Womenlines takes pleasure to welcome Nicky as the contributor at Womenlines. Nicky is an editor at Horses & Foals since 2017. Horses have been in her life from her earliest memories, and she learned to ride a horse when she was 5. In this article Nicky is sharing great tips to women how to relax in stressful atmosphere around them-
Everyone experiences stress in varying degrees every once in a while. Some are able to cope with it more effectively than others. Effects of chronic stress can easily build up with time. It causes premature wear and tear of the mind and body. Using relaxation techniques is an effective way to manage stress.
A common misconception that people have about relaxation, is that it is only about achieving peace of mind or being able to thoroughly enjoy a hobby. Relaxation is in fact, a process that helps lower the effect of excess stress on the body and the mind. Relaxation techniques aid in coping with day-to-day stress as well as stress associated with different health issues such as pain or heart disease etc.
There are numerous benefits of practising relaxation. These benefits include lower blood pressure, regulated breathing rate, slower heart rate, better digestion, regulated levels blood sugar, the lower impact of stress hormones, better sleep quality, reduction in fatigue, lowered muscle tension as well as relief from chronic pain, improved learning, and memory, etc. For best results, it is ideal to incorporate as many different coping methods such as positive thinking, effective time management, finding humour, reaching out or seeking help from family/friends or a medical professional.
Mentioned below are the top five activities for women to find some relaxation through their chaotic and stressful lifestyle-
Sleep off the stress:
It is a known fact that stress can often cause you to toss and turn in the bed and give you sleepless nights. One of the best ways to combat stress is to stay away from screen viewing (phones, computer, and television) about 60 to 90 minutes prior to bedtime. You can read a lighthearted novel. Avoid reading thrillers or suspense storylines as they tend to keep you on the edge and make you want to finish the entire book before you put it down. Listen to calm and soothing music. Avoid peppy numbers as they make you feel energetic. Ensure you don’t eat foods that induce acidity and cause heartburn, for supper/dinner. Invest in a comfortable mattress, which is cosy enough to make you fall asleep quickly and gives you quality sleep. A good night’s sleep is sure to make you feel fresh and calm the next morning making you feel like you’re ready to take on the world!
Yoga & Meditation:
Yoga has been one of the key ways to align the mind and body as well as feel one with nature. The body stretches involved in yoga not only help relieve the tensed muscles but also strengthen them improve the muscle tone. Regular yoga practice can help you regulate the blood circulation in your body, thus helping you improve your heart health. Respiration is improved and energy levels are elevated. Yoga helps strengthen metabolism and helps reduce weight.
You don’t need to go to the mountains to meditate. You can meditate wherever you are. Meditation for five to seven minutes has proved to significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels. Practising meditation daily, helps you improve emotional health. The daily practice also enhances learning and memory as well as increases the attention span. Regular practice of meditation can help regulate blood pressure which in turn helps positively impact heart health.
Slow, deep breaths help you lower the heart rate and reduce stress. Deep breathing exercises help you calm down in a stressful situation, almost instantly. Investing just thirty minutes a day to work out or take a brisk walk in fresh air is known to have numerous positive effects on the mind and body. Exercise releases happy hormones known as endorphins, which help uplift your mood. Regular workout improves metabolism and aids in weight loss. Oftentimes, suffering from a chronic disease causes one to get stressed about their health. With regular exercise, you can stay fit and also avoid the risk of chronic disease. On the days you exercise you are likely to sleep much better verses on the days you don’t. Exercise helps to positively impact the quality of sleep which is vital for the relaxation of the mind and body.
Take up a sport:
Sports have almost the same effect on our mind and body as a good work out. Sports help cope with stress and improve focus. It would be ideal to select a sport that involves therapy animals such as horses. Horses are considered to be the best among all therapy animals as they mirror the rider’s emotion and help them cope with their feelings. Horseback riding is recommended for individuals affected with PTSD as equine assisted therapy helps them relax. The non-judgmental attitude of horses puts such riders at ease. When mounted on a horse, what takes up your attention is maintain your balance to prevent falling off the horse and navigating the horse on the track. This distraction helps alleviate stress and lets you relax. Horseback riding is a great way to inculcate focus.
Music is known to have a therapeutic effect on people. It is known to put you in a different mood as soon as a song starts playing. If you are feeling low due to stress weighing you down, you can tune in to a peppy track and you’ll notice your feet automatically start tapping and your mood will get better within a matter of minutes. If you feel sleepless due to stress, you can tune in to a slow track, or better still play soothing instrumental music (lyrical music may bring back memories or you may feel like lip syncing, causing you to stay awake when you want to sleep). You can take up a singing class or learn to play a musical instrument as it helps you vent stress effectively.
Effective stress management begins with identifying the signals. As soon as you begin to notice any signs of stress, it would be a great idea to pause and take a moment to evaluate what is causing you to lose your calm and look for a solution.