How do you relax? Or de-stress? There are a lot of different things to do. There is probably almost as many things to do as there are people who can do them. There is eating. Some people use food to release stress and tension. They might eat comfort foods or just eat to eat. There is drinking. Some people drink to “calm their nerves” and relax. Both eating and drinking can be abused and used in this way to excess. There is also meditation. Some people might find some sort of relief in a form of meditation. There are many different ways to meditate. At a basic level it is just a silencing of the mind to help calm the mind. In many practices the person meditating can consciously affect the body after much practice, but others just affect the body through the act of slowing down and being calm. Meditation can take the form of drumming, chanting, sitting, moving in a particular pattern . . . there are many forms. There is also exercise to release stress and relax, either resistance training or aerobic exercise.
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Exercise has physical effects that in turn help the body clam down. Aerobic exercise produces endorphins. Endorphins help to relieve pain. Endorphins are also contributed with bringing on a state of euphoria. The state produced by aerobic exercise can help relieve depression. These little protein molecules release stress. Exercise can relieve muscle tension through the simple act of contraction and release.
In addition to releasing endorphins exercise helps slow the production of stress hormones, like corticotrophin, cortisol, and catecholamines. Stress hormones a can raise blood pressure and increase both heart rate and respiratory rate.
By the simple act of doing the exercise you are freeing up the brain from any problem you might have been concentrating on. Having to think about the exercise you are doing is a great way to help get your mind off of anything that might be causing you stress. So in that way alone exercise is a great way to relieve stress. In addition to allowing you to get your mind off any issues that might be bothering you, exercise can also help you work off any frustration. Negative emotions and frustrations can begin to melt away.
Blood pressure is lowered through exercise. This has a very large effect on stress in the body. If the body is functioning better the stress on the body itself is less. Some people get headaches when they blood pressure is high. It is difficult to relax when you have a headache. Lower blood pressure can help in keeping the body calm.
Stress reduction is very important in this busy life that we lead. There is so much to do and so much going on people need something to allow for just being. They need time and space to allow for relaxing and de-stressing.
Nia is one of the unique exercises (like Yoga) because it is an aerobic exercise and it can be a bit of a meditation. It is a great way to relieve stress and relax. I couldn’t post about relaxing and aerobic exercise without mentioning Nia. :-)
How do you relax? Do you light candles and devour a cheesecake? Do you fill the tub and drink a glass of wine? Do you sit out in nature and enjoy the view? Do you meditate? Do you put on your exercise clothes and workout or go running? I am curious to learn of what you do. There are so many things and ways to relax and reduce stress, I would like to know what you do.