Stress kills. This popular saying has been around for decades. In this day and age though, it seems to be listened to less than ever. Work and home commitments have grown to be bigger responsibilities and stress has risen in the average home over the years.
This increased stress carries with it a host of problems. Higher stress is associated with increased chance of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases like depression and mental illness.
It also has the potential to increase fat storage, and decrease fitness. From an immediate health perspective, it also raises the chance of catching an illness like colds and flu. This is because stress can also depress the immune system.
But, why does stress impact us so negatively?
Back in caveman times, we never had to deal with persistent stress. We usually just had bouts of high, immediate stress. An example of this might be when we had to try and outrun a sabretooth tiger that was trying to eat us.
As such, our bodies adapted. We’re great at dealing with immediate, high-stress events, like exercise. But, more constant stress can wreak havoc on our health.
So, in this day and age more than any other, it’s vital to have a plan for unwinding and destressing to keep your health in check. Below, we look at a few ways you can relax in the modern world.
How Modern Man Relaxes: The Most Effective Ways To Destress
Meditation And Mindfulness
This is one of the most popular forms of relaxation and is gaining further popularity recently. Meditation is the practice of taking the time to purposefully relax and reflect on good experiences to eliminate stress.
Meanwhile, mindfulness is the practice of being aware of the things you’re doing and the experiences you’re having in the present moment, instead of always looking ahead.
The one benefit of modern day lifestyle is the high availability of meditation and mindfulness aids. These can come in the form of apps like Headspace, or through meditation classes and coaches.
In either case, it is now very easy to include meditation and mindful practice into your daily routine. Studies have also shown that regular meditation or mindfulness can help reduce stress and protect against many of the health issues caused by it.
Futhermore, taking 15 to 30 minutes out of your day to practice some meditation, and focusing more on the present, can make a big difference to your health.
This may seem like an old wives tale, but it does have some merit. Studies have shown that the benefits of drinking tea include reduced stress levels and a greater feeling of relaxation.
This means that a quick tea break may provide many of the benefits as a longer meditation session. Tea breaks are also much easier to include into your daily routine. It can be done at work, at home, or even after a gym session.
This might seem like a surprising addition to some. Yet, exercise can not only help reduce immediate feelings of stress, but it also helps you cope with stress levels long-term.
This doesn’t have to be particularly high-intensity exercise either. Simple activities like walking or cycling or even physical chores like gardening or carpentry can be beneficial.
The most important thing about the exercise is that it’s enjoyable for you to do. Moreover, finding an activity that you can do in your spare time may do a lot more than just help you get fit.
Listening To Music
This is another obvious if an underrated method of relaxing. Taking time to listen to your favorite music can significantly increase relaxation. This is true even if you listen to music while carrying out a stressful task.
So, if you’ve got a particularly stressful day ahead, keeping your music player close is a good idea.
Wrap Up And Take Home Points
Managing stress is essential to improving your health and well-being. So, including stress management and relaxation techniques should be a priority in this busy day and age.
But, while the above methods are all effective at reducing stress on their own, the best results will be found through combining multiple methods.
Therefore, listening to your favorite music while exercising, or combining exercise and meditation, such as yoga, are all great options for relaxation. Some walking after a tea break is also a good choice.
Relaxing can also help improve productivity. So, you don’t even have to worry about falling behind when you take some time out for yourself.