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Exercise Your Way To Stress Reduction

Stress can quickly become overwhelming. Most people feel like they need more time in the day to take care of their work, family, health, finances, and other responsibilities. The negative effects of stress on one’s body and mind are harmful enough to let it fester unchecked. Numerous pharmaceuticals exist to alleviate stress, but is it really the best solution to overload your body with artificial chemicals? Reducing your stress levels the wrong way isn’t the only option.   

Meditation has been found to help people deal with stress effectively. Although the idea of meditating can be intimidating to some, it has been practiced in some form or another by every culture throughout history. You will be amazed at how quickly stress fades away once you learn the following techniques for quieting your mind and calming your body.

Reduce noise, interruptions, and distractions before beginning your relaxation time. Feel free to give yourself the space and time you need. Get cozy in a loose chair and put on some comfy clothes. Unwind and take a few deep breaths. Get in the habit of closing your eyes and centering your mind on a single calming idea. Try visualizing something soothing, whether it’s a photo, a memory, or anything else. The roar of a waterfall may do it for some.

In contrast, the roar of the sea may do it for others, and the experience of staring off the edge of a mountaintop may bring back memories for still others. Don’t stress out about the world; clear your mind and relax your muscles. Just chill out and take in the serenity that your image has brought you.

Don’t try to refocus your attention when you realize it has wandered. Now would be a good time to pause. As you’re tying up, take a few deep breaths and stretch. This is the rudimentary stage of the meditative process. It’s effective on its own, but it’s also the foundation for a number of other relaxation techniques. No matter how far you decide, it would help to always begin with quiet reflection and deep breathing. Focus on the words or phrases that help you unwind as you move forward with the exercises. Nice and easy is a good one for the general case, while “Be still, and know that I am God” is a good one for Christian meditation. Many religious texts and secular phrases, chants, or incantations can be used for meditation. Try different exercises until you find the one that clicks with you. The only negative aspect of meditating is its positive effect on your mental health and physical well-being.