Do you feel like you have a challenging time managing your stress? You’re not alone. Stress management is a real issue in the US. And it’s dangerous.
Chronic stress can lead to maladies such as heart disease, premature aging, diabetes, obesity, and much more. Simply put, chronic stress puts your health at risk. That’s why everyone should have a relaxation ritual–a habitual activity the signifies to the body that it is time to unwind and relax.
Practice makes perfect, and that applies to relaxation, too. By training yourself to make time and space for relaxation and stress-reduction in the same way every day, you can learn to use that ritual to easily manage unexpected stress.
It’s like Pavlov’s dog conditioning experiment. If you train yourself to relax in a certain space while doing a certain activity, anytime you do that ritual you will feel a sense of relaxation, no matter how stressful of a day you’ve had.
Set up a tea or coffee break.
The Swedish take a fika, which is an afternoon coffee ritual accompanied by a small pastry. Why is fika so amazing? Because it’s all about mindfulness and intention.
When you sit down for a cup of coffee or tea each day, try to infuse it with some mindfulness. Don’t do work. Don’t check emails. Don’t scroll through Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Sit down with your thoughts, a journal, or a good book, breathe, and relish in your glorious, warm beverage. Everything else can wait.
Go to your reading corner.
Designate a comfy corner in your house as your reading corner. That means it’s not your nap or Netflix nook; it is only for digging in and reading.
Let yourself relax and unwind in this safe space on the daily. Plus, you’ll finally be making the time to read all of those books you’ve shelved.
Create a shower/bath ritual.
Every time you take a shower or bath, try lighting a candle, dispersing some essential oils, dry brushing, or rubbing your body down with warm sesame or coconut oil.
Make your bathroom time a spa-like experience. For many of us, it’s the only alone time we can get all day. Prioritize it.
Unplug ALL electronics.
If you aren’t into fancy, pampering rituals, how about this one? Simply power down all of the electronics in your house. Even consider unplugging the wifi router if you can.
Let yourself be truly free from technology, even if it’s just for half an hour. It’s infinitely relaxing.
Create a meditation or stretching space.
Keep your yoga mat unfurled in a corner of your bedroom. Every day, sit on it to stretch for 20 minutes or to sit quietly and meditate.
One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Do what feels easy and right for you. This is a relaxation ritual, not a perfection ritual.
Every morning or evening, sit down and write out all of the positive aspects of your life. Whether you’re grateful for a new work opportunity, listing the things you love most about your healthy and beautiful body, or simply jotting down what an awesome hot chocolate you had today, training your brain to become positive is a daily ritual that will pay off bigtime.
Focus on your goals, accomplishments, dreams, and the good things that surround you. Not only will you feel more comforted and relaxed by this ritual, but this positivity practice will help you gain a brighter outlook on life.
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