Five Ways To Lower Stress Wherever You Are, and Help Your Recovery
Many of us feel trapped by the daily rigors, but while we are very often told that the key is to move, or speak up or even, dance, most of us cannot bear the thought of doing these things in front of a room full of people, let alone our boss or family. How much simpler would everything be, if we could discretely manage to improve our mental state and our emotional well being without anybody knowing.
Number One: Breathing techniques
Pranayama breathing, a technique from yoga where one nostril is closed as the other one breathes is said to help reduce stress and depressive symptoms, for those who can’t imagine doing that, even just focusing on breathing has been shown to help. Participants who focused on breathing were found to have far lower blood pressure levels and a more stable heart rhythm.
A reduction in stress is found to be a crucial factor in the treatment and recovery from any ailment, not only does the immune system respond better under situations when stress is limited but the symptoms of a disease can be exponentially increased during a period of stress.
Number Two: Stretch
Researchers at the University of Kentucky found that people who stretched regularly had improvements with muscle tension and had reduced feelings of sadness, not to mention their blood pressure dropped and their overall relaxation rose, no wonder touching your toes is such a beneficial activity.
Anaerobic exercise is in fact recommended for Lyme disease patients, this includes stretching, weight training and sprinting, however aerobic exercise such as walking or skipping rope is cautioned against as being detrimental for your recovery.
Number Three: Food for the soul
Apparently chewing gum, regardless of the flavor has the benefit of lowering cortisol levels after a few minutes of chewing, according to researchers at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University. They also found that chewers were also less exhausted than those who eschewed gum. No better reason than to start chewing today.
Avocadoes might just help you out of your slump, anxiety sufferers have been found to be lacking in B vitamins, and avocados are packed with B vitamins, they also help reduce your blood pressure, so maybe a raw chocolate avocado mousse is just what the doctor ordered.
An additional benefit to grabbing all of the healthy, nutrient rich avocados you can get your hands on is that reducing processed foods and sugars leads to inflammation in the body decreasing thus benefiting your ability to tackle disease.
Another crucial aspect to dealing with Lyme disease or any other ailment, is that people should try and lower the amount of toxicities they are exposed to. By eating healthy food, we eliminate a lot of the toxins that would otherwise enter our bodies. However, reducing further exposure by avoiding heavy metals and drinking filtered water is also recommended.
Number Four: Stop and smell the roses
Seriously, when we stop and smell flowers not only are we slowing down and being more present instead of thinking of our ever present to do lists, according to research by the University of Vienna, certain smells have impacts on the human psyche. The results showed that smells could result in an improved mood, awareness and peacefulness within the participants.
The unfortunate fact is the study also found that more off putting smells could also impair categories within people such as their emotional state and their sense of calm. Therefore, it’s perhaps better to take a whiff of your favorite perfume just to be on the safe side or keep a vase of flowers on your desk; no one will ever notice you sticking your nose in when you’ve hit a slump.
Number Five: Get into the light
Sunlight while being an important source of Vitamin D and the essential element for photosynthesis, warmth and nice holidays, is also key for your health. Research out of the University of Helsinki has uncovered that exercise in bright light has far more benefits that exercise performed under normal conditions, while both increased the overall physical well being of the individuals, only the ones in light had further benefits.
The main benefit being a reduction in total depressive and anxiety symptoms and the people exercising in light also had greater vigour than those working out under ordinary lighting conditions. Perhaps it is time to stand up and walk towards the window, get some vitamin D and a little extra pep in your step.
Perhaps the single most important thing we can do to reduce stress levels is to treat ourselves with kindness, and respect, a little indulgence here and there. Maybe we should try a revolutionary idea and live in the now, because now is as good a time as any. For life is meant to be lived, in the words of Marjory Stoneman Douglas “Life should be lived so vividly and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or a longer life, are not necessary.”
Bio: Sarah is a relaxation and meditation advocate with a plethora of information stashed in her blog, Relax Everyday. She aims to teach people how to use essential oils, meditation, and massages to reap the benefits of a relaxed mind and body.