News to use

Clear your head…

With these super easy techniques!

Stress is a fact of life for most people – we carry stress with us in our bodies, as everyday pressures cause our muscles to tense up. In fact, too much stress can put you at greater risk for serious conditions such as heart disease and depression.

There are many easy and effective ways to relieve stress. Learning to relax is one of the best ways to deal with stress and its physical and emotional symptoms. Relaxation gives your body and mind a chance to calm down and recuperate from stress. It can also help you manage pain, get an energy boost, or just feel better in general.

Believe it or not, there are simple techniques that you can use to help you relax and ease stress, such as taking a few minutes to just sit quietly. Other methods may require instruction and practice because you need to tune in to and teach your body to shift into a relaxed state. The key is to keep trying!

In support of Mental Health Month, here are five tips to help you relax:

Deep breathing. Concentrate on your breathing. Inhale with slow, deep breaths through your nose, and slowly exhale through your mouth. Imagine calmness entering your body with every inhalation and tension leaving your body with every exhalation. Counting each breath will help you stay connected to your breathing. Try to extend your exhale to be a few seconds longer than you inhale.

Meditation. Meditation offers techniques and practices for attaining inner peace by focusing on images, sounds, or breathing. For instance, you might take a few minutes in a quiet place to close your eyes and quietly focus on a mental image, such as walking on a beach or in a wooded area, or on an object that calms you.

Stretching. Tension builds up in the muscles throughout your body. Just a few minutes a day of slowly and gently stretching your muscles can relieve a lot of that tension. Hold each position for 30 seconds. Don’t stretch too hard—you want to feel the muscles extended, but not pulled.

Exercise. It doesn’t have to be very strenuous. Even a quick walk around the block can help to relieve tension. Find a physical activity that works for you and do it at least a couple of times a week. Work up to getting 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on all or most days of the week.

Massage. Massaging muscles can relieve tension and help your muscles relax. You can get a professional massage, or you can rub the tension out of your neck and shoulders yourself any time you feel tight. Remember to take a moment to stop what you are doing and concentrate on relaxing while you massage your neck and shoulders.

Interested in learning more about meditation?

Guided meditation is offered on Monday’s from 11:30 – 12:00 at our Back Bay Wellness & Fitness Center. Not at Back Bay? You can also join a guided meditation session through Skype on Monday’s from 12:00 – 12:30. Add it to your calendar so you don’t forget!

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