“Stress is an important dragon to slay—or at least tame—in your life,” Marilu Henner said. April is National Stress Awareness Month. It’s important to be aware of the repercussions of the dragon that is stress. Together, we can work to inform the public about the effects of stress and tips to combat these symptoms. The negative effects of stress include muscle tension, sleeping issues, fatigue, and more, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Here are some tips to relieve stress:
- Book a massage! Massage has been shown to reduce anxiety, reduce the flow of stress hormones, improve sleep, boost the immune system, increase circulation, and more. For further information about the benefits of massage, check out this article: "Now, More Than Ever, You Need a Massage."
- Meditate. Take time every day (or as often as you can) to find a comfortable sitting place and listen to your breathing. In my yoga class (another great de-stressor), my instructor recommends breathing in for 7 seconds, holding your inhale for 5 seconds, and releasing it for 9 seconds. Sounds like a lot, right? You may be surprised at how quickly you feel the benefit of slowing down.
- Do something you love. What do you lose yourself in? Perhaps you truly enjoy walking in nature, reading a favorite book, or talking with a loved one. Whatever makes you happy, do that. Take time for yourself.
- Practice gratitude. I know that things can be crazy, and when life is throwing problems at you, it’s hard to see straight. But there are still many beautiful things in the world. Take a beat, and notice things that make you happy. Maybe it’s the sunset, the way a stranger helped someone else off the bus, or a lovely piece of music. To quiet a buzzing mind, make an effort to notice the beautiful things all around you.
Here are some articles from Massage & Bodywork magazine about stress. Read them for yourself, or share with clients!
—Tara Doyle is ABMP’s social media and marketing specialist