It’s no surprise that being a medical professional can be an incredibly stressful job. However, practicing stress-relieving relaxation techniques can help alleviate that whole “I go to work and hold others’ very livelihood in the palm of my hands” stress thing. Medical professionals can certainly appreciate stress relieving techniques since they know all the negative effects that over-stressing has on the body. Those who regularly practice relaxation and stress relief experience many positive health benefits, such as a slowed heart rate, lowered blood pressure, reduced activity of stress hormones. Here are 10 helpful ways to reduce negative stress in your life:
- Meditate: This classic relaxation technique promotes feelings of well-being and self-awareness. Simply take 10 minutes for yourself upon arriving home from work to lie on your floor, splay your legs and arms out, clear your mind, and simply enjoy the silence and solitude.
- Keep a journal: Remember your diary that you used to keep as a child? Time to start up another one! Journaling is a great emotional release. By writing down your feelings and events of the day, you become more in tune with your emotions and more aware of how you respond to life’s challenges. It’s also a great way to track your progress in building relationships, advancing in your job, or developing a new hobby!
- Attend Yoga Classes: A relaxing yet challenging exercise, yoga and its focus on breathing, body awareness, and mental acuity result in better overall health for mind and body. Those who participate regularly in yoga experience lower blood pressure, a reduced heart rate, lower cholesterol, and improved memory. Plus, yoga will help you with your other physical activities! By stretching your muscles and developing greater core strength, you will enjoy an improved range of motion in your exercise.
- Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): This relaxation technique, which can be done lying down or sitting up, is characterized by a conscious, controlled process of tensing and then relaxing muscle groups of the body. Most people typically start at the hands or feet and work their way up or down the body, concentrating on areas such as abdomen, back muscles, eyes, jaw, chest, shoulders, and thighs.
- Laugh more often: Other than giving you a wicked set of abs, laughter is great for improving your mood and giving you a more positive outlook. Researchers have found that the very act of smiling (even if it is fake or forced) releases dopamine and serotonin in the brain, resulting in feelings of happiness! Watch your favorite comedy tonight!
- Take a Walk: Daily 30 minute walks are a great form of light exercise that boost immunity and cardiovascular health. Switch up your local route for a change in scenery! Regular exercise is shown to improve brain function and muscle strength in the long-run. Whether you prefer to walk alone and enjoy the quiet, or walk with friends and enjoy the laughter, you will surely notice the many health benefits of walking.
- Drink Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage, green tea is certainly the healthiest drink (other than water) that you can put into your body. Since it is neither processed nor artificial, green tea has been shown to improve cholesterol, blood flow, and memory. So take a tea break and sip slowly to enjoy the benefits of this amazing drink!
- Prioritize Sleep: Here’s a no brainer – make sure you set aside some time to sleep! Going through the REM cycles allows your body, mind, and immune system to rejuvenate. Those who consistently get less than 7 hours of sleep suffer from poor memory, concentration, and health problems.
- Stay hydrated: Remembering to consistently drink water throughout your day will keep you hydrated, which is essential for job performance, focus, and stamina. Drinking water regularly can also result in muscle mass increase, loss of fat, and shinier skin! The intake of this vital fluid allows your body to recuperate from the many stresses you experience on the job and helps you bounce back with an extra boost!
- Practice Good Posture: Those who are mindful of their posture, whether standing or sitting, experience many health benefits in comparison to those who slouch around! For example, good posture facilitates breathing, which in turn increases the oxygen flow that our brain needs (20%) to function properly. By rolling the shoulders back and down, keeping your chin level with the ground, and standing tall, you will be seen as a confident individual, which will make you feel better about yourself in turn.
What techniques do you find helpful to reduce your stress?