Take a nice long bath, elevate your feet while sitting down, drink lots of water, exercise, get a massage. You might have heard these suggestions before, if you ever told someone that you’re stressed out. However telling someone to do these things, rather than providing them with concrete solutions on the various ways they can relieve stress, may cause their stress levels to increase. Scientists have shared with us for years the consequences of not practicing self-care, and the benefits of utilizing healthy practices such as meditation, massages, and getting some fresh air. Sometimes these things may seem easier said than done. The best way to make long term changes is to make it a habit. By creating some time in your schedule each day for something that addresses your needs it will increase your productivity.

Creating an active “To Do List” helps one to prioritize and decide what they should focus on at any given time. Crossing an item off your checklist creates a sense of calm and accomplishment because it helps you to keep track of what you have done and still need to do. Mobile apps such as Breathe to Be provide several breathing exercises for users. Taking a deep breath has shown to be helpful in decreasing one’s stress levels. For example, ever take a blood pressure test and get a high result, but after taking a deep breath your blood pressure goes down.

According to the cardiologist Dr. John Kennedy using visualization and breathing techniques can lower your blood pressure. Dr. Kennedy developed the Fifteen Minute Heart Cure, where he uses visualization and breathing exercises to help patients “teach their bodies to slow down, to be present, and relax.” Dr. Kennedy says that  “Stress triggers your body’s fight or flight response. The brain then releases adrenaline. As a result the blood thickens and the heart pumps faster, putting a strain on weakened arteries”(Archer). For this reason, meditating and focusing on a serene place, music, and breathing deeply can help people reduce their stress and blood pressure.

Also giving yourself a scalp massage with aromatherapy oils can alleviate some stress. Since aromatherapy oils have a strong smell they can help you relax. Massaging your scalp with aromatherapy oils helps to stimulate your scalp and increase the blood flow to that area.

When you are more relaxed it allows your creativity to flow, and you may feel more inspired, thus increasing your productivity and your overall happiness.

What are techniques that you use to  relieve stress?

Source: Archer, Susan. Just Breathe? The Secret to Lowering Blood Pressure. 16 Sept.2010 <http://abcnews.go.com/WN/secret-lowering-blood-pressure-breathing-exercises/story?id=11656769>

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