Sometimes it may seem like the strains and demands
The way we respond to stress has a bigger impact on our health than we previously thought. In 2009, the Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak, who discovered a link between chronic emotional stress and telomerase (an enzyme responsible for repairing telomeres - the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes in cells that control aging). What they found was that people who feel more stressed are more likely to have shorter telomeres and lower levels of telomerase, which suggests that prolonged stress may actually shorten our lifespan.
If that wasn't enough, chronic stress has also been associated with a host of health problems - ranging from inflammation, heart disease and rashes to headaches, insomnia, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and loss of concentration. The following relaxation techniques for dealing with stress and anxiety will allow you to grab the reins, indulge in positive thoughts and inhibit sympathetic nervous activity.
#1 Tip: Sauna and steam-baths
Sauna and steam-baths cleanse the body and relax the mind by generating abundant sweat. This is achieved with a 10-20 minute session in a room warmed to 180+ degrees Fahrenheit.
However, relaxation and contentment are not the only health benefits sauna is offering. The heat releases poisons so that your body is able to get rid of them via perspiration. During a sauna session, we go through artificial fever state, which stimulates the immune system and supports the body's natural healing process. Plus, the increased blood flow to subcutaneous and surface tissue gradually improves the quality of the skin.
#2 Tip: Deep breathing
In modern society, the impact of breathing on our health goes largely unnoticed. It's a shame because when you breathe correctly, your body reacts in many positive ways.
Deep breathing reduces high blood pressure, raises our energy levels, relaxes muscles and improves athletic performance. It also helps us release tension and reverse the body's fight & flight reaction to stressful situations - no health club membership required.
#3 Tip: Massage therapy
Many people view massages as luxury splurges with no real health benefit. That is, however, far from the truth. This hands-on healing is terrific for removing blockages as well as for dealing with stress, migraines and neck pain. Another wonderful side benefit of massage is improved quality of sleep.
Both everyday experience and scientific research suggest that there are few things you can do to impact your life more powerfully and profoundly than learning how to cope with everyday stress. All you need to do is take the first step by taking enough time to slow down and relax.