Stress is wreaking havoc on our lives. Marriage, children, threats of terror, and our daily 9-5 are causing us tension. Stress can manifest itself in a number of physically debilitating ways. That excruciating migraine that pounds your head, that searing pain in your neck and shoulders, and that dull aching pressure you feel in the small of your back can all be caused by stress. It seems the body translates the anxiety and frustration you feel and manifests it as very real, very painful physical sensations.
There’s good news, however, about the ways to relieve and lessen some of that stress and tension in our lives. Perhaps the best news of all is that the answers can be found in simple ways that don’t involve being doped up on addictive medicines or expensive surgeries to alleviate the physical pains that have a non-physical origins in the first place.
The simple practice of meditation, incorporating yoga into our lives, and good old-fashioned hands-on massage therapy will do wonders in decreasing the stress in our daily lives and, thus, adding years to our cumulative lives.
Begin each day with 15 minutes of deep breathing and quieting the mind. You’re saying to yourself, “I don’t have 15 minutes in the morning with the kids, the commute, I have too much going on in the mornings and I need every minute of sleep I can get.” Fifteen minutes of meditation in the mornings can work to help you handle all the other stresses in your life with ease. You don’t have to be a monastic priest; you don’t have to spend years practicing chanting. Simply create a little space perhaps where you can look outside in nature, or at least someplace that you feel is tranquil and peaceful. Sit quietly for 15 minutes, finding a place of peace deep within you and you’ll find that you the little things that work to pluck your very last raw nerve aren’t as bothersome anymore.
Working out, going to the gym, and running are all great stress relievers but who knew that something as simple as yoga could add years to our lives? Millions of people who are joining the craze and crawling around on little mats must know something. And that something is that yoga is a great way to relieve stress. It’s something that can be done in the privacy of your home or in a group class and will give us greater flexibility and decrease the tension that is causing us so many physical ailments.
Human touch can work wonders in reducing the stress in our lives. If you don’t have the money, you don’t have to schedule an appointment with a professional masseuse, set aside time with your spouse for a little exchange of touch. If you don’t have a partner, ask a friend for a little shoulder rub. If you are serious about living a long, happy, healthy life, incorporating these very simple things into your life can do wonders.