Stress is a part of life and almost every person is stressed these days. Be it work stress, personal life problems, failure or diseases, stress has become an inevitable life component. Irrespective of the cause, stress impacts our mind and body. It causes physical ailments such as headaches, body ache, pain and mental issues like poor concentration, focus issues, cognitive decline, to name but a few. This is a part of the mind-body connection. Despite trying hard to avoid stress, it is difficult. So, rather than avoiding it, we need to learn ways to manage stress to strengthen our minds and body. This section is more focused on mental health and holistic wellness.
Relaxation techniques for mind and body
To combat stress in a healthy way, one must know how to evoke a relaxation response and promote overall health.
Breathing exercises are simply the best in promoting mental and physical health simultaneously. When you take a deep breath, the oxygen supply is increased and it distracts your mind from disturbing thoughts and sensations. Take long, deep and slow breaths. The other term for this practice is belly or abdominal breathing. People who do not have respiratory or breathing problems can do this to ward off mental roadblocks. People with eating disorders have been benefited from this exercise.
This is a holistic approach to focus on mind and body together. It is a powerful technique that merges deep breathing with focus. Do deep breathing for a couple of minutes and then focus on one part of the body. It could be your face or hand or head. Focus and try to release tension from that body part. Body scan is basically scanning the body and trying to ease physical or mental stress through breathing. This exercise strengthens the mind-body connection.
This is similar to virtual reality where you show your mind things that aren’t present physically. For example, you imagine travelling to a place on your wishlist. Or you are standing in front of a majestic hilltop seeing a beautiful sunrise. These images would increase your focus and relax your mind. People spend thousands on these sessions but you can practice them for free at home. You must choose imagery that has personal significance and soothes your mind. Guided imagery reinforces positive thinking and outlook to life. Just bring together your calm and do this.
If you are trying to get mental peace and physical soundness, mindful meditation is certainly the best. This has become quite popular over the years for the benefits it brings. Several research has shown that mindful meditation is effective in handling pain, anxiety and depression. Just sit comfortably, focus on each breath and bring your mind’s focus to one place. Ignore all the unnecessary thoughts.
Yoga and tai chi
Yoga is a powerful practice that has solutions for all problems including physical, mental and emotional well-being. Tai chi is also an ancient art that combines breathing with movement. As you focus on breathing patterns while exercising the body, your mind gets distracted by negative thoughts. Besides, these enhance balance and flexibility. People with health issues must consult their doctor before doing or take preventive measures to avoid issues.
When you are stuck in the flood of thoughts, this is an instant solution for relief. Repetitive prayer is silent chanting of prayers or short mantra(phrases) from a holy book. You’ll feel very relaxed after doing this. People who do not have religious or spiritual sentiments shall chant phrases that they find calming and soothing. Do this daily for 10-15 minutes to secure physical and mental wellness.