Moments of stress and anxiety are a regular part of almost everyone's life. Therefore, we recommend 5 activities that you can integrate into your routine and which will help you increase your relaxation and calm.
LatinAmerican Post| Joshua Radesca
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Leer en español: 5 formas para combatir la ansiedad y el estrés
In today's world, stress and anxiety are a constant in the lives of many people. Stressful situations generate the release of hormones that put us in a state of concern and alarm, in which the pulse quickens, we breathe faster, the muscles tense and the brain uses more oxygen. This is a very useful response of our body in moments of danger in which we must decide whether to flee or fight. The inconvenience arises when stress or anxiety are recurrent on a daily basis, they affect the quality of life and can lead to the appearance of psychological or physical disorders.
According to the WHO, by 2019, around 301 million people suffered from an anxiety disorder, of which 58 million are children and adolescents. The WHO also estimates that this figure would increase from 2020 onwards, after the appearance of covid. Fortunately, there are several practices within everyone's reach that encourage us to feel relaxed and help combat anxiety. In this text, we will talk about 5 five of them.
For millennia, meditation has emerged as one of the greatest allies when it comes to combating stress and creating a state of calm in those who practice it. Many meditation techniques have their origin in Eastern traditions. The purpose of these is to integrate the body and mind, generating a state of tranquility and general well-being.
There are different types of meditation, some involve keeping a mental focus on a particular stimulus such as the breath, an image, a mantra, or a sound. Among its many benefits, we find that it helps control anxiety, depression, and pain, increases memory and learning capacity, improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, and even reduces withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs.
Physical activity is another great ally when fighting stress and anxiety. Exercise causes the production of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that make us feel well. The exercise involves focusing on a single task, which helps to get rid of daily stresses, stimulates concentration, and promotes a state of tranquility and calm. Exercise is also known to improve our health and positively influence the cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems, helping to protect the body from the damaging effects of stress.
It is not necessary to be a professional or undergo arduous routines to enjoy the benefits of physical activity to relax. From yoga to aerobics they are useful for this purpose.
The word mandala has its origin in Sanskrit and means sacred circle. Within the Buddhist and Hindu tradition, they are a representation of the circle of life. A mandala is a drawing made up of concentric designs. In recent years, coloring them has become popular worldwide as a means of relaxation that has therapeutic effects.
The renowned Swiss psychologist Carl Jung was one of the pioneers in the West of the use of mandalas as a therapeutic instrument. There are several scientific studies that have proven the positive effects of coloring mandalas, they help improve attention in people with attention deficit, relieve stress and anxiety, and reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress, among others.
In moments of great anxiety, it is useful to perform breathing exercises designed to relax us physically and mentally. These are intended to alter the normal way we breathe, which generates a series of signals that tell the brain that we are entering a state of calm.
Most techniques are based on deep breaths using the diaphragm. The difficulty of each of these can vary. An example is the breathing technique called 4-7-8, which consists of emptying the lungs of air, inhaling calmly through the nose for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling forcefully through the mouth and making a whistle sound for 8 seconds.
A study conducted by the University of Florida found that gardening has a positive effect on mental health. Research published in the journal "PLOS ONE" notes that "garden activities reduced stress, anxiety, and depression in healthy women who attended gardening classes twice a week." The effect is that artistic activities involve a process of learning, creativity, organization and physical movement that works in medical settings to promote well-being. Also, there is a therapeutic line called ecotherapy. It's principle is that contact with nature is positive for reducing cortisol and increasing endorphins.