Sign board that points to which direction you would like to go. Stressed or relaxed?

Healthy Alternatives For Relieving Stress and Anxiety

Why is it that being bad feels so good? What is it inside of us that make us want to relieve our weekly stress by engaging in self-destructive behavior? Sure, after toeing the line all week, wanting to engage in a bit of weekend mayhem is totally understandable, but when being bad starts feeling bad, that might be a signal that you need to find a healthy alternative.

If you’re finding yourself having more downs than ups, here are a few things you might want to try.

Mind Relaxing Activities
Okay, so writing doesn’t sound like the most exciting way to spend a weekend, but leaving yourself some time to write might make it a little more relaxing. Writing about the things that are bothering you can help to put them into perspective. Aim to write for about 10 to 15 minutes each day about stressful events and how they affect you. Tracking your stress can help to locate the cause of it and find better ways of dealing with it.

Let It Out
Not very emotional? Maybe that’s the problem. Let yourself cry, laugh, talk and express anger when you need to. Seek support from family, friends, counselors, and even members of the clergy who are willing to provide a sympathetic ear.

Enjoy Yourself
A lot of the time, we see enjoyable activities as a barrier to getting things accomplished, but sometimes, they are just what you need to help you relax. You might try engaging in a hobby, such as gardening, a creative activity, volunteer work, or even caring and playing with pets.

Women lying on a yoga mat.

 Focus On The Now

  • Mediate
    Meditation helps you to concentrate on things that are happening in the present, temporarily allowing you to release anxiety
    caused by thoughts about future goals and past mistakes. Meditation can be achieved by focussing on breathing. Mindful-based
    stress reduction is an especially effective form of meditation for coping with stress.
  • Guided Imagery
    Guided imagery is a way that helps you imagine yourself in a setting in which you feel calm and relaxed. Audiotapes, books and teachers can all help guide you through the process.

Relaxing Your Body

Couple sitting on the grass stretching.

Exercise
If you’re considering committing to a regular exercise routine, it may seem more likely to add to the chaos of the day than escape from it. However, exercise is one of the best ways to relief stress. If the daily workout is not for you, walking is a perfectly acceptable form of exercise, as are housecleaning and yard work. Even the briefest stretch can provide relief from muscle tension.

Techniques

  • Breathing exercises
    Engaging in roll breathing and other types of deep breathing can help to beat stress.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
    This is a way of reducing muscle tension by relaxing muscle groups separately.
  • Yoga, tai chi, qi gong
    These are all techniques which combine meditation with exercise. It may take some training to learn how to practice these effectively. Books and videos can help you to learn at home.

How are you relieving your stress healthily? Does it keep your bad behavior in check? Let us know how it’s working, or not working, for you.

Woman meditating

Meditate For Clear Skin

If you put on the T.V. these days, it is hard not to see Ellen Degeneres. If you miss her daytime talk show, you can always catch her doing Oil Of Olay commercials, showing off her age-defying skin, or in her Amex commercial, meditating over a pair of socks that she was charged for twice. From these two examples, it becomes clear that Ellen DeGeneres is known for two things, good skin and meditation. Did you ever think these two things might be related?

Meditation, Stress and Your Skin
You’ve heard it a million times, stress is not doing you, or your skin any favors, but how do you avoid stress? While that may be impossible, there are ways to lessen it. Meditation anyone?

Dr. Jeannette Graf, MD and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center says, “Meditation is great for everything. There’s nothing like it. For starters, it settles you so you’re in a state of deep relaxation and you’re breathing. Meditation helps every single cell in the body, and it helps your skin.” Graf explains that deep breathing adds oxygen to skin which is, “the key to help boost the actions of the cells to act normally and with great health.” She goes on to sing the praises of meditation, mentioning its positive effects on blood pressure, body, and mind.

Meditation Lessens Negativity
The popularity of meditation has grown exponentially in the past 30 years. Research from the University of Sheffield found that relaxation sessions, meditation and cognitive behavior therapy can benefit people suffering from eczema. psoriasis, acne, and vitiglio. In one such study, individuals suffering from psoriasis were asked to listen to meditation tapes while receiving UV light treatments. They were found to have healed four times faster than non-meditators. It was determined that this was caused by meditation’s ability to reduce the stress that initially caused psoriasis and helped to trigger the body’s ability to repair itself. Meditation can reduce wrinkles and slow the aging process, brightening you skin’s complexion. It will also help you feel younger by relieving tension related ulcers, headaches, muscle aches, and joint problems.

How Do You Start?
Good skin? You’re in! Meditating can be done anywhere at anytime. Just focus your mind and center your breathing. Try to clear your mind and concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale, excluding other thoughts. You don’t even need a quiet room, candle, or a lot of time. Graf enthuses, ‘First of all, a yoga class is a moving meditation, so find a yoga class nearby and pop in. Yoga is amazing for your skin. If you’d rather practice privately, you can buy guided meditation on iTunes and listen anywhere.

Are you a good skin guru? If you are, we want to know your secrets. Tell us what meditation has done for your skin. We love to hear from you.

Woman meditating

Meditate to Improve Your Game

For some, meditation seems far-fetched and not a smart way to spend free time throughout one’s day. But research shows that meditation is a great way to spiritually and emotionally complete certain areas in life that one might feel are lacking. Once someone tries meditation, they instantly become aware of all the benefits that it offers, including the following.

Starts Day Off On the Right Foot
Spending just five minutes meditating each morning before beginning the day can have a lasting and positive effect that lasts the entire day. By mentally preparing for what activities and commitments are planned and increasing awareness for what may happen unexpectedly, it becomes easier to focus on the good and avoid the bad.

Promotes Positivity
Meditation allows someone uninterrupted time to focus on the good and positive in their life. By expressing gratitude and avoiding self-pity, life instantly takes on a more positive light. The Universe tends to give back what it receives. If negative energy is constantly emitted from someone, they can only expect negative energy to return. But with meditation, it becomes nearly impossible to not emit positive energy, therefore encouraging the return of positive energy from the universe.

Increase Self Confidence
When someone is able to begin to view the entire world in a most positive light, they are able to do the same with themselves. Increased self-confidence begins a positive domino effect that can completely change someone’s life path. For example, increased self-confidence can help to spark a new relationship, encourage the start of a new career or enable someone the power to embrace new and exciting opportunities.

Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety is a serious condition that can suddenly affect anyone. Increased levels of anxiety lead to increased levels of stress, which not only take away from someone’s overall quality of life but can also lead to some serious health conditions. Meditation can help to stop anxiety before it creeps up on the brain and body, preventing the unwanted side effects that go along with an already undesired condition. Imagine finally taking control of anxiety with just a few minutes of meditation at the start and end of each day.

Woman meditating

Encourages a Healthier Lifestyle
When someone begins to incorporate meditation into their daily routines, it becomes easier to make healthier decisions. For example, meditating before breakfast will most likely lead someone to choose fruit and oatmeal instead of a doughnut. It encourages healthy eating, exercise and the avoidance of toxic substances.

Slows Aging
Studies have shown that meditation can literally slow down the aging process by changing the way the brain controls aging. As already mentioned, meditation helps to remove stress and negativity from daily life, which can also have a positive effect on appearance.
There are many different types of meditation. Finding one that fits into someone’s lifestyle and meets their needs is crucial but not difficult. With plenty of informational resources available, one can begin to experience the impressive benefits of meditation in only a few days. As with many types of health treatments, consistency is key, along with the true belief that meditation can change life paths for the better.

There are many different types of meditation. Finding one that fits into someone’s lifestyle and meets their needs is crucial but not difficult. With plenty of informational resources available, one can begin to experience the impressive benefits of meditation in only a few days. As with many types of health treatments, consistency is key, along with the true belief that meditation can change life paths for the better.