What is your favorite activity to do when you have some free time to relax? Maybe turn on Netflix and watch the latest episode of “Breaking Bad”? Or get on Facebook and check out the latest updates on the news feed? Although it is tough to find time to relax, it is important to take time out for yourself and manage your stress daily.
Stress causes a surge of hormones, specifically adrenaline and cortisol, that can cause headaches and even high blood pressure if left unmanaged. Taking just a few minutes out of your day to manage your stress can help you be more productive and less prone to developing stress-related illnesses.
Exercise is a great way to manage your stress since it stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers and mood elevators. It can be any type of exercise, such as running, resistance training, dancing, Pilates, walking or, if you are daring enough, P90X. Find an activity you enjoy doing and you will be more likely to stick with it.
Meditation is also a great way to relieve stress and place yourself in a more calm and relaxed state of mind. Here are some amazing meditation audio guides, shared with permission of the Nicholls State University Counseling Center, that will melt your stress away in just a few minutes:
- Basic Mindfulness Meditation — approximately six minutes
- Brief Loving Kindness Meditation — approximately five minutes
- Extended Loving Kindness Meditation — approximately nine minutes
- Healing Light Meditation — approximately eight minutes: Father Rizzo is a noted healer who believes that in order to heal, you must wish everyone and everything well. In this meditation you will relax as you use the image of a healing light to forgive past hurts.
- Test Anxiety Meditation — approximately six minutes: This relaxation script can be helpful to those who experience test anxiety by pairing confidence and peace with test taking.
There are different types of meditation, but listening to mindfulness meditation videos are a great way to start. The wonderful thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere at anytime, and you don’t need to devote a lot of time and energy to it. Try meditating today and let your stress go!