10 Quick and Simple Rituals to Fight Stress And Relax

    Do you have tense shoulders, does your neck ache, and do you clench your jaw? Does any of this sound familiar to you?

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    When we are stressed, the body activates a combat response and releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The heart beats faster and breathing quickens. These physiological changes often lead to a headache and tight muscles, which is the last thing we need to have on a busy day.

    Headache and stress

    I was aware of all this and often did not recognize the physical signs of stress that I was experiencing in time, so I ignored it and put it off. Then I started looking for rituals that would help me fight stress and thus learn to relax more. Most of the time I can’t do anything about external stressors, but I can choose how to deal with them.

    1. Invigorating Morning Routine

    I get up every day at 5 in the morning and spend the first hour doing a mixture of different rituals. I love laying barefoot in the grass under a tree and watching the sunrise or just enjoying a hot cup of tea. Afterwards I feel focused and ready to start the day. Try to discover what works for you to find focus and relieve stress. Morning is the best time!

    2. Do Little Rituals Throughout the Day

    Having rituals helps us to be relaxed more quickly. I like to listen to music with a Schumann resonance (7.83 Hz), which has a relaxing effect on the whole body. I always carry a bottle of peppermint oil with me and put it on my hands several times a day. It helps me breathe easier and the aroma is very pleasant. I also have a clock on my desk that reminds me every 3 minutes to take short breaks to take a deep breath and relax my shoulders.

    3. Connect With Your Body

    If you feel stress levels rising, try listening to your own body. What do you need right now? Often it helps to touch your chest, stomach and back, give you a massage with your fingers or rubbing your hands. Try to stand with your feet in a rectangular shape on the ground, it gives a feeling of stability. We are used to acting according to what we think, but we tend to forget about the body and what we feel, which is what really benefits us.

    4. Shake Your Body to Eliminate Stress

    Unburden yourself, feel the muscles and relieve stress. I love to shake myself. Yes, yes, shake me. I learned this by watching my dog, which he always does when he’s stressed or upset. So I started shaking my body for five minutes in the morning (best if it’s with music) and I found it liberating, energizing, and it helps me relieve stress.

    5. The Power of Sound

    Certain frequencies can relax the body and help us keep stress under tension. I have created my own playlist with binatural rhythms (which I try to listen to with headphones). They are an entertainment technology with brain waves that quickly induce you into a state of meditation. Alpha waves are especially good for reducing stress levels. A group of neuroscientists in the United Kingdom has compiled a list of the ten most relaxing songs to reduce stress and anxiety. You can find them on this Spotify list.

    6. Breathe Breathe Breathe

    It seems very simple, but we have forgotten how to breathe deeply from the abdomen. Put your hand on your lower abdomen and breathe through your nose and expel the air through your mouth. Doing so by making a sound when you exhale can help relieve even more tension. You may have heard of the technique of breathing on each side of the nose, in which air is inhaled through one nostril and expelled through the other. It has a harmonious effect on the entire system and is a great technique that helps control stress and relaxation.

    7. Eating can be stressful

    Do you usually have another coffee or eat something sweet to get a boost of energy? Unfortunately this strategy can backfire as caffeine and sugar rather increase stress levels. How about having a decaffeinated coffee or chamomile? It does not sound so appetizing, but it can help you and they are delicious.

    8. Delicious Foods For The Nerves

    Choose foods that strengthen your nerves. Some good options, which are also good for your health, are a handful of nuts, a banana, a yogurt or a piece of dark chocolate. Avocados and small pieces of ginger are also good options.

    9. Put All Your Senses

    How do you listen using all your senses? Put your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart and focus on thinking the following: “What do I see? What do I hear? Do I smell or taste something? How do my hands feel?” This simple technique can reduce stress levels in seconds and you can train your ability to concentrate.

    10. Write And Relieve Stress

    I always have a booklet handy because writing helps me control stress. Free writing is about setting an alarm and writing down whatever comes to your mind. If you cannot think of anything, then write that you cannot think of anything. 5 minutes of free writing a day can help you clear your mind and relax.

    These rituals help me during stressful times. You may make some verbatim and adapt others in your own way. It is fascinating to see how different and similar we all are, and it may be that the important thing is simply to find out what works best for you.

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