No more stress: our 10 relaxation tips

Reading time: 7 minutes

You know this, I'm sure!

You wake up and nothing goes right: the coffee machine is broken, the kids are screaming, you're late for work and of course, there's incredible traffic...

In short, the whole thing! There are mornings like that...

Worse: it goes on all day with your boss in a very bad mood... The nightmare!

The result? It's stress to the power of 4! And the effects that go with it: fatigue, exhaustion, nervousness and the risk of depression or burn-out in the end...

How to avoid it? What reflexes should I have?

Don't panic, we give you some advice to keep your cool... Or almost!

What is stress?

Hans Selye, a Hungarian doctor, was the first to use the word "stress" in the 1920s. He developed a theory of it: the general adaptation syndrome (GAS).

He defines it as: "a non-specific stress on the body, caused by irregularities in its normal functioning. This stress results in a secretion of hormones".

Stress is therefore a reflex reaction triggered by our body to face one or more disturbing, destabilizing or even frightening constraints.

Researchers have discovered four types of stress triggers, which they call: C.I.N.E.(Control, Unpredictability, Novelty, EgoThreat)

Symptoms can vary from simple fatigue to exhaustion or even burn-out!

To avoid this negative stress and its consequences, we suggest a few tips. Because you can learn to relax!

But most of all:

You deserve to relax! It is essential to be convinced of this!

Without motivation, you won't make it...

Resting gives the keys to successful work and to resourcing for better ideas.

So listen to your body, take a break and everyone will benefit.

1. Breathe to relax

Stress affects breathing: everything speeds up and contracts! Consequences? You breathe badly and you feel bad.

Breathing is the key to calming your heart and mind. Learning to control your breathing is therefore essential.

In case of stress, use the belly breath.

Instructions for use:

First, take a deep breath by inflating your belly (without inflating your lungs). Pause for a few seconds while holding that breath. Then exhale slowly by deflating the belly. Breathing out means relaxing and letting go.  

Be careful, you have to exhale more slowly and longer than you inhale (to control this, you can lie down and put a hand on your stomach)

You can also combine muscle relaxation with breathing: lie down in a quiet space and focus on the muscles you feel are tense. As you breathe out, you will imagine or visualize certain muscles relaxing. Start with the neck and shoulders, then move on to the rest of your body.

It's up to you to tell me about it!

2. Go for a walk in nature to boost your energy

On weekdays or weekends, plan a little nature outing.  

Whether it's sunny or not, a good walk in a forest or a park is great for your morale. Reconnect with nature: get your dose of green, water, trees...

Goodbye to the noise and smell of cars, goodbye to the crowds, hello to the calm and solitude! And how good it feels to be away from the urban stress.

You can also go with your family, with your sweetheart... It's up to you. It's full of serenity and good mood guaranteed.

And if it's sunny, it's a good plan, because you're getting your fill of vitamin D! It produces melatonin, a hormone that boosts your mood.

(Well if you have a garden, it's also a good way to hug the trees...)

3. Laughing heartily

Laughing is one of our body's anti-stress assets, as it releases endorphins, eliminating the oxidants of stress.

Laughter relaxes and acts as much on the body as on the mind. It helps you release muscle tension, reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, etc.  

Don't deprive yourself of laughing alone or in good company... A good movie, a comedy sketch or a nice video on the Net and it starts at the quarter turn!

4. Meditate to control your mind

Meditation acts on the functioning of the brain!

It is a true classic tool of well-being: meditating on a daily basis helps to relax, to clear the mind and to let go to find inner peace.

Its goal? To reconnect to the present moment by controlling the chaotic flow of thoughts.

Sit in a quiet place and remove any distractions. While sitting or lying down, you will close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing.

Concentrate on the present moment and let all your thoughts float away like clouds: do not try to stop them, but do not cling to them. With practice, you will live more and more in the present moment without being disturbed by these disturbing thoughts.

The ideal is to practice regularly: you can get up 10 to 15 minutes earlier in the morning and take 5 to 10 minutes to meditate, for example.

5. Sport, always sport

Sport is also ideal for relaxation, as it reduces the production of cortisol and promotes the production of happiness hormones : dopamine and serotonin.

Choose the sport that suits you without setting impossible goals. The important thing is to enjoy yourself, to be zen and relaxed... Not to suffer the martyrdom!

Why not start by walking? Simply walking for 30 minutes has positive effects on stress. And if you do it in the middle of nature... you get points!

You can also run! You will get great results for your mind and body... You will strengthen your immunity, your muscles, your back, etc.

Yoga

Yoga is a real wellness package: it combines meditation, breathing exercises, and physical exercises! By combining rhythmic breathing, postures and fluid movements, the practitioner chases away his stress and obtains a rapid well-being.

An ancient practice, yoga comes in many schools: choose the one that suits you best.

5 to 10 minutes of yoga a day is all you need to get started! So get yourself a good mat and let's get started!

Tai Chi Chuan

This ancestral Chinese "internal" martial art, a kind of slow motion Kung Fu, also provides benefits against stress.

Like Qi gong, these "energy gymnastics" aim to help the energies to circulate better in the body thanks to postures combined with slow motion. It requires concentration and flexibility, but brings serenity and longevity.

Often practiced in groups in green spaces, it is a real national sport in China.

6. A massage and you're off again

When we stress, we accumulate tension in all areas of the body, especially on the muscular side.

By listening to your body, you will quickly discover these areas of tension: neck, back, shoulders, etc.

So whether it's a self-massage, or a massage done by a professional, give yourself a moment of relaxation with a good massage: a few minutes a day, think of massaging your temples, muscles, neck.

(You can also massage your sweetheart, but I don't guarantee that it is a simple "therapeutic" massage... I don't want to know!)

7. The music softens the morals

We know that music has many virtues: listening to music helps to reduce anxiety and stress and can even help people with depression.

It would be a shame to miss out on the amazing powers of your favorite music.

Classical music or modern music, it doesn't matter, you should test its effects on your emotional states. It's up to you to find your perfect list!

Often, it is the music of our childhood or adolescence that works best to soothe our mood.

Come on, get out your nursery rhymes and old songs and music, maestro!

8. Visualize your life without stress

An exercise known in sophrology or meditation, positive or creative visualization is used to reach high states of relaxation.

All you need to do is to think and imagine positive images to feel the emotions and sensations that go with them.

Sit in a quiet place and start closing your eyes: imagine a pleasant place (beach, forest, mountain, etc.) and breathe calmly. You can also evoke a memory or a pleasant experience and relive it in your head...

If you are having trouble, you can also try to have positive affirmations, "mantras" that will brighten your day: these are positive phrases that you will think or write down (some people write a phrase on their bathroom mirror to read it every morning).

It is simply autosuggestion, a way to influence your subconscious mind to help you act positively.

9. A kiss or a hug? recommended

And it's the doctors who tell you: kissing is a great way to relax!

This is a nice tool that releases your endorphins, thus reducing your stress.

All you have to do is shower your lover with kisses!

 

Alternatively, you can also opt for a hug. The physical contact, the warmth of someone's arms, is soothing...

What better way to start the day than with a hug from your friend or your kids?

10. Talking to others

Talking is good for you!

Just confide in or listen to the worries of others to relax and get better.

By unloading your burden, by confiding it or by listening with interest to someone else's, you either relax or you forget your worries, but in both cases, you get better... Not bad, right?

This is the best time to activate your networks and social relationships!

Above all, do not remain alone or isolated, but, on the contrary, surround yourself with friends and family to relativize through sharing and human warmth.

Here we go! You have a whole arsenal to fight daily stress and become a true pro of zenitude.

Of course, nothing prevents you from consulting specialists to help or accompany you in this quest. Rome wasn't built in a day, so patience and perseverance must become your qualities!

We hope you will find your way among these tips and we will meet again soon for more well-being.

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