You know it, and you’ve probably experienced it recently. That feeling of overwhelm and burden and the sense of being run down and just plain fatigued. Unfortunately when it comes to stress, what most people don’t know is that prolonged exposure to it can lead to long term emotional and physical consequences.
However, those who have been practicing meditation for a while know how helpful a meditation practice can be in helping a person to determine what is causing one’s stress in the first place. That said, equally as important is finding the means in which to navigate through stress when it occurs so as to find relief from this troublesome condition.
Howard Fendrich pens this recent Rome News-Tribune post on relaxation techniques meant to help alleviate stress. Acknowledging that we live in a fast paced and frenzied world, Fendrich suggests a technique called progressive muscle relaxation as a way to work through stress when it comes up in your life.
An example of this is just taking your shoulders and pulling them up close to your ears for a count of five and then releasing them down to their normal position. Clenching your fist and then opening the hands wide will help release tension in the hands and forearms.
Just take it nice and easy and work your way down the body until you feel the stress melt away. Another way to deal with stress is to practice deep abdominal breathing. This type of breathing helps slow down the heart rate and is actually a more efficient way to breathe. To make sure that you are breathing from the abdominal and not from the chest you can place one hand on the chest and one on the stomach.
Breathe in and look down…which hand is moving? If the hand that is placed on the stomach is moving…congratulations, you are doing abdominal breathing! Take several deep breaths using your abdominal breathing and see how you feel afterwards. Finally, make sure to incorporate some exercise and activities that you enjoy into your daily life to help bring you back to a more relaxed you. Remember, there is always going to be stressors in your life, but being able to identify them and using some relaxation methods with help you lead a healthier, happier life.
Read more from Fendrich on stress management here.