Coping with Stress via Relaxation Techniques and Traditional Healing Methods

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Feeling stress and anxiety? Cannot cope with daily life, work, financial problems, family problems, study problems? Unhappy, tense, depressed, tired, these are all the negative feelings that would impact your health and affect your life. There are many ways to cope up with stress. Some methods may work for you but may not work for next person. Therefore, there is no definite answer on which method you should follow. I am engaging on daily meditation to deal with stress. For other stress relaxation techniques, I have compiled the methods from various resouces for your reference, you can choose the ones that suit you and work for you. Let's begin with some self help activities that you can do immediately.

Coping with Stress via Self Help Activities

Do something that you enjoy. Some examples here are the stress relaxation techniques or activities that can divert your attention away from your daily routine tasks. While you engage on something that you enjoy, you are so focus on something that you are being in a state that is near to meditative state.

Listening To Music by Petr Kratochvil
  1. Music: Soothing music can help you to relax and feel good. Choose the music that has good vibration that would make you feel good and happy. Do not choose the music that make you feel sad.
  2. Drawing/painting/writing: Creative activities can help you to release repressed emotion.
  3. Raise pet: The scientist discovered that pet has healing power. Watching the fishes in the tank, or patting a cat may trigger hormone or chemicals that promote good feeling.
  4. Dance: Some people feel that their spirit soar when they dance. It will brighten up your day by integrating your physical, emotional and energy flow within yourself.
  5. Gardening
  6. Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s 'feel good hormones' and 20 minutes a day, can change your entire outlook on life.

Participate in volunteering works. Some people may feel good and satisfied after helping others. Also, by doing volunteer work, you may find out your situation is so much better. In addition, you are doing a good deed and can get other benefits like expanding and developing your skills.

Get support from others. Feel like expressing or releasing your emotion? Let others to help you in coping with stress. There are numbers of channels to do this:

  1. Family members, friends
  2. Professional counselor
  3. Local community support groups
  4. Some may prefer electronic communication such as online forum, social media such as facebook with particular interest group for stress and depression where you can share and learn from each other experience
  5. Telephone counseling or radio pyschiatry are available in some advance and developed countries


Stress Relief via Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (also called CAM) is becoming popular. It is typically not being used in conventional Western medicine, and more and more treatments under study and move into the mainstream. Some conventional doctors are hesitant about CAM due to the lack of training in this area and lack of research evidence. Nonetheless, a number of studies are being supported by The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medice. Before you decide the use of CAM, I will suggest you read about the fact here safety of CAM by NCCAM. Take precautious if you are taking medications, have chronic health problems, or pregnant.

The traditional healing system is based on the belief that health is a state of balance among the mind, soul and physical. Any imbalance of energies within the body causes illness.  Below are some of the techniques that help in coping with stress.

  1. Tai Chi: A chinese system of slow meditative physical exercise to promote the flow of qi (life force) in the body. It is the calming and meditative aspect that can help to reduce or eliminate the anxiety and stress inside the body. It is also used for other health reasons such as improving the joint flexibility, strengthening muscle, and improving body system circulation.
  2. Acupuncture: The chinese practice to manipulate the energy flow which is known as qi and blood of the body by inserting needles into the meridian points of the body. Acupuncture has deep relaxation effects in the body and therefore it helps coping with stress. Some other benefits are heart rate regulation, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep pattern and respiratory systems.
  3. Ayurveda: The origin of Ayurveda is India, text written in between 3,500 and 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda means "science of life". The aim of Ayurveda is to incorporates body, mind, spirit, and the environment to treat the disease as a whole system. Methods often includes diet, exercise, herbal remedies, meditation, massage and other techniques all together to facilitates the lifestyle change. The principle is to treat the root cause of the problems not the symptoms.
  4. Reiki: Reiki developed by Mikao Usui in Japan early in the 20th century. The Japanese word Reiki means 'Universal Energy'. The healing treatment is focused on restoring the energy flow to the body by trained Reiki master by placing a laying hands on the above the patient. The person can return to a relaxed state via clearing of meridian, chakras and the energy bodies.


Other Therapies

coping with stress by massage
Image: healingdream/

Here are some other therapies that help you in coping with stress.

  1. Massage therapy: Rubbing, brushing or tapping a person's muscle can help to release tension. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage and in some cases also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. The techniques for massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure.
  2. Biofeedback: Biofeedback helps people to aware of their body's responses by means of machines that measure heart rate, muscle tension or brain waves. The typical tools used in biofeedback are heart monitor, electroencephalograph (EEG) which monitor the brain wave activity, and electromyography (EMG), which measures the amount of tension and electrical activity in the muscles at different times under different stress circumstances. By knowing how your body is currently function, biofeedback helps you to identify what needs to be changed, and employing the suitable relaxation techniques such as visualization, deep breathing, and meditation to relax your body.
  3. Aromatherapy:  Natural and aromatic plants are used to enhanced physical, emotional and spiritual well belling.  Using scents on daily basis help in stimulating the production of endorphins in the body.


Diet and Nutrition

Adjusting both diet and nutrition may help some people to cope with stress by managing their symptoms and promote recovery. Some herbal remedies, vitamin such as vitamin B, C, E may give a boost in your immune systems. Food or supplements that contain antioxidants such as berries, mangosteen, quercetin etc. will help you to fight for the free radicals that generated from your body as a result of stress. Avoid stimulant food such as alcohol, coffee, sugars and high fat foods. If you decide to take a health supplement, here is some guidelines for you to decide the reliability and safety considerations on the health supplements. Using health supplement wisely by NCCAM

As there is a wide range of health supplements available in the market, I will suggest to perform a proper medical check up such as a blood test and talk to your health care provider about the needs of your vitamin and minerals. Often blood test reveals a lot about your body and what kind of supplement is more urgently needed for your body recovery.


Stress and Insomnia

In effort of coping with stress, sleep plays an important role in coping with stress. Unfortunately, stressed and busy people usually get less sleep than they need.

  • Tune your room to a more conducive environment for sleep. Noise, light, and heat can interfere with sleep. Use low voltage bulb, turn off TV, computer, electronic gadgets or devices 1 hour before you sleep. Keep your room cool, open window or fan and curtain or wear sleep mask to keep light out.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Do not drink caffeinated beverages at least eight hours before bed.  As alcohol may helps you sleep, avoid it because it will interfere your sleeping quality. Quit smoking.
  • Avoid aggressive exercise or activity before bed. These includes stressful discussions or arguments and working on computer.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm. If possible, avoid nap as it can make you more difficult to sleep.
  • Do something relaxing when you can’t sleep.  These include drinking a warm cup of caffeine-free beverage, listening to soothing music and reading.
  • Meditation. You will find it easier to sleep after meditation.


Coping with Stress via Meditation

coping with stress by meditation
Photo by H.Kopp-Delaney

Meditation has been around for thousand years as a religious and spiritual practice. Today it has become a non-traditional way to relieve stress and it is beneficial to certain health issues such as heart disease, pain, according to 2007 NCCAM funded review of the scientific literature.

Meditation involves regularly sitting in a relaxed position and thinking about nothing for a period of time, usually it takes about 10 or 15 minutes per session. There are many different meditation techniques to help you achieving this state. The techniques often engage you focusing on something such as light, sound, mantra, breath etc. Despite the variation of the techniques, they all have one common ground: focus on the present, be in the thoughtless stage so that you can receive abandon cosmic energy and to enjoy peace and joy within you. What is cosmic energy? How is it link to stress? Why meditation? Watch this 2.5 minutes of 3D graphic video for explanation: Cosmic Energy Video

Meditation can help you coping with stress effectively, and when it is being done correctly, it can help us to obtain higher knowledge. You might consider sleeping to calm down your mind, but it turns out that we don't really relax our minds when we sleep especially if we are under stress. Insomnia is very common for stressful people. Our brain is active during sleep - during REM sleep, the brain appears to be working. That is why, some of the most successful people in the world practice some form of meditation. Meditation is very difficult to do at first, because it is not easy to be in thoughtless state when you close your eye but if you stick with it, it will improve your overall well being.

Coping with stress is not as tough as you thought. You can choose a few of the methods to work together so that you become your own master in managing stress.


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