When you can actively feel the effects of stress, it is important to find ways to relax. Take time to stop and address your feelings about the issue. Calm your mind so that you can actively consider potential solutions and ways to improve your situation.
To help you do these things, try one or both of the following exercises:
- Two-minute relaxation – During this exercise, you have to switch your emotions and thoughts to yourself and the way you breathe. Firstly, take a couple of deep breaths, while exhaling slowly. Try to “scan“ your body mentally. looking for parts or areas of your body that feel tense. Loosen up those areas, and relieve the tension. Make circular movements with your neck and roll your shoulders a few times, while relaxing your muscles. Think about a beautiful, relaxing place (like the beach on a nice day) and hold that image for a few seconds. Take another deep breath and exhale slowly. Continue this exercise for a total of two to three minutes.
- Deep breathing technique – During this exercise, imagine a small area on your belly, just below your navel. Focus on that spot and imagine you breathe into it, and let your whole abdomen get filled with air. Think that your abdomen is like a balloon, and let the air in and out slowly and rhythmically. As you take deep breaths you will feel more and more relaxed.
During these exercises you should sit in a quiet room, in a comfortable position (i.e. on a sofa), and keep your mind open and relaxed, free of distracting thoughts and emotions.
Look on the Bright Side
Rather than looking at how difficult a situation is, try to focus on what you can do to change or improve the situation. The stress hormone cortisol can be beneficial to the body in short bursts, but long-term effects can be damaging. Thus, dwelling on a stressful situation without doing anything to positively influence the outcome can lead to an increased risk of a flare-up.
Preventing the Effects of Stress
Eating a healthy and balanced diet combined with a regular exercise routine can help prevent some of the negative effects of stress on the body. It is also important to get enough sleep and make lifestyle changes that promote overall health and well-being.
Don't Be Afraid to Call an Expert
Counseling or stress management classes can go a long way to reducing the effects of stress on both the body and the mind, and teaching you how to properly process your feelings.