Challenge #13: Relax your mind

Do the following at least twice a day: close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Instructions: take a deep breath in (4 seconds – count one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four to set a slow and steady pace), then hold your breath for 2 seconds, and release slowly through slightly pursed lips (8 seconds count)

Take time to relax

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

-Sydney J. Harris

Hey, folks!

Unfortunately, you’ve all probably had to deal with stressful situations before, right? Those are pretty much unavoidable in the modern world. Moreover, a vast majority of our planet deals with stress on a daily basis.

Sure, it depends on your character and personality how well you can deal with stress, but all in all, it’s bad for every single one of us. Even if you have one of those super strong characters and you’re able to deal with stress very easily, your body is paying the price.

What happens to our bodies in stressful situations?

First, our senses pick up a signalHuman brain from the surroundings and they send a message to our brain – a part of it that is responsible for the regulation of emotions (i.e. amygdala). Amygdala alerts the region of our brain that is responsible for hormone control (i.e. hypothalamus).

Latter causes our body to produce a hormone cascade – starting off with the adrenaline and the corticotropin-releasing hormone, which eventually causes the production of the stress hormone cortisol. As hormones enter our bloodstream and travel through our body, practically every cell gets hit by them. The adrenaline causes higher heart rate, increasing the oxygen flowing into major muscles, while the cortisol boosts the level of sugar in our body. And we all know that elevated sugar level is bad for our health if stays that way for a longer period of time.

“Wake up, relax, breathe, and smile. That feeling is called living! Enjoy the moment.

-Sonny Long

Types of stress

There are two types of stress – acute or short-term and chronic or long-term stress. And the surprising fact is that acute stress is not bad for us.

Moreover, scientists have proven that short-term stress is actually good for our health since it causes our body to produce small proteins that help regulate the immune response – which can enhance our immune system.

So what counts as an acute stress? Well, here are some examples of it: if something surprises you and you get scared, if you almost get hit by a car, if you get really nervous a few minutes before a job interview, etc.

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.”

-Bryant McGill

On the other hand, chronic stress, which is caused by unpleasant day-to-day stuff (money problems, traffic jams, school or work to-do lists, unemployment …) is really bad for us. Those kinds of situations can cause our body to activate nonstop stress response – putting our hormone levels out of ordinary, which damages our immune system. That way we’re more likely to get sick.

Fight chronic stress

Ways to relax your mind

It’s up to us to fight the long-term stress, so we should do our best to relax our mind. When we relax our mind our body relaxes automatically.

There are many different ways to relax, such as breathing exercises, Yoga, massage, meditation, etc. Yoga and meditation usually combine breathing exercises into every exercise.

If you’re dealing with a lot of stress we suggest you dig deeper into one of the mentioned stress-reducing methods. Here are our recommendations on where to start:

strech

Alternatives:

  • Music

There are many scientific proofs that the right music can significantly reduce stress. Here’s our top choice.

But you can also find some useful stuff online. Go to google homepage and type in free online relaxation music or even youtube relaxation music. Or go directly to youtube, we’re sure you’ll manage to find something useful.

  • Hypnosis

We don’t know any psychiatrists that perform hypnosis, but you can try it by using an audio CD.

  • Scents

There are many different essential oils created to help you deal with stress. They don’t work for everyone, but if you’re willing to try you can find it here.

Take-home points:
  • long-term stress is bad for your health;
  • don’t let the stress get the best of you;
  • there are ways to fight stress;
  • take a moment of your time every day to perform breathing exercise (this week’s challenge).

“The best cure for the body is a quite mind.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte

Have a calm, stress-free week. 😉

With love and care,

Good Earthlings

12 comments

  1. Michel says:

    Yet another great article on this interesting site. I think that different people deal with stress in different ways. Some of it works for them, but other ways of dealing with stress, like anger and taking it out on others – not so good.

    I try to relax by breathing deeply and I do enjoy a yoga class when I get the time. I try to remain calm, even when I don’t feel it, which I suppose is another not so good way to deal with stress.

    • Good Earthling says:

      Hi, Micheal!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Taking your anger out on people around you is definitely not a good, but holding it in is also not to good … We really like to use workout as an anger valve – it’s extremely effective when using a punching bag.

      Love, Good Earthlings

    • lilywong says:

      Great article. I am going to try out the destressing tips you have presented – just reading about them already puts my body and mind at ease! 🙂 I am wondering about essential oils – do they really help? What types work to calm down the mind? I have tried some like peppermint and lavender, but they are so strong they give me a headache instead! Thanks for the tips!

      • Good Earthling says:

        Hi!

        Well we think there are some essential oils that work and some that don’t. We use lavender one and it’s not to strong. It works for us. 🙂 Many claim that coloring works wonders … we haven’t try it yet, but it work incredibly on my grandma – she has Chronic essential tremor. When she colors it stops her hand from shaking completely and the effect stays for couple of hours after she stops coloring.

        If you’re interested in adult coloring book you can find one here.

        Have a nice day!

        Love, Good Earthlings

      • Rehmiee says:

        Wow, that’s an article that I needed to read. Life on the business field is always full of stress. Can’t just rely on medication to keep us calm. Guess what we need is to go back to basic … connecting back to nature. It’s the Chronic stress that we need to watch out for. If not it would be an expensive price to pay with our Health. That’s when usually it’s too late to do anything or even if we can it would be very challenging. Thanks for your great reminding article to us as human being to take time to destress our mind and body.

        • Good Earthling says:

          Rehmiee, your more than welcome. It’s our pleasure to help everyone as much as possible.

          Stay in touch.

          Warm regards,

          Good Earthlings

        • Ben says:

          I tried your exercise that you mention at the beginning, it really works! Usually, I relax by going out to the mountains and seeing all the hills and valleys, and listening to classical music or my favorite singer. It’s a quiet place just ten minutes walk from where I live. It really is relaxing to watch the sunset there.

          • Good Earthling says:

            Hi, Ben!

            The exercise at the top is of course only one of many different way to relax, it’s a quick one. Going out into the nature is probably way better and even more relaxing, but it takes a lot more time. Stay relaxed 😉 and stay in touch.

            Warm regards,

            Good Earthlings

          • Heather Montgomery says:

            Very nice article!! I find myself often stressed, especially with a small child who is teething.

            I try to dedicate just a little time to myself every day, at least once a day. Sometimes my baby will allow for it, others, he can be a little demanding and won’t let me have a minute to myself.

            The breathing exercise is something I can do when I don’t have as much time throughout the day.

            Thanks for the awesome post!

            -Heather M.

            • Good Earthling says:

              Hi, Heather!

              Hang in there. 😉 They grow up so fast, too fast. 😉 And take as much time for yourself as possible.

              Love, Good Earthlings

            • Rachel says:

              Thanks for the reminders! I go through times when I consciously use music, essential oils, yoga and massage for relaxation and then something changes in my routine and I gradually lose all my relaxation activities out of my routine. Then I read something like this and it makes me look at my life and I realise that I’ve dropped all the relaxation out of it again!
              Thanks for the reminder – definitely something I needed right now. So now I’m off to get out my essential oils, relaxation cd’s and candles once again. Oh and I haven’t forgotten this week’s challenge! Here’s to adding relaxation back into my life!
              Many thanks,
              Rachel