Stress is part of the everyday life of almost every person old enough to have responsibilities and deadlines. Stressed is an inevitable state of being that everyone at some time or another has felt or will feel. It can not only take a toll on our minds but on our bodies as well. Personally, my stress tends to build not only in my brain but in my neck and back as tightly bound knots. Over time I have learned some mindful relaxation tips and techniques to help relieve my stress that I want to share with you.
As stressful as our daily lives can sometimes be, there are a multitude of ways to help us relieve that physical and mental stress. One great option is Yoga. I first discovered Yoga while in college via a health gaming console purchased for the family. I found it a great way to get my mind off the looming deadlines and the tension out of my back. In yoga you are forced to concentrate only on your pose and breathing. This allowed my mind to release the stress of my day. It will also gave my back, legs and arms the stretch I needed to relieve the tension. For more information on yoga you can read the TC library blog post Yoga: Is it for me? by Librarian Edlira Agalliu.
Another favorite of mine is meditation. I discovered meditation in Junior High school when I became temporarily obsessed with learning about New Age practices and healing. I might have grown out of my New Age phase, but the helpful meditation skills stayed with me. Meditation can be done in a variety of forms from sitting to walking and with a variety of techniques. Personally I like to do a type of concentration meditation where I focus only on my deep and relaxed breathing, in and out, to calm myself in the face of an immediate stressor or after a long stressful day. I merely sit in place or lie in bed, close my eyes and breathe in and out. I concentrate on nothing but my breathing and the movement of my body as I breathe. It only takes a couple of minutes for me to feel much more calm and relaxed than before.
For a taste of meditation, check out these websites for some guided relaxation:
For an interesting look on how meditation aids with stress on a diagnostic level, you can read this article:
- Dunlop, J. (2015). Meditation, stress relief, and well-being. Radiologic Technology, 86(5), 535.
To learn more about different meditation techniques, see this blog entry:
- Inner IDEA. (2014). Meditation 101: Techniques, benefits & beginner’s how-to. GaiamLife.
Some books in the Touro College catalog that will help with stress and meditation include:
- Bailey, R. V. (2008). 50 activities for managing stress. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, Inc.
- Bodian, S. (2013). Meditation for dummies. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons
- Ozaniec, N. (2011). Flash : Find peace with meditation. London, GBR: Hodder Education
- Smith, J. C. (2005). Relaxation, meditation & mindfulness. New York, NY: Springer.
Contributed by: Sharell Walker, Lander College for Women Library