Six Destressing Techniques



I've been doing a lot of reading lately. About making my own soap, using essential oils, making beeswax candles. I've ordered several books to further educate myself. 

Along the way I've read about some ways to reduce stress that are quite simple. With the holidays looming, lots of people will be stressed. 




1. First, I knew there was a reason I like to immerse myself in nature. Did you know that gazing at beautiful scenes in nature increase your brain's alpha-wave activity? And this is associated with relaxation.  




2. The mere act of tending to indoor plants in the winter helps relax you. Simply viewing indoor plants has been found to lower blood pressure. It also reduces muscle tension and helps you recover from stress. 

Transplanting plants from one pot to another induces mental calm and reduces physical tension. Immerse yourself in what you're doing. Forget everything else.




Unless you live in the mildest of regions, you won't be doing much outdoor gardening. But it is a very therapeutic activity, and one I find such joy in. But there's always indoor bulbs to look forward to. 

Starting seeds inside several weeks before spring begins, you'll be exposed to soil microorganisms that improve mood and mental activity. So dig in that dirt!




3. A warm foot bath will begin to relax you from your feet on up. This is one by Dr. Scholls. This also enhances sleep and reduces stress. 

I remember years ago (I've got to get back to that) I use to do a relaxation technique most every day. I would sit some place where I was comfortable and it was quiet. And I would imagine myself somewhere like the beach. Watching and listening to the waves move in and out. 




I would then mentally relax my toes, my feet, my legs, all the way up my body. Your mind is a powerful thing. After about 20 minutes, I was totally relaxed.

A variety of different relaxation techniques can help you bring your nervous system back into balance by producing the relaxation response. The relaxation response is not lying on the couch or sleeping. But instead is a mentally active process that leaves the body relaxed, calm, and focused.




4. I did not realize that my sound machines were doing me so much good. By playing recorded nature sounds indoors, you can bring about relaxation. It also masks the sounds of the outdoors, like street traffic.

You want sounds like birds, ocean waves, breezes, rain, or a waterfall. I have two of these sound machines, and they are under $20 (or were anyway) at Bed, Bath & Beyond. One is in the living room, and one is in the bedroom. 

I always have them on. And I've found that if I turn them off, I cannot go to sleep. My brain is now trained to listen to rain!

A Swedish study found that people recovered more quickly from stress when they heard water and birds than when they didn't. 


www.massagewarehouse.com

4. This is an aromatherapy diffuser. I do not yet have one. I'm waiting for my essential oils book to arrive. Then I can start ordering the essential oils that I think will enhance my relaxation and provide other health benefits.




5. I think we all know by now what it means to have a beloved pet. Just the act of petting them lowers blood pressure. Researchers at the State University of New York found that people performed significantly better on a stressful mental task when their pets were nearby.

Other studies have found that interacting with dogs can increase the production of oxytocin - a hormone-like substance that facilitates social bonding, decreases stress and enhances a sense of security. 




6. Take a walk in the woods. Even in winter, research has found that physical activity in a natural setting may have unique health benefits. 

Japanese researchers found that a stroll in the forest decreases cortisol levels, blood pressure and heart rate, when compared to a walk in the city. 

So if you live in the country, you have this right out your door to enjoy. Bask in the sunshine outside, listen to the birds and enjoy the scenery. Leave the stressful thoughts at home. 

Just five minutes of "nature immersion" can improve your mood. 

So get away from the computer, leave your cell phone at home, and take a nature walk. Always having electronics with us keeps us engaged with incoming electronic data. And deprives us of needed mental downtime. 



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21 comments

  1. I have 2-3 CD's that are waterfall, the ocean, beach sounds with birds that I play when I want to be alone and relax. I close up the house and even fold clothes to these discs, pretending I am in a cottage at the beach and listening to the sea gulls and waves come to shore. It is refreshing and I can do a lot of peaceful thinking or no particular thinking at all. But, I also find much comfort in prayer, just letting God be the one you trust in, because of His promises and His word, and knowing he is always near, listening is the greatest comfort of them all. Go to bed at night and ask God to take all your cares and worry away. He will do it. Without God there is nothing, He brings us inner peace.
    (((HUGS))) Susanne :)
    (((HUGS))) Susanne :)

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  2. Love all of these ideas, and I think I need to get one of those sound machines even though I live in the country. They really make a big difference when it comes to sleeping? Thanks for mentioned where you got it! I can't wait to hear about your essential oils. We use lavender here all the time to relax, helps with migraines!

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  3. Here's one for ya ! :) I was sewing a few pieces of patchwork and they weren't going together very well despite careful cutting and initial piecing. Realized I will need to go RE-PRESS them, so first to DE-STRESS, I came over here to see what you posted today :)

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    1. I've been researching how to help my immune system. It seems that I catch colds so easily and it leads to bronchial issues. How to increase my immune system? It seems that stress is one of the most deadly things for the immune system. This post is helpful to me. Thankyou for sharing.
      Balisha

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  4. Great posts ...I am always stressed in one way or another, these are tips Thank you

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  5. This is a really good post, Brenda. I have a hard time relaxing. I do love to have my feet massaged. That can relax me like nothing else can- xo Diana

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  6. My two cats are definitely my stress relievers. They're so funny and bring me so much joy :)

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  7. I sure know working outside helps me. I have been grumpy all week and went out and worked for two hours straight cleaning the coop and moving the compost bin and cleaning up fall junk and felt like a new woman.

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  8. These are all so good to know and practice. I always see room for improvement. I do use aromatherapy and it really works well. Sweet hugs!

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  9. I have one of those sound machines too Brenda and it does really help! I often take a short tap during the day to de-stess, it does me lots of good. Sitting on the porch listening to the birds and feeling the breeze is lovely as well.

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  10. Thanks for these tips. Some things that really help me de-stress or calm down are yoga stretches and meditation, taking a walk outdoors, petting my kitties and playing with them, writing poetry, and soaking in a hot bath with lavender essential oil. I don't like sound machines, but I do like fans for "white noise". Can't sleep without a fan going.

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  11. I need to destress and these sounds like some wonderful ways to do that. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Check out Young Living essential oils. The quality is excellent!!

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  13. You are so on track with de-stressing. I listen to rain, waves but I need to do more walking in the woods. I love walking in the rain - I use an umbrella.

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  14. Good advice Brenda..I'm going for a massage in 20 minutes :)

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  15. Hi Brenda,

    When I first clicked onto your blog, I misread the title of today's post and thought it said, 'Six DISTRESSING techniques'!! Expecting to see sanded furniture and a makeover of some kind, I soon realized that no chalk paint was going to make an appearance on this post! Amazing how one little, wee vowel can cause a tad of confusion, and, shall we say, a stressful second or two!;)

    Love all your ideas on dEstressing! We can all benefit from a number of them. I am blessed to be surrounded by rolling hills, blue skies and a valley of orchards and vineyards, all visible from my window, and can attest to the fact that these views alone, are integral to feeling relaxed and rejuvenated when stress tries to takeover my well being. Gardening and nurturing plants and flowers has also been rewarding, as you say, as well as walking. In addition, I like the idea of a sound machine that emits sounds of nature, as I am sleep deprived and although there are plenty of birds to sing me a tune during the day, they're not available for a lulling lullaby when I need one! Thus, they call it a night before I say, 'Good night!'.

    Thanks for these fantastic techniques promoting relaxation and ridding ourselves of unwanted stress!

    Poppy

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  16. Long walks, yoga and pilates de~stress me. But I am going to look for a sound machine at B B &Beyond because maybe it will help me sleep better. I used to listen to the radio at night because it would put me to sleep, but we don't have very many good stations here in Victoria. I can pick up stations from Houston, but they drift in and out and that makes me frustrated and gets me up. Yes, I think I need a sound machine. Thanks for the tip!

    Bit Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  17. I love all these ideas, and Ive always said if you live longer because of your pets, I will live to be a hundred lol..great blog, glad I found you:)

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  18. If your butterfly bush is still blooming it is beautiful OR was when it was blooming.. Your post today made me relax just by reading it.
    I sure wish I had a country road like the one you pictured to walk on.
    I know for sure that stress is not good. There is so much of it now days with the trials and tribulations going on in the world and our own country much less day to day family matters.
    I went out this morning and replanted some bulbs and a small chrysanthemum plant.. The exercise got me in my hips but I feel better just being out in the fresh air. Love to crumble the soil in my hands. That's good medicine !
    Loving and playing with our kitties brings so much happiness and relaxation.
    Have a happy weekend.
    Charlotte in Virginia

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  19. These are all great tips, Brenda. I used to teach relaxation techniques in my counseling practice. Meditation is a wonderful way to relax and destress. xo Laura

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  20. I'm the Queen of relaxation. In the winter I take frequent baths with candles and soft music, year round I take walks in the woods, go kayaking weather permitting, listen to New Age music (doing so right now) and last but not least, I come here to look at your lovely pictures and read your eloquent and thoughtful posts.

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