Important And Easy To Implement Stress Relief Techniques

A lot of people feel that relaxing means hanging in front of the TV and just doing nothing. Unfortunately, while it may feel relaxing, it doesn’t actually relieve stress. In order to really fight the dangerous effects of stress, we have to learn how to relax the brain properly. This can be done through a variety of techniques, with meditation, deep breathing, yoga and rhythmic exercise being some examples. Ensuring you take part in these types of stress relief techniques will help you have a healthier mind, body and soul, leading to more energy and an improved mood as well.

1. Yoga Asanas

Everybody knows that yoga is very good for relaxation. However, many people also think it is a difficult art to master and therefore don’t consider it as part of their daily relaxation routine. In reality, however, there are plenty of yoga asanas that anybody can do and that are easy to incorporate, even in your pajamas.

“A simple spinal twist can help you get a better night’s sleep. It alleviates tension that’s built up in your lower back throughout the day. Sitting on your bed with legs crossed, place your right hand down on the bed behind you and rest your left hand on your right knee. Sit up straight and inhale for four to eight counts, lengthening your spine as you breathe. On your exhale, begin to twist toward your right hand (don’t strain your neck). Hold this position for four more full breaths, lengthening your spine on the inhales and deepening your twist on the exhales, if it feels comfortable. Repeat yoga asanas on opposite side.”

2. Meditation

Meditation is no longer something that only hippies do in retreats in Goa. Today, it has been scientifically proven to be good for the mind and body. Buddha once said that everyone should practice meditation for at least 20 minutes per day, unless you don’t have time for it. In that case, you should practice meditation for an hour a day. Those words ring true now that we know the Buddha was actually right about the benefits of meditation.

“Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.”

Meditation also isn’t as difficult as some people believe it to be. It is about trying to regulate your breathing and thinking of nothing, allowing thoughts to simply fly by. If this is something you struggle with, there are many guided meditations that will help you through the process, most of which are available for free on channels like YouTube.

3. Eat Right

There are many techniques that you can employ in order to reduce stress. A few minutes of deep breathing, spending some time thinking about a perfect place in the world, properly planning your day so you don’t become stressed and more are all perfect examples of things that you can do. However, you must also understand the importance of your diet when it comes to stress relief techniques.

“Some foods may help stabilize blood sugar or, better yet, your emotional response.”

A number of foods are particularly effective in combating stress. Green leafy vegetables, turkey breasts, oatmeal, yogurt, salmon, blueberries, pistachios, dark chocolate, milk, seeds, avocados, and cashews have all been scientifically proven to have elements in them that help us reduce our levels of stress. Stress causes the brain to release a steroid hormone that can have harmful effects on the body. It can lead to heart attacks, strokes, burnout and more. Ensuring your body has the elements needed to fight the negative effects of cortisol is vital to your overall health and well-being.

The Dangers Of Crash Dieting

Most of us know about crash diets. These are diets designed to make us lose lots of weight in record time. While this may sound attractive if you are trying to get your body ready for that dress really quickly, this kind of diet is actually really dangerous. The reality is that, while such diets certainly have results in terms of weight loss, this benefit does not outweigh the many risks and dangers to your overall health. Let’s take a look at some of the dangers associated with crash dieting.

Nutritional Deficiency

While we all live by the mantra of ‘calories in, energy out’, meaning that the fewer calories we eat, the more we will lose weight, it is important to remember that our bodies do actually need food. Food is full of vitamins, minerals and various other elements essential to our survival. When you crash diet, your body is no longer able to get all these nutritional elements and this is can lead to nutritional deficiency.

“If long term deficiencies persist, a number of things can occur, including leaching minerals from your bones, leading to osteoporosis and fractures or the leaching of iron from the blood, leading to anemia. In addition, low calorie diets can lead to a deficiency in particular nutrients such as sodium and potassium. These electrolytes are used in nerve and muscle function, and play an important role in regulating heart beats.”

As such, crash dieting significantly increases your chances of suffering a heart attack. Being overweight also increases the risk of a heart attack. If you can imagine an already weakened heart that is then deprived of sodium and potassium is placed under so much stress, it is easy to see that the risk of having a heart attack is magnified several times. Therefore, this type of dieting should be avoided at all costs.

Eating Disorders

Let’s say that you managed to stick to your crash diet, and that you supplement your restrictive calorie intake with all the necessary supplements so that you don’t experience any nutritional deficiency. Unfortunately, you are not home free because there is the risk of developing significant psychological issues, including anorexia and bulimia.

“Another troubling factor of crash dieting is that it can cause serious eating problems and a variety of disorders like anorexia and bulimia.”

For some people, the results are simply never enough. They notice how they can lose a significant amount of weight in a relatively easy way, and decide to keep that up for a little while longer. This little while longer may never stop, however. In fact, the calorie restriction tends to become increasingly severe, until some people literally survive on a carrot stick per day. Eating disorders are dangerous disorders with the potential to be deadly.

A Sluggish Metabolism

A hidden danger of these diets is that they slow down your metabolism. This means that, in the long run, they are actually counter productive. After all, a slow metabolism means that you don’t lose weight anymore, unless you further restrict your calorie intake. This is a risk of crash dieting that few people are aware of.

“You are doing the exact opposite of what you set out to do. You may not be gaining weight, but you aren’t burning fat and calories either. When you eat normally again, you will most probably gain some weight since your metabolism is already slow.”

The biggest problem with a slower metabolism is that it leads to the yoyo effect. This is where you lose weight, but then put it straight back on after you stop following that diet. In most cases, the weight you put back on is more than the weight you have lost in the first place, meaning you’re actually heavier overall. And this vicious cycle repeats itself as you grow heavier and heavier.