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Five ways to have a stress free Christmas

by John Burns (follow)
General Wellness (163)      Stress Management (64)      Lists (61)      December Competition (5)     
Stress is nothing to be underestimated, and yet so often it is. A study published by Medibank found that 3.2 working days are lost per worker each year in Australia due to stress, a number which costs Australian employers $10.11 billion annually.



fighting stress, stress relief tips, stress at christmas
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Modern life is fast-paced, and we are bombarded with stimuli from all directions, so it’s natural for us to feel somewhat overwhelmed at times. Christmas is no exception - in fact, many people report higher stress levels in the run up to Christmas.

Here are five ways to fight stress and ensure a relaxed Christmas.

Expression

A lot of the time, stress is caused by an inability to articulate your feelings. This bottling-up of emotion can be harmful to body and mind in the long-term, so it’s vital to find an outlet for these stress-causing thoughts.



fighting stress, stress relief tips, stress at christmas
Image from Wikipedia

If you are interested in music, art or literature, you may want to channel your stress into one of these pursuits. Indulging in painting, drawing, playing music, writing or some other creative endeavour combines the stress-relieving qualities of expression with doing something you truly enjoy, and will have a marked effect on your overall levels of well-being.

If you don’t feel comfortable with this sort of expression, you may want to start a stress journal. Putting your feelings into words gives you a useful outlet and will help to release the mental pressure associated with stress.

Exercise

Taking regular exercise releases endorphins into the brain, which can help to lift your mood in the short term as well as combat stress and anxiety in the long term. As mentioned above, doing something you thoroughly enjoy can also help to fight stress, so finding a pastime that you love can only increase the positive effects of exercise.



fighting stress, stress relief tips, stress at christmas
Image from Wikipedia

Don’t fancy dragging yourself out for a jog four times a week? Schedule regular tennis matches with friends. Not so keen on an hour in the gym each night? Go for a swim or play volleyball. The key is finding something you enjoy; that way, doing it regularly is not a chore.

Meditation

Meditation and relaxation are great ways to alleviate stress from your life. Schedule yourself some me-time every day, in which you block out stressful stimuli and focus on relaxing your mind and body.



fighting stress, stress relief tips, stress at christmas
Image from Pixabay


Meditation can take a variety of forms, but all centre on a common theme: clearing your mind of the anxieties and stresses of daily life. You may want to escape in a book, or take a walk into a secluded park; whatever you do, just ensure it’s not too taxing on the brain.

Breathing

Breathing is fairly important in all aspects of life. After all, without breathing, we die. But controlling your breathing can be particularly effective when battling stress.



fighting stress, stress relief tips, stress at christmas
Image from Wikipedia

Sit in a comfortable position with a straight back and one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in deeply through your nose and then exhale in the same way. Keep a watch over what your hands are doing; the hand on your stomach should be moving inwards and outwards with each breath, while the hand on your chest should move very little. This shows that you are breathing from your diaphragm. Try to incorporate this technique into your meditation.

Laughter

It’s an overused adage, but sometimes laughter is the best medicine! The bodily process of laughing has been found to have a myriad of benefits on our physical and mental health. Obviously a good old chuckle session can help to boost our mood in the short term, but you might be amazed to discover some of its other benefits.



fighting stress, stress relief tips, stress at christmas
Image from Wikipedia

Advice from the Mayo Clinic suggests that the physical processes our body undergoes when we guffaw can help to boost our immune systems, stimulate our heart and lungs, and even relieve physical pain. Impressive stuff!

We hope these tips help you to enjoy the festive period, and we wish you a happy, stress-free and hilarious Christmas!

Related articles
* The very best way to exercise
* How to meditate for better health
* Guided autogenic training - ten minutes to profound relaxation
* Stop and take 4 seconds to breathe

Categories
#Stress Management
#General Wellness
#Lists
#December Competition
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