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The Foolproof Relaxation Method
My experience with stress
As a high school student, I have faced so many ups-and-downs with my mental health. Whether socially, emotionally, or physically, I allowed stress and negativity to impact me in harmful ways. My schoolwork always seemed to cause the most stress in my life. There were very few things that did not cause me to stress out. In fact, being stressed in and of itself made me stress even more. I had my outlets of course -- yoga, exercise, meditation, baths, hot tea, art, playing piano...but being in school is demanding. While these things would work temporarily, they did not eliminate the root of the problem.
While these things would work temporarily, they did not eliminate the root of the problem.
So...what is the cause of stress and how can I get rid of it?
Well, there are actually two types of stress -- Eustress and Distress. Put bluntly, eustress is good and distress is bad. Eustress is motivational, and enhances our ability to perform. It can be anything from wanting to lose weight to getting a job promotion. Distress has long-term negative effects on the body, and creates anxiety. Distressing situations could range from an injury to losing a job. We often perceive Distress to be out of our control and coping abilities. Notice the word perceive? Here is the part where I tell you the secret to relaxing. It is all in your perception. You can choose to think that someone was whispering about you and let it torment you all day, or simply let go of it. When we perceive an event or circumstance to be negative and stressful, we have the choice to let it go. Our minds are so much more powerful than we give them credit for. We can make a disaster into something amazing simply by changing our perspective on it. Our mentality can be altered when we choose to release negativity and let ourselves relax.
Simply allow yourself to relax.
Wherever you are, whatever the time is, take a moment to breathe and let yourself relax.
Mindfulness -- A Solution for Busy People
Mindfulness is a growing practice in the Western world, and has long-term health benefits. It is not about clearing your mind, it is allowing yourself to be in the present moment. It is accepting positivity and gratitude in the moments where you feel distraught. It is realizing that this moment is all you have, and you can make the most of it or let it waste away. It is understanding that you can change your perceptions. There are loads of books and articles on mindfulness if you decide to start practicing it. I highly recommend doing so. I also recommend taking time for yourself every day to do something to help you relax. If you still don't feel like you have enough time to do the things that would make you feel relaxed, just make the time. Service should come before self, but make sure that you have a clear, positive mind before you serve others.
Other than being mindful, how else can I relax?
- Exercise: Exercising releases endorphins, helps you stay healthy, and a good workout will make you feel great before or after a long day.
- Try Yoga: Yoga is one of my favorite ways to decompress, and I practice it almost every day. You can find plenty of instructed videos on YouTube.
- Write it out: Writing down how you feel and what you think is causing negativity in your life will help you reflect. Journaling is cathartic, and you will be able to see a trend in the Eustressors and Distressors in your life.
- Take a Hot Bath: Taking a bath has similar effects on the body to those from exercise. Your blood circulation will be stimulated, and your muscles will relax. If you do not have a bath bomb, use some Epsom salt and essential oils (lavender works wonders). Burn some of your favorite candles, too.
- Sing: Singing to your favorite song (and dancing along) can help you feel reenergized and pumped up. Music is healing and speaks to us in different ways.