Article by Chester Ku-Lea
Stress can be terrible for your health. It can lead to a variety of illnesses and disorders and can slow healing time. Stress has been shown to impair immune function and to generally have a negative impact on your health. Given how much we now know about the effects of stress and assuming that we can’t dramatically alter our lives this instant, than knowing some practical techniques for stress reduction and relaxation can literally be a life saver.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to get adequate amounts of exercise. While it may sound like this is just adding another chore onto an already too busy schedule, it is worth it. Even getting moderate amounts of exercise, just going for a thirty minute walk a few times a week can reduce levels of stress and improve overall health. Giving your body this time to just move and loosen up can have an immediate effect on stress and tension.
Yoga is one of the best ways to get a little bit of exercise and to relax your body. For relaxation purposes try taking a slow and gentle Hatha yoga class. Here, breathwork and bodywork will meld, helping you to release your tension and worry from the inside out. As the oxygen hits all of your cells your body and mind will start to feel the release. Try out a class at your local fitness or yoga centre once a week and see what a huge impact it can have.
Meditation has long been used as a means to quiet the mind and let go of tension. Sitting quietly but consciously and just letting the thoughts float by will train you to let your worries go. Feeling the energy in your body and learning to centre yourself will help you with any other endeavors you chose to pursue. If you are unsure about how to get started, try a meditation class at your local community centre or get a guide book for beginning meditation. Whatever way to chose to begin is fine. Scientific research is just now beginning to recognize the major health and wellness effects of meditation.
Guided imagery is another method that can be useful for stress reduction. In this method, you begin with deep breathing in a relaxing environment just as you would with meditation. Here however you might want to picture a safe or beautiful place you remember or conjure up and feel the sense of serenity it brings. There is now a host of guided imagery CDs which can be purchased for a variety of specific goals. If you’d rather just try it out on your own though you don’t hesitate to get started. Put on some relaxing music preferably without vocals (beach sounds, whale sounds, whatever suits your mood) and just dive into your imagined retreat. As the waves crash around you picture yourself lying in the sunshine on a secluded beach and breathe in that fresh ocean air.
Whatever it is that you need to begin to do to relax and let go a little more is going to help your body and mind a great deal in the long run. While it might at first seem like a bit of a chore to take on new exercise regimes or relaxation techniques these will actually help you improve productivity when you are at work. Being stressed is bad for your health, your soul and your productivity. Not to mention it can be difficult for friends and family who have to see you in such a terrible state. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your loved ones is to take a load off and treat yourself to some relaxing me time.
About the Author
Chester Ku-Lea is a health nutrition consultant and is the owner of <u></u>AstroNutrition.com – a provider of premium health nutrition and sports supplements. Check out our blog at <u>AstroNutrition.com/blog</u>.