Studies say that stress may cause around 50 negative health effects, affecting a person’s mental and physical condition. Each one of us feels sleepy, exhausted, and overly emotional for no reason from time to time. It turns out the reason might be stress.
We at Bright Side care about the emotional and physical condition of our readers. So, we have collected helpful exercises that will help you to both get rid of the physical pain caused by stress and prevent the stress in the first place.
What can you do to quickly get rid of physical pain?
1. Foot massage for lower back pain
The practice of stimulating the specific zones of the legs and hands to relieve pain is called reflexology. Scholars argue about the effectiveness of reflexology. However, several studies confirm that reflexology helps in relieving body pain caused by stress.
Research shows that stimulating particular areas on the foot helps reveal chronic back pain even better than an ordinary massage.
Begin with dropping a bit of body oil onto your foot. Then, start moving your thumbs from your heel to your toes, concentrating on the arch. Move your thumbs repeatedly this way for several minutes.
2. Face massage
Tension in the face is another symptom of stress. It may show up as jaw pain, teeth grinding, lip trembling, or neck pain. However, several easy massage techniques will help you to free your face from discomfort.
1. Just like in the previous case, start the massage by dropping oil on your face.
2. Using your fingers and palms, massage your face, moving from the chin upward, and massage the cheekbones upward as well.
3. Make circular movements around your eyes, pulling your lower eyelid upward, and around the temples.
4. Squeeze your nose and move your fingers up and down.
5. Slightly tap the skin all over your face.
6. Massage your neck by moving your palms from the bottom upward.
Aromatherapy is a treatment that uses natural flavorings to improve one’s physical and mental condition. There are around a hundred essential oils used in aromatherapy and each has its own specific characteristics and benefits. Below are our top 3 choices.
1. Valerian oil: has relaxing properties and is usually used to fight insomnia and nervous tensions.
2. Bergamot oil: fights sadness and grief and is very helpful during stress. As a nice bonus, this oil also helps to get rid of pimples and acne.
3. Marjoram: is used during stress and anxiety and helps to relieve body pain and headaches.
How to use:
Despite the type of essential oil you choose, the processes of applying it are the same: you may either inhale them directly from the bottle, use them during the massages described above (Remember to always read the directions on the bottle before using any essential oil directly on your skin, because some of them may severely dry it out or have other negative side effects), or purchase a diffuser that will spread oils through the air.
4. Chew gum
An unexpected solution that may help you to relieve anxiety caused by stress is chewing gum.
Scholars conducted research and found the following: they divided 50 volunteers into 2 groups. One group was asked to chew gum twice a day, while the other group was living their ordinary life and did not use the gum for that period. After 2 weeks, the group that did chew gum showed a significant difference compared to the non-chewers.
5. Hand massage
Another tool you can use to relieve tension in the body is hand massage. Just a few quick and easy steps will make you feel better.
1. Stretch the fingers and the palm out, making sure you feel the stretch all along your hand.
2. Squeeze the skin between your thumb and index finger and gently massage it, making circular movements.
3. Slide your thumb from the center of your palm to the base of each finger.
What can you do to prevent stress?
1. ABC Technique
The ABC model or the ABC technique is a part of something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a psychological therapy that enables you to analyze and, as a result, control your emotional response to the events that have happened in your life.
ABC is an abbreviation: “A” stands for Activating Event; “B” for Belief; “C” for Consequence.
How to apply?
Albert Ellis, the scholar who came up with this therapy, believed that our unrealistic interpretation of the event constructs a negative perception of it and affects our emotions. Once you understand how your emotional response works and what exactly triggers your negative emotions, you can begin to control your behavioral and emotional response to the event.
2. Progressive muscle relaxation
For the physical effects of stress, you can use a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation. This technique helps to get rid of the tension caused by stress.
Music may help you to concentrate on the exercises better.
1. Breath in and strain the first group of muscles for 4-10 seconds.
2. Breath out and suddenly (not gradually) relax your body. Rest for 10-20 seconds.
3. When you are done, count down from 5 to 1.
Here is the full list of muscle groups you should stretch.
3. Breathing techniques
Breathing is essential during moments of stress. When we experience anxiety, we suddenly realize we are out of breath. To stop stress right when you experience it and relax after a stressful day, there are breathing techniques you can use.
1. Breathe in through your nose as deeply as possible, without compromising your own comfort. Breathe slowly and count to 5 if that helps. It’s normal to not reach 5 from the very first attempt.
2. Breathe out through your mouth.
3. Repeat the process for 3-5 minutes.
How often do you experience stress? How do you usually deal with it? Tell us in the comment section below.