Calm Down! These Relaxation Techniques Can Help You Cope with Stress
Stress is an issue that you’ll have to deal with throughout your entire adult life. That’s true for absolutely everyone, regardless of how much money you have or how perfect your life appears to outsiders. No matter what, there will be issues that weigh heavily on your mind and threaten to reduce your day-to-day effectiveness. That’s the worst thing about stress – you can end up spending so much time worrying about your problems that you end up lacking the time, energy and effectiveness to actually deal with those problems. It’s a cycle that ends up perpetuating itself.
Well, it’s time for the cycle of stress to end. There’s no magic bullet that can remove stress from your life permanently. You’ll improve one area of your life only to find that some other problem is now threatening to drag you down; that’s just the way things are sometimes. What you can do, though, is train your mind for resiliency and make changes that improve your ability to accept that stress exists, to manage that stress and to live a productive life in spite of it. Those are the things you’re going to learn as you read this article. Try these techniques to help yourself cope with stress and live life as effectively as you can.
Use a Supplement that Supports Healthy Stress Management
Whether you try a bottle of Bluebird Botanicals or a glass of warm milk, there’s an endless variety of supplements and home remedies that can potentially help you relax and cope with stress. These are just a few of the supplements that you may find helpful if you’re having trouble handling the stress in your life. You’ll find them at your local health food store or at a shop that specializes in vitamins and supplements.
- Passionflower is an extract of passiflora incarnata, the same plant that gives us the delicious passion fruit. It has been historically used to combat anxiety and is actually mentioned in some pharmacopeias.
- Valerian is an herbal supplement made from the root of the valerian flower. People have used is as a remedy for insomnia and anxiety for at least 2,000 years. It’s available in both powdered capsules and liquid extracts. Many of the herbal teas sold as sleep aids include valerian.
- Catnip is primarily known as an herb that people can give to their feline friends to grant them a few moments of intoxicating bliss – but historically, humans have also used catnip to promote their own health. Like valerian, it’s a common additive in teas intended to promote restful sleep.
- Lavender is another plant that people have loved throughout recorded history. It’s used to add flavor and fragrance to many foods, and it’s also one of the most popular ingredients in perfumery. It’s also possible that people have cultivated lavender for as long as they have because it has therapeutic benefits. Although the claimed benefits of lavender have yet to be backed up by clinical studies, people often use lavender flowers or essential oil in aromatherapy for its possible calming effects. Lavender is also a popular ingredient in relaxing herbal teas.
Use Positive Visualization to Focus on the Ideal Outcome
People in all walks of life often speak glowingly of positive visualization and how it has helped them reach the ideal outcome in stressful situations. Retired baseball player Kirk Gibson is one example. After leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to the National League pennant in 1988, Gibson was unable to play in that year’s World Series against the Oakland Athletics due to leg injuries suffered during the National League Championship Series.
He was unable to play, that is, except for one very important at bat. With a runner on base and the Dodgers trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning, manager Tommy Lasorda called on Gibson to pinch hit. The pitcher was Dennis Eckersley, baseball’s best relief pitcher. Gibson couldn’t run, so a base hit was extremely improbable. In that situation, there were only two likely outcomes. Gibson could hit a home run and win the game for the Dodgers, or he could make the final out of the game.
Gibson end up hitting arguably the most famous home run in baseball history, and he attributed his success to positive visualization. In a challenging situation, he pictured the ideal outcome in his mind until it felt completely real. At that point, making the ideal outcome happen was simply a matter of going through the steps required to reach that outcome.
Practice Meditation and Deep Breathing to Keep Your Mind on Track
Humans have practiced meditation for so long that it’s impossible to tell whether the technique had a definite beginning. So many people have reported positive results with meditation over the centuries that even mainstream health authorities like Mayo Clinic suggest trying it for stress relief.
One of the greatest things about meditation is that there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. All that you need is a quiet space where you can sit or lie down and a few moments for focusing your thoughts. Fairly quickly, you’ll find yourself reaching a state of calm and relaxation. When you end your meditation session, you may find that you can think more clearly and that you’re much more able to cope with stress.
Meditation is incredibly simple to do. It requires no special talents or training, though you may find that your ability to meditate improves the more that you do it. To meditate, simply sit or lie down in a place where you’re unlikely to be interrupted. Breathe deeply while focusing on a simple thought such as a mantra or the rhythm of your breathing. When you detect that your thoughts are beginning to wander, return to your main point of focus. Some people enjoy guided meditation sessions in which a guide provides ideas or visualizations for you to think about during the session. You can find many free guided meditation apps on every computer and mobile platform.