brain. This short-circuits the body's stress response because the brain and your eyes are so closely connected.
4 - A Good Soak - in the tub. A 10 minute soak will do it. Adding Epsom salts makes it even more relaxing because it is filled with magnesium, a natural sedative and DHEA which stimulates the youth hormone. Use one cup for every 60 pounds of body weight.
5 - Alternative Medicine - Herbs used in alternative medicine offer stress relief without side effects. Often used are St. John's wort, chamomile, kava kava and valerian. (see link below for alternative healing ideas as well as herbal teas)
6 - Laughter - Use laughter (as the best medicine) to relieve stress. Laughter has been shown to decrease blood levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol Laughter increases blood levels of endorphins - known to soothe the mind and help relieve pain. Laughter also activates the immune system. Even a fake laugh has the same benefits. Laughter is recognized as a legitimate cure for illness - see the link below for humor therapy.
7 - Mindful Meditation - Mindful meditation is the act of being fully engaged in the moment. It is an effective way to reduce stress and helps eliminate worrying about what will happen in the future - or dwelling in the past. Mindful meditation can be done with a body scan which requires that you focus on your body, or engaging in mindful eating by focusing on and enjoying food, or walking meditation which requires that you be aware of every step you take.
8 - Practice Yoga - For more than 5,000 years, yoga has been practiced in India to help relax the body and mind. By assuming certain yoga postures different endocrine glands are put on alert, by doing the breathing exercises you will help free the flow of energy in and out of the body, and by engaging in the required meditation you will help your mind lose its focus on stress. Yoga will provide a natural counterbalance to stress.
9 - Change Your Diet - Healthy whole foods will boost the immune system and neutralizes free radicals in the body that cause damage. Beneficial foods to eat now includes fruits like oranges, mango and tomatoes, and vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Dark chocolate (never milk chocolate) is a stress reliever because it contains magnesium - a natural tranquilizer. An ounce and a half per day will do it. (See links for some healthy eating suggestions).
10 - Acupressure - Apply pressure to the webbing between your thumb and index finger. This is an acupressure point that will send a rush of feel-good endorphins throughout your body. Start with your right hand for 15 to 30 seconds, then do your left hand. You can do this anywhere and even right now.
Enjoy your holidays!
See other healthy living suggestions below:
Reducing Holiday Stress
Are you finally going to do less for the holidays?See results without voting
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