Are you waiting for a long hectic day of work to end before you take time to relax? Many people plow through their day, let the stress build, then hope to repair the damage later. The method of postponing stress relief until the end of the day is not the answer. To truly combat stress and the harm it causes, we need to practice relaxation and stress relief throughout the day. Building relaxation techniques into our daily routine can be challenging. People who work at home often lose track of time and only know the stress has gotten out of control when the stiff and sore muscles, headaches, and other ailments surface. Rather than put relaxation and stress relief off until later, let's find some simple methods that we can add to our schedule throughout the day. Here are a few basic techniques to try right in the comfort of your home office. Deep Breathing If stress is causing you to get anxious, nervous, agitated, or even angry, deep breathing may be the perfect relaxation therapy for you. Deep breathing from the abdomen, as opposed to shallow breaths, increase oxygen intake. More oxygen in the lungs and body produces more calm. To practice deep breathing, find a comfortable place to sit in your office, sit straight and breathe in deeply through your nose and out slowly through your mouth. If you are breathing correctly, your abdomen should expand rather than your chest. It may be easier to lie down to do this technique. Set a small notepad on your stomach, and, if you are breathing deeply, you should see the notepad rise and fall. This takes some practice but the results are almost immediate once you learn it. Rhythmic Movement People respond to stress differently. Rather than getting nervous and anxious, you may become depressed and withdrawn. Your thoughts may seem sluggish or cloudy, and you may not be able to make a decision. If this describes how you respond to stress, you may need to include some rhythmic movement into your day. This can be something as simple as getting up off your office chair and walking around. However, many people find jumping rope or doing exercises on a floor-ball rejuvenating. Don't wait for the stress to overwhelm and paralyze your thoughts. Instead, add some rhythmic exercising movements into your daily routine, even several times, to keep alert and drive stress out of your day. Muscle Relaxation If you feel stress in your body, suffering from neck pain, back pain, and headaches, muscle relaxation may be helpful. This method involves some practice, but once you have a familiarity with it, you will begin to look forward to the relief it brings. More than just shaking your shoulders loose or turning your neck in a circle, this is a technique focuses on individual muscle groups. The most common way to move through the body is by starting with your feet, tensing the muscle in one foot, then relaxing, and repeating with your other foot, then moving up each leg, tensing and relaxing as you move up your body until you reach your face. The critical technique for this method is focus. You will focus on one muscle group at a time (foot, calf, thigh, hips, stomach, chest, etc), tensing and relaxing. With time and practice, this method of stress relief can help reduce body pain. All of these techniques for stress relief can be done in the comfort of your home office; even a small home office. Remember to schedule time during the day, every day, to do some form of relaxation in order to deal with stress before it creates long lasting health problems.
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