Have you noticed how this time of year tends to bring out the worst in people? Aggressive drivers and cranky shoppers seem to be everywhere!
When we’re surrounded by this sort of negative energy, it’s hard not to get caught up in it. These are 5 of my favourite ways to beat the stress and anxiety that tends to creep up on us at this time of year.
One of the best stress relievers is exercise! It also helps with anxiety as it releases endorphins, your body’s natural built-in painkillers and mood-lifters. It can also help our natural circadian rhythms which help regulate our sleep/wake cycles and balance our hormones.
Yoga is a great choice as it strengthens our mind/body connection and has been shown to improve self esteem and mental clarity. Have a look around Youtube for some free yoga classes.
When we’re stressed or anxious our breathing becomes shallower and higher in the chest, sending us into ‘fight or flight’ mode! By consciously slowing your breath and breathing deeper into your belly you can stop this. Try counting to three on the in-breath, and four on the out-breath as you say to yourself “I always cope, just breathe and relax”.
It’s actually been proven that junk food can make us depressed (not to mention fat) so cleaning up your diet can help you to feel better. Whole grains and protein improve your mood and give you long-lasting energy so you’re able to cope with daily stress. Try adding blueberries, salmon and almonds to your diet as they have been proven to help lift your mood.
Massage not only feels good, it’s been used as a stress reliever for thousands of years. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Ayurveda use massage to open blocked energy channels in order to improve health. Hippocrates, the “father of western medicine,” used friction for physical healing treatments. Massage is used to relax tense muscles, reduce pain and improve circulation, giving you a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation.
Inhaling certain scents has been shown to have immediate stress relief effects by raising mood, reducing anxiety and aiding focus and concentration. Experts say it’s because the smells can stimulate the limbic system, which in turn releases chemicals that affect the brain, promoting feelings of relaxation, calmness, love and excitement.
If you want to beat stress and relive anxiety and feel relaxed why not try a Restore Aroma Massage! This therapy combines the ‘feel good’ of massage with the restorative properties of essential oils to re-balance your body and improve your feeling of health and wellbeing.