Stress can greatly affect our body's normal function; especially if we don't pay attention to the warning signs.
Even if we deny the sensations we are feeling on our bodies, we can surely feel that our physical and mental state is breaking down. It is very important for an individual to learn to watch out for the warning signs that stress is already taking control of your system and you need to learn the ways to take care of your body to avoid a total breakdown.
1) Watch Out For The Danger Signs
Stress often starts out in our minds before it starts to show some signs on our bodies. Keep in mind that both are linked and one will show some effects of the other. A stress-free mind is often linked to an active and healthy body, but a mind riddled with problems will surely result to a deteriorating health.
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It is very important for a person to watch out for danger signs you're body is nearing the limits of its tolerance to stress.
Often times, we will feel some minor aches and pains in various parts of our body when your mind is getting burdened with all the stress and problems it is subjected to. If left unchecked, it might result to sleeping and behavioral problems, lack of breath, or even a potential heart attack when it is already above the danger level.
2) Mentally Cope With Stress
The mind shows the first signs of stress and will later reveal itself to your emotional and physical state when left unchecked. It is essential that we learn how to calm our minds when under the throes of stress and learn to focus our thoughts in order to push the problems out and learn to relax when you need to.
This might take some effort if it's your first time to undertake stress management. But there are some techniques you can use to simplify the process and helps you learn it bit by bit.
You can start by listening to your favorite music to help focus your thoughts. Try singing along with the lyrics or hum the tune to yourself to divert your attention away from your problems. Get this cool app with awesome soothing and relaxing music and sounds!
3) Breathing Exercise
Another method is to focus on your breathing. You can start some exercises which involves breathing in and out in specific intervals. This might take some getting used to on your first try but you will be able to focus on your breathing immediately after some practice.
Also, this exercise will ensure that your body, as well as your mind will get enough oxygen for it to function properly.
We usually hyperventilate or suffer short breathing when stressed so it's best to practice some breathing exercise to help you cope with it.
4) Eat The Right Food To Fight Stress
We need to take care of what we eat if you plan to fight stress head-on. It is essential that our body gets enough nutrients for it to function properly and avoid a breakdown when our mind is getting bombarded with problems.
Avoid eating foods that are high in cholesterol and try to focus more on integrating a healthy lifestyle of fruits and vegetables. You might not know it, but healthy foods can also help you in dealing with stress. After all, if you're not burdened with body pains then you can focus more in helping your mind cope with it. Here are some steps for a beginner to start with meditation as their Stress Management strategy.
Step 1: Find A Quiet Corner To Start Your Meditation
Distraction is a hindrance to those who are still starting out with meditation. When you close your eyes, your sense of hearing will be twice as good so it is quite possible to hear almost anything in your surroundings that will make it hard for you to concentrate.
For beginners, it is important to start out in a quiet place in your home where noise is non-existent. Close your windows and lock your door. If possible, you can tell everyone in your home to minimize their noise so that you won't get distracted.
Step 2: Ready Your Position
It is advisable for beginners to avoid lying down when practicing meditation. The aim here is not to sleep, and it is a guarantee that you will immediately fall off to sleep if your mind reaches a relaxed state. To stop this from happening, you can start your meditation in a lotus position or you can find a chair you can sit on. Make sure that your back is straight and your hands are relaxed on the armrest or on your lap.
Step 3: Begin Your Meditation With Proper Breathing
A good way to start meditation is to do the proper breathing exercise. You inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This way, you can come up with a rhythm that you can easily focus on. Also, the amount of oxygen in your body will be enough to keep you relaxed. Keep practicing your breathing until you can do it easily without having to think about it.
Step 4: Focus On Your Mind
While you are busy with your breathing, you will achieve a state wherein your mind will start throwing images at you. These are mostly in random -- events of the day, future plans, problems and worries, fears and so on.
It will be hard to ignore these thoughts and you are not supposed to ignore them. The gist here is to focus on these thoughts without really paying any attention to it.
This might sound hard but a here is a simple example to understand the concept. You know that you have furniture at home -- you can see them clearly with your eyes but you are not really concentrating on it.
Focusing on the furniture will usually make you think of its color, its material, how it looks in that part of your home, and more. You need to be able to look at these random thoughts in a detached state -- seeing them clearly in your head but not focusing your attention on it.
There will come a time that these random thought will stop and you will notice that you are already in a blank space in your mind. This is the state you want to achieve during meditation.
This is the place where you can think about your problems and focus on it till you can find a solution for it. With this, you have successfully mastered the basics of meditation for your stress management program.
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“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.” - C Joybell