The importance of rest and relaxation for stress relief
meditation for stress relief

30. June 2022

Increasing performance pressure, the urge for self-optimization and a full schedule are almost part of everyday life for many of us. This can quickly lead to overload and inner restlessness if breaks are neglected. For stress relief, it is especially important to take time for relaxation.
In order to restore performance, it is necessary to recharge the batteries after physical or mental stress. Breaks help to process past events or activities and to learn from them. The balance between activities and recovery is often not easy to maintain in our stressful everyday lives.

 

Stress occurs when individuals do not feel comfortable with the confronted challenges or feel that personal resources and abilities are insufficient. If stress continues over a longer period of time, it can have health consequences. This can manifest itself in the form of a wide variety of symptoms.

stress symptoms

What happens in our bodies when we are stressed?

When our body perceives a stress stimulus, it sends a signal from the amygdala – a nerve association in our brain. In response, the body prepares for two reactions: fight or flight.
The adrenal cortex is activated and releases the stress hormone cortisol. This stimulates the formation of pro-inflammatory hormones in the body and thus increases blood clotting. In this way, the body is protected from bleeding to death and armed against possible injuries.
brain fight or flight
In addition, the adrenal gland releases adrenaline and noradrenaline. This accelerates the heartbeat and increases blood pressure. The body is thus briefly supplied with more energy and oxygen to better defend itself or run away in an emergency.

The human body relies on cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline to return to its baseline levels after some time. Therefore, it is crucial that the stress is processed, and a balance is created to recharge the batteries.

What helps to cope with stress?

The need for rest varies from person to person and from job to job. As a first step, it is helpful to know your own resources and how often you need a certain type of rest. You can find some ideas in the following.
1. Sufficient sleep

This is probably the most important point when it comes to recharging one’s energy. The body should get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Otherwise, it can weaken the immune system, cause poorer food digestion, and reduce metabolism.

sleep for stress relief
2. Pursue a hobby

Engaging in things we enjoy relieves tension and anxiety in our bodies. So, pursuing a hobby, whether it is a sport, playing an instrument, reading, cooking, or painting, can provide the balance we need.

3. Go outside

Spending time in nature is proven to be effective for stress relief. You can take a short walk, go hiking or jogging, or engage in gardening.

4. Relaxation exercises

Most people find it difficult to relax in a targeted way. But certain exercises can help, such as Jacobsen’s progressive muscle relaxation or guided meditation. You have to find out what works best for you by trying it yourself.

meditation for stress relief
5. Take a vacation

It is recommended to take a lengthy vacation of around 1-2 weeks at least once a year and also to take several short breaks per year. It is important to leave your professional or private concerns behind for the duration of the vacation. “Just checking your e-mails” can be a real obstacle to taking full advantage of your time off.

6. Do household chores

For many people, housekeeping is just annoying extra work. But when many mental activities are required in everyday working life, a routine activity, in which one can “switch off the brain”, can actually contribute to relaxation.

7. Meeting friends

Surrounding yourself with people you enjoy spending time with can do wonders for your mind. Humans are social creatures and seek interaction with others. Meeting loved ones and feeling valued can contribute greatly to relaxation.

friends
8. Wellness

Spoiling ourselves with wellness treatments from time to time is the ultimate way to relax for many people. For example, you can book a massage, treat yourself to a facial, or even turn your home bathroom into a wellness oasis.

9. Activities

Collecting (new) experiences can be a real source of strength and energy for your everyday life. You can choose what you would like to do: For example, go to a museum, attend a concert, or go on an excursion.

10. Breaks during work

It is also important to regularly take short breaks during your working day. You can take small pauses between activities, but you should also take your biorhythm into account. We are at our most productive between nine and twelve o’clock. Then the midday slump usually follows before our own productivity increases again. You should also remember: The end of the workday should really be the end of the workday. You should finish work and enjoy the rest of the day.

Are you curious to learn more about rest and relaxation? At troodi, we offer a learning program about this topic. Our self care expert, Rosie Chirongoma, guides you through the individual chapters. Here’s what you can take away from the learning program, “Self care – Dealing with stress and preventing burnout”:

 

  • Understanding stress and its long-term consequences
  • Theoretical knowledge about burnout and preventive possibilities
  • Identifying and reducing sources of stress
  • Developing mental stress management skills
  • Practical methods for stress reduction in everyday life

You can watch the trailer of the learning program here.

You can also create a free trial account or contact us by e-mail or phone if you have further questions.

Jackie Soldan

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