Aromatherapy Massage Soothes And Banishes Stress

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One pleasant way to deal with daily stress and fatigue is to massage it away. For thousands of years, holistic therapies such as aromatherapy massage have been used as a way to refresh and recharge the senses.

A daily massage with scented oil can help dissolve accumulated stress and toxins. The benefits to be expected from this calming daily ritual include:

• Increased circulation, especially to nerve endings

• Toning of the muscles and the whole physiology

• Calming for the nerves

• Lubrication of the joints

• Increased mental alertness

• Improved elimination of impurities from the body

• Softer, smoother skin

• Increased levels of stamina through the day

• Better, deeper sleep at night.

A favorite scented oil used for aromatherapy massage combines olive oil and orange blossom. Olive oil is well known for its healing properties, both when taken internally and used to lubricate the outer body, while orange blossom oil is a scent that has been used as a stress reliever for years.

Together, olive oil and orange blossom offer luxurious skin conditioning with the added benefit of soothing stress-reduction.

Described as a delicacy for the skin, combinations of these oils such as those found in the Olive Oil and Orange Blossom Collection by Caswell-Massey offer benefits to the mind, body and soul.

The collection includes a body oil in this scent that can be used as a massage oil but can also be used to maintain healthy skin tone on a daily basis.

You can extend the benefits of the aromatherapy by using other products that contain the scents. These products might include a bath and shower gel, a moisturizing bath oil, a cleansing bar, body butter, moisturizing oil that can also be used as a leave-in conditioner, and scented candles. Even applying a scented lip balm can offer a way to de-stress.

Stress And Anxiety

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Stress and anxiety put people in the hospital every day. It may not be common to go to the doctor to say “I think I have stress,” but the National Institutes of Health say that 80% of illnesses are caused by stress, directly or indirectly.

Powerful hormones, including adrenalin, are released into your blood when you’re stressed and anxious. They cause a rise in blood pressure, a faster heart and breathing rate, and faster conversion of glycogen into glucose. These are all good things if you need to escape a charging grizzly bear. Unfortunately, when these effects are prolonged, as they often are in modern life, the immune system is depressed, and the body suffers other negative changes.

Some of the common negative effects of prolonged stress include fatigue, pain in the muscles and joints, depression, anxiety, headache, mental confusion, and irritability. These stress reactions cause your body to use too much energy, which can eventuaLLY result in physical and mental weakness.

Stress And Anxiety Relief

At Stanford University, an analysis of 146 meditation studies was done. The conclusion was that meditation was not only beneficial at the time of practice, but that it significantly reduced anxiety as a character trait. Most of the studies focused on transcendental meditation, but it’s probable most methods have similar results.

 

5 Great Tips To Handle Stress

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Stress has always been a part of our lives. In this hectic time, people lead an increasingly stressful life. Experts state that a little stress can be good; it keeps you sharp and ready to move forward, and is sometimes vital for achieving optimum performance. However, medical research has determined that prolonged stress is very bad for the body, and can block the body’s natural ability to repair, regenerate and protect itself. Over 90% of disease is caused by stress. Stress is both a physical and psychological response. It can lead to chronic disease, obesity, insomnia, deteriorating relationships, depression, and more.

Stress is such a powerful and harmful force that it is vital that you learn effective stress management techniques to live a successful, happy, and healthy life. We must remember that we will always come across inevitable factors that cause pressure and anxiety on us. What we do not know is that it is not really the problems that are difficult to deal with, but our attitude towards them. So basically, the cause of stress is your attitude toward these things. What, then, is an effective way to deal with stressors?

Below are 5 great tips to handle stress.

1. Identify what makes you stressful and uneasy. Making a list of your stressful experiences is useful. Immediately deal with the issues that you can change, for instance waking up earlier for work in the morning, not leaving things till the last minute, and delegating tasks in case you are taking responsibility for everything. Forget about the issues that you cannot influence like being stuck in a traffic jam or not getting into the elevator because there is no room for you.

2. Calm down. A few minutes break would do you good. Wash your face, breath slowly and deeply, and notice if there is tension in any part of your body and release it. You can also listen to relaxing music, or call a friend. Releasing your inner feelings to a friend is healthy option.

3. It will pass and it will be over before you know it. Remind yourself that the stressful event will end sooner or later can make you see the positive sides of things. At the same time, calm down your emotions and think of what is the best thing to do rather than take your energy away from what needs to be done.

4. Know yourself. Ask yourself: What triggers your anxiety? If for example it is your job, then maybe it’s time for you to reconsider whether it would be best to find a less stressful job. You can also make your job more tolerable by allowing yourself to get that needed vacation or leave.

5. Learn to use your relaxation response. Just as we all have within us the stress response, we also have an opposite response, which is the relaxation response. A person should elicit that on a regular basis. The relaxation response involves two steps. Repetition, the repetition can be a word, a sound, an expression, or a repetitive movement. The second step is to ignore other thoughts that come to your mind while you’re doing the repetition, and come back to the repetition. The technique should be used once or twice a day for about 15 minutes. Sit quietly and choose a suitable repetition, like a prayer, the sound Om, or the word love, or calm. Or you can do a repetitive exercise, for instance yoga, jogging, Reiki. Additional repetitive activities are knitting or handicraft. When you incorporate this into your everyday life, you become calmer and better able to handle the stressors. Practice makes perfect and the more you practice relax your mind, the easier it gets.

The true causes of stress are not the problems or negative experiences that you encounter in your life; but your attitude toward them. So, the trick is to change your attitude and to develop a relaxed state, because you cannot be stressed and relaxed at the same time. It is important to understand that what we focus on, we energize. The more you continue to think about the factors that cause your stress, the more energy you give it. So it is vital to let go and focus on relaxation instead. Consequently, you’re less likely to be upset by a stressor, and thus less likely to have its harmful effect occur. Eventually, it is your choice. You could either continue to react in the same stressful way, or you could choose to improve your life by changing your attitude and becoming relaxed. There’s no other way around it.

Exercise Your Way To Stress Reduction

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It is easy to let stress take over your life. From career to family to health to money to any and everything in between, most people feel like there simply isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done. Stress is bad enough in and of itself, but stress can also cause real physical and emotional harm if it is allowed to go unchecked. There are many drugs that are designed to reduce stress, but is putting extra drugs and chemicals in your system really the best way to balance things out? There is a better way to reduce stress in your life.

One of the best and most tried and true ways for reducing stress is through meditation. Though it may sound intimidating, meditation has occurred in every culture in one form or another through out history. The following steps will help you learn to clear your mind and relax, and you will be amazed at how the stress seems to just melt away!

Begin each relaxation time by reducing distractions, noise, and interruptions. Give yourself the time and privacy you need. Find a comfortable sitting position, wear loose and comfortable clothing. Relax and take several deep breathes. Close your eyes and try to mentally focus on one peaceful word, thought, or image. If there is a picture, a memory, anything that tends to calm you, try to picture that. For some people it’s the sound of the ocean, for others waterfalls, and for yet others, the memory of staring off a mountain peak. Clear your head, and let your muscles loosen up, don’t worry about what is going on around you. Relax and enjoy the peace that your image brings to you.

When you feel yourself drifting away from the image, don’t force it to stay. This is a good time to stop. Stretch and exhale deeply as you wrap up. This is the most initial and basic form of meditation. While it would work in and of itself to reduce stress, this is also the basis for several other exercises and meditations. When you choose to push on, you will always want to start with this basic meditation and relaxation. As you go into further exercises, concentrate on whatever phrases help you relax. “Nice and easy,” is a good generic one, while Christian meditation may use a scripture such as “Be still, and know I am the Lord.” There are meditative scriptures for almost any faith, and plenty of non-religious phrases, chants, or incantations. Find the phrase that works for you, and look around for other exercises. Meditation is a great way to relax, and will do more to improve your health and reduce stress than any drug, and the only side effect is a calmer healthier life as a result of your improved mood!

Three Things You Can Do Now To Reduce Stress

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Are any of these scenes familiar?

…The kids woke up late again this morning. By the time you get them to school and fight rush hour traffic, you’ll be 20 minutes late for the meeting you’re supposed to lead…

…When you were first hired, you felt lucky to get your customer service job. But now you wonder if it’s worth it. The phones ring constantly and you hear nothing but complaints. Last week, you called in sick just to get a break…

…It’s almost time for your presentation. Top management is here and your supervisor is counting on you to make her look good. You were up all night finishing the Powerpoint. You wonder if you’ve anticipated all the possible questions…

Stress is a permanent feature of our lives, but it really seems to ramp up at work. More than two-thirds of American workers report that workplace stress is a problem.

This means we’re all spending way too much time in “fight or flight” mode. And it’s taking a toll on our bodies through weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, and heart disease. These conditions shorten our lives and lower the quality of what’s left.

There are lots of strategies for managing stress, but when stress blindsides us with no time to prepare, we don’t need strategy. We need quick, practical steps we can take NOW that work fast and can be done anywhere. When stress launches it’s next surprise attack, try one of these: breathe deeply, visualize mentally, relax progressively.

Breathe Deeply

Breathing deeply could be the single most effective way to stay calm. Everyone breathes, but a lot of us breathe the wrong way–shallow, fast, and high in the chest. This kind of breathing is restrictive, it increases our anxious feelings, and it fuels our body’s negative stress reactions.

Slow, deep breathing triggers a relaxation response, calming the body and focusing the mind. It increases the amount of oxygen in our blood, raising our performance potential.

Are you breathing the right way? To find out, try this: put one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen just below your rib cage. Now breathe. Which hand moves? If it’s the hand on your chest, your breathing is too shallow.

The trick is to make the hand on your abdomen move. Inhale deeply while you slowly count to five. Try to get your abdomen to expand instead of your chest. If you have trouble making it happen, try it lying on your back. With a little practice and patience, you’ll be able to shift into a deep breathing pattern automatically.

Once you learn the technique of deep breathing, you can do it anytime.

Stress Management Ideas

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Are you somebody who always seems to be under stress? Do you worry most of the time and feel that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders? For the first twenty-two years of my life, I was constantly down and depressed and used to feel very sorry for myself. This article describes how I managed to break free of this depression to have a fairly stress-free life.

Growing up I felt rather hard done by, that life had not dealt me a good hand of cards. These were the reasons I felt sorry for myself:

I had a speech impediment, known as a stutter

I have a bald patch on my head the size of a ten pence piece

Due to comfort eating, I was overweight

I am quite short for a male at five foot four

Some of the above you may think are quite trivial issues, however for me especially as a teenager they caused me a lot of stress.

Stuttering was the major thorn in my side causing me many problems and traumas. I suffered with this speech impediment for eighteen years before finally managing to beat the problem. I now help other people to achieve fluency.

At the age of twenty-two I started to read a lot of books about positive thinking and also started to take more of an interest in world affairs. This gave me a huge wake up call as it made me realise that I was actually dealt a very good set of cards. There are not many countries I would rather have been born in, the things above that I felt were so terrible are in fact very trivial compared to people who live in parts of Africa, as an example.

I had stressed so much that by the age of twenty-one my hair had already started to turn grey. A colleague at work was also to have a huge affect on my life without him even knowing it. He was a man (I will call him Peter) who had many of his own issues. Peter had learning difficulties, had what I call the shakes, did not have many friends and did not have a girlfriend in the six years that I knew him. I would meet Peter for lunch on most days and he would always have a beaming smile on his face. One day I thought to myself, what have you got to smile about? I then decided that if he could smile then so could I.

I now am very happy with who I am, and if people do not like me, I don’t care. Life is so much easier now!

Do You Need Relief From Stress

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Amazingly, there are still a number of people who are unaware that they’re already stressed out and need relief from it as soon as possible. Or rather, there are some who refuse to acknowledge that they badly need relief from stress.

If you’re unsure about this as well, let us give you some examples of symptoms that are commonly associated with stress:

Workaholics who make overtime work seem like a regular part of the job are usually bothered with insomnia and muscle aches because they’ve upset their biological clock and they have no time at all for badly needed exercise. If this describes you, then yes, you are already experiencing stress and you need relief from it right away.

Workaholics who have high paying but demanding and high pressure jobs always have to be on the go and prepared for any eventuality. Hence, they tend to have increased appetite or loss of due to lack of time for eating; an increased intake of sugar and caffeine to ensure that they can do the work of ten people; high cholesterol levels because they don’t have the time to ensure that they have a healthy diet and of course, feelings of anxiety when they’re worrying about the outcome of a job or project.

Does that describe you? If so, then yes, you do need stress relief right away.

Other typical symptoms of stress are impotence (unfortunately for the males), migraines and headaches, depression and a weakened immune system.

Now let’s just say that you’ve found out you do need relief from stress. What should you do next then?

Follow our two-step-guide so that you’ll gain relief from stress – dubbed as the #1 Health Problem of America — although obesity may share that notorious title as well – in no time at all.

First, you need to enrich, enhance and improve your time management skills. If Stephen Covey says it’s a must then who are we to argue? But seriously, with better time management, you’ll be able to give the proper amount of attention on yourself, on the type of food you eat and on the time you allow yourself to relax. Not only will it provide you stress relief, it will also take you out of the candidate list for heart attack, high blood pressure and diabetes, among other scary diseases.

Second and lastly, take proper medication. Herbal medicine is something worth considering because it contains all natural ingredients therefore decreasing the risk of experiencing any ill side effects. But always consult your doctor first before taking any medication!