(BeWellBuzz) Get to work on time, do laundry, prepare dinner, clean the house, walk the dog, get the car fixed, pay the bills…! Our perpetually rushing society values busy schedules and high standards. However, without knowing it, we all engage in multitudes of stressors that are damaging to our physical and mental health because of our daily activities. Does anyone even know what true relaxation means anymore? Stress has become so common that society overlooks the overwhelming size of its negative effects. Health psychology forces us to see just that.
Many leading health psychologists will declare that our behaviors and thought processes dictate our health and the health of our future. There are a number of stress management techniques that can help promote our good physical and mental health. Four main ways that are a healthy step in the right direction are relaxation therapies, biofeedback, cognitive restructuring, and stress inoculation; all of which have shown to be very successful!
Since our busy bee minds are incapable of inactivity, our brain is constantly at work, even when we sleep! Waking up Monday morning after a full Sunday night’s sleep and still feeling incredibly tired is the perfect example of how active our brains are 24/7. Our minds are never fully at rest; therefore, it is our task to train the mind into feeling relaxed. It is important to calm the body and provide deep focus on our breathing in order to really benefit from relaxation therapy. By doing so, we are able to improve health, strengthen our immune systems, contribute towards building a resistance to stress, and improve our overall quality of life. Imagine incorporating such techniques as a part of your daily routine and focus on the positive changes in your life. Employ daily stretches, tightening and total release of your muscles, focused breathing and the blocking of outside stressful stimuli to begin your path to a new relaxing and stress free lifestyle. But this is not the only way to accomplish the reduction of stress.
Biofeedback is known as the process of gaining stronger awareness of our physiological functions as an attempt to manipulate them. The things we are called to control are brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception. Biofeedback devices are used to improve health, active performance, and the physiological changes that correlate with our thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
To read move about biofeedback, click here
Cognitive restructuring is based on how strongly people are affected by the way they think. Our emotions and behaviors are formed around the manner in which we approach our days and see the world. Here, the power of positive thought goes a long way. This is a behavioral technique that can easily be applied to anyone feeling stress or overwhelmed. When you’re able to change the way you think, you’re able to change your attitude. Reshaping your inner thoughts said to yourself and about others is the first step.
Stress inoculation is geared more towards the anticipation and preparedness of our daily stressors. Training ourselves to become more resistant to what overcomes us through stress is one way to care for and manage our mental health early on. By being able to anticipate a stressful situation or topic, we are also able to plan ways to approach them. In doing so through self-inoculation therapy techniques, stress is reduced on a step by step basis.
Most important is the way you approach managing your stress. You must desire the positive change in your life and be able to sacrifice to work towards the outcome of being healthy. Our mental health has strong influence on our physical health, and together they can have serious impacts on our daily lives; it is up to us if we want the impact to be a positive one. Our health is in our hands!