We all experience some form of stress at some stage of our lives.
Yet being able to relax is one of the best ways to cope with the physical and emotional stresses.
If you feel you’ve lost the ability to relax, perhaps its time you learnt the simple rules behind this simplest of pleasures.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines stress as ‘the reaction people may have when presented with demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope.’
A number of physical changes take place as your body relaxes that can help to relieve accumulated physical stress and help your body.
Different Ways of Relaxing
Relaxation is as subjective an experience as stress.
Just as there are many stressors that evoke different reactions, there are many ways to relax that, depending on your personal make-up, provide varying degrees of relaxation.
Some relaxation strategies are more effective than others, but anything that helps you to unwind can count as relaxation.
Ways to Relax - Make your exercise ‘green’
Research fro the University of Essex suggests that exercising in nature is especially beneficial to mood and self-esteem.
Benefits were found to be greatest after just 5 minutes of such ‘green exercise’, with light activities having the biggest effect on self-esteem and light or vigorous activity the biggest effect on mood.
Walking, jogging, cycling, boating, horse riding, gardening and swimming in the ocean, lakes and rivers are all good options for mood-enhancing outdoor exercise.
Not only will they combat stress, they will also improve your physical fitness.
Put the kettle on
Keep calm and have a cuppa – but with a friend or two.
Even though tea contains some jitter-causing caffeine, there are certainly times when it seems to calm rather than jangle the nerves.
Turning to the ritual of making and drinking tea has become an almost conditioned response during times of stress.
And, according to researchers at City University of London, it seems to work. But the calming effects may have nothing to do with chemistry.
Researchers believe that it is the tea ritual itself, with its associated social aspects, that make the friendly cuppa a natural tranquilliser.