Information you need to live a happy, worry-free retirement!
Originally published February 6, 2015, last updated February 12, 2015
Most people want to relax in their spare time and achieve a work-life balance, but it can be hard to let go of job strain after a particularly stressful day on the job. Not being able to rest and recharge after work can cause people to experience even more stress, which in turn creates additional strain on the job. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), long-term stress can cause people to develop negative health effects, such as chronic headaches, mental illnesses and high blood pressure. To end this vicious cycle before it even begins, professionals need to embrace some simple relaxation techniques. NCCAM noted that the most effective relaxation techniques are those that cause the body to switch from its fight or flight response to a state where stress hormones are low and heart rate is slow.
Here are just four relaxation techniques that can help even the most stressful person start to relax:
1. Adopt a fitness regime.
Becoming more active is one of the go-to relaxation strategies for many people because it's a great way to refocus the mind and cause the body to release feel-good hormones. Dr. Manny Alvarez, a practicing physician and senior managing editor for health news at Fox News, wrote in a blog that exercises like running and yoga are great outlets for people to let go of their daily stressors and improve their physical health. Because activity releases endorphins in the brain, Alvarez noted it also improves people's moods.
2. List the day's successes.
Many professionals get home from a day in the office or worksite and find their minds wander to that day's failures, which can cause them to experience even more stress. Natasha Lindor, a life coach and founder of life-coaching firm The AND Factor, told PsychCentral one of the most effective ways of reducing stress is to jot down that day's wins, even if they seem small. Lindor suggests starting with just three things to get started.
3. Commit to being fully alive in the moment.
It's easy for people to think about their failings that they often hold on to things that are uncontrollable. Many people concentrate on the past or the future, but in an article for Forbes Kathy Caprino noted that one of the commitments she made to herself was to live in the present. Professionals should try to remind themselves after a hard day that they need to live in the now. They shouldn't worry about what happened in the past or think about what may happen in the future because doing either can cause stress in the present.
4. Gain an outsiders’ perspective.
When negative situations happen at work or at home, people can be too close to the situation to see it clearly. Peter Shallard, a consultant and former psychotherapist, told Inc. magazine talking to a life coach or mentor can help people gain a better perspective on a situation, which helps them to relax and be more productive.