Four ways to keep stress away

Even it you’ve kicked stress out, it’s always looking for an opportunity to come back.  Sometimes it’s obvious, like an illness or scrambling to finish a project or getting your taxes done at the last minute.  Many times it’s very subtle, with just a little thing here or there and before you realize it, stress has unpacked its bags and has made itself at home.  It then commences to kink up your neck, keep you awake, disrupt your concentration, and in general make you miserable.

Toss out stress along with those leftovers you can’t identify anymore.  Here are four quick ways to keep stress at bay.

Meditate

Meditation does not have to be about turning your body into a pretzel, chanting, and reaching enlightenment.  It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed.  Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.  Take a minute to do some deep breathing and observe how your mind slows down and things seem a little less urgent and more manageable.

Exercise

It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule fills up and tensions get high.  But that’s when it becomes even more important and helps the most. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness as well as giving you an energy boost.  If you can’t make time for daily workouts, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day.  A little goes a long way when you need it.

Laughter and Music

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure.  In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication.

So cue up the “Who’s on first?” or dance around with your kids while making dinner and work some giggling and humming into your day.

Massage

I’m sure you saw this one coming, but it is true.  Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve your mood.  Plus, massage feels good.  When you feel good, you play more, laugh more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love.  Schedule a massage now and send stress packing.

Commit to taking care of yourself!  You may be surprised with the results.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

 

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Why go to the same massage therapist?

I’m always telling you to get massages and providing you reasons why you should.  For those same reasons and the benefits it provides, I get massages too.  I really look forward to them and make sure if at all possible that nothing will get  in the way.  They are an important part of my self-care.  I get an additional benefit  in that I sometimes learn a new technique that I can include in my work to make your massage even better, and it helps remind me of how things feel while receiving a massage instead of giving one.

I get massages from a few people.  All of them are good, but I have one person I like the best.  I believe that the same things that help me get the most out of my massage by working with the same person will also help you.

My massage therapist knows me and my body.  I am far from perfect, but she accepts me and helps me feel better.  Massage has helped me feel better about my body by giving me a positive experience and remembering it can feel good.  By knowing I will be accepted and not judged, I am less self-conscious about my imperfections now.  She knows what needs work and what produces the best results for me.  Since she doesn’t see me daily, she can observe changes and potential problems that I haven’t noticed.

Since we have worked together for a while, we have better communication.  I can explain what issues I am having and what needs attention this time.  I can do this comfortably, knowing that she will take what I say professionally and know that it is intended appropriately.  I can speak up during the massage and let her know if I would like something to change (such as the pressure or the temperature), or let her know what she is doing feels great.  We can have a friendly chat during the massage, we can talk about something serious, or it can be quiet, and we are both fine with whatever amount of conversation occurs that time.  The amount of conversation during your massage is always up to you.

I also know what to expect during the massage.  This allows me to relax quickly and thoroughly.  I know that I am in good hands and that I will feel much better when it is over.  There is not a guessing game of wondering what will happen next, or if she is going to address my needs that we talked about before starting.

Much of this boils down to that we have developed trust.  We both know what to expect from each other.  A great massage requires great communication.  To fully relax, you need to have enough trust to let your guard down, which can make you feel a bit vulnerable.  Opening that gate can let out some of what is trapped inside and allow other good things in.  You can leave behind the negatives that you have been carrying around and become open to more positives.  You may be surprised at the peace that you can experience.

If you have been bouncing around among massage therapists, whether in a spa or chain environment, or purchasing daily deals, you may be missing out on the benefits you can realize.  Work with the same massage therapist and see if you can get greater results by developing trust with them.  I believe that is a major factor in much of the results I have helped my customers reach.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com