Four Pillars of Relaxation
We know that prolonged and excessive stress can have a profound effect on us both physically and emotionally. Left unchecked, it can lead to illnesses such as heart disease and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Of course, everyone reacts differently to stress, but it can affect how we feel, think, and behave. We can however learn to recognise it and combat it, using the four pillars of relaxation.
Pillar One: Relax your body
- Exercise. Exercising 3 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes will help you fight stress. Go to the exercise section of myhealthpartner.ie for ideas.
- Get a massage. This is a perfect way to relax and get relief from both physical and emotional tension. You can give yourself a massage or you can ask a friend or family member to help. Of course, you can always go to a spa to look for a pro.
- Eat well. A good, well-balanced diet might help prevent anxiety. Some food can help reduce stress. Go to the food section for more information.
- Sleep well. It is time for you to work on developing a proper sleep schedule. Improving your sleep schedule is part of the global relaxation process. A total of seven hours each night will help you focus better and improve your memory.
Pillar Two: Relax your mind
Even if you manage to relax your body, you may still feel tension and anxiety. Therefore, it is time to focus on your mind.
- Read. Escape from reality by reading a nice book. Reading is an easy solution to relax your mind, even if you only read for 10 minutes a day!
- Think positively. Remember that positive thoughts can do a lot. Just think about three small things that make you thankful. Always look at the glass as half full rather than half empty.
- Laugher. Laugher is said to be the best medicine. Try to laugh more often.
Pillar Three: Be proactive
- Be organised. Organisation will help you manage your workload. Making to-do lists is useful to organise your work schedule; a well-defined schedule helps you avoid stressful situations. You can also prioritise things on your list, from the most to the least urgent.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Try to delegate tasks to other people. Do not be afraid to ask for help!
- Learn to face stressful situations. It is always easier to close your eyes and hope that stressful situations will resolve by themselves. Open your eyes and deal with the situation. You will feel better after tackling these situations.
Pillar Four: Learn to know your stress
- What are the causes of your stress? Identifying the source of your stress is pivotal to understanding why you are stressed. Take some time and create a list of the situations that are stressful. As soon as you have identified the causes of your stress, try to rank them according to the items that stress you the most.
- How often are you stressed? Are you stressed for a specific situation that you can solve or are you permanently stressed?
- Time for a plan! Try to design a plan to solve the stressful situations. You can ask for help, it is always easier to find solutions with a friend or a family member. Try to solve situations one at a time. You will see that solving even small situations will help you feel better!