With busy schedules and increasing demands at work and at home,
trying to fit in even 10 minutes a day for a new diet and exercise program can
seem like a monumental chore and simply add to already high stress levels. But
stress management often doesn't seem like a top priority - just getting through
each day can be a goal in itself! What we don't always realize is that good mental
health is just as important as our physical health and allows us to enjoy the
occasional respites from our hectic schedules; in fact, a relaxed, positive outlook
on life can help us work through the daunting challenge of losing weight. A consistent
stress management program is essential to taking off - and keeping off - those
on what is relaxing to you, stress management can be as simple and spontaneous
as listening to your favorite CD before going to bed or as premeditated as working
out a time management system that allows you to schedule time for that 20 minute
workout. Listed below are several stress management techniques that can help you
in your quest for permanent weight loss.
Find a comfortable position,
close your eyes, and allow your body to relax to your favorite music. Whether
it's jazz, blues, rock 'n roll, country, classical, or new age, simply let the
music wash over your mind for at least 5-10 minutes every day. Don't answer the
phone, fold the clothes, or mentally run through your "to do" list for
the day (this will be difficult, especially in the beginning). When you listen
to music, you are switching from the logical, analytical left side of your brain
to the intuitive, emotion-based right side; you really are "switching gears"
mentally! You'll find that just these few minutes each day really refresh and
motivate you to.
Stress causes our breathing
to become shallower and take in less oxygen with each breath, forcing our blood
to move through our bodies more quickly to get enough oxygen to our brain and
vital organs. You can offset this stress response and relieve symptoms of stress
such as backaches, stomachaches, hypertension, headaches and insomnia with consistent,
long term use of deep breathing exercises. To begin, place yourself in a comfortable
position, sitting, standing, or lying down. Make sure that you are wearing comfortable
clothing. Inhale deeply through your nose and silently count to five; allow your
lower abdomen to fill with air. Exhale through your mouth and silently count to
five. Do this for at least two minutes. You can increase relaxation with visual
imagery. Imagine that you are in your favorite spot - real or imagined - and focus
on the smells, tastes, and sounds of the landscape as you practice your deep breathing
exercises. As you hone your breathing technique, you'll find that you can increase
the number of counts between inhaling and exhaling.
Aromatic Foot Bath
baths can increase your circulation and relax your muscles, and the oils in this
recipe will make your skin positively tingle! Add six drops of eucalyptus oil
and six drops of rosemary oil to a bowl of very warm water. Soak your feet for
10 minutes. Run hot water over your ankles and feet for 30 seconds and then run
cold water over your ankles and feet for 30 seconds.
you're traveling by airplane, boat, or car, you'll find that the time zone changes,
cramped quarters, and different environments will take their toll on your mental
and physical well being. Keep sachets of lavender, rosemary, and lemon with you
when you travel. The scent of lavender will relax you; rosemary and lemon will
keep you alert. Lavender, rosemary, and lemon scented candles, baths, and facials
are also excellent ways to counteract the effects of travel lag, and they're compact
enough to take with you wherever you go!
Time management is crucial
in reducing stress. Always leave a little room in your day for surprises - expect
the unexpected. Make a "goals" list every morning, prioritize them by
number ("one" being most important, "two" being less important,
and so forth). Make sure you remain flexible enough to not berate yourself if
you don't finish everything; if you finish nine out of ten items, you're still
at 90 percent. As you complete each task, remember to check it off. Each check
is another step in taking charge of your life!
it or not, exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress. A good workout gets
the blood flowing to all of the major organs and your brain. You'll find that
a consistent exercise schedule not only keeps you alert and focused during the
day, but also helps you sleep better at night.
time with your friends and family, learn a new hobby, re-read a chapter of your
favorite book each night. Laugh! Laughing is a wonderful way to release tension
and it will help you remember the things that are going well in your life. Even
if you think that there isn't a minute to spare in your schedule, you'll find
that a little indulgence to better your quality of life now can really pay off
in the long run.
Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.