How to Cultivate a “Relaxation Response” During Stressful Life Events

TensionHeadacheWhen you are experiencing stressful life events, you may feel that there is nothing you can do to combat the stress and anxiety that you are feeling on a regular basis.

You see others living their happy lives, motoring along without a care in the world, while you might feel weighted under the stress of your everyday life or shackled by major stressful life events.

Whether it is the stress of a divorce,  a job loss, debt, or the death of a loved one, there are many situations which can seem to swallow your life whole and become a vortex of stress and anxiety, tainting even the positive and happy things in your life.

This is when cultivating a relaxation response to overpower your stress response, can be extremely beneficial.

Stress occurs when our bodies or minds feel threatened or overtaxed. Some stress ensures that our body is working properly and that we can actively avoid real dangers in our everyday lives. When you want to feel stress is when that car drifts into your lane—you need that stress response in order to be able to swerve out of the way before it hits you. This is an appropriate time to feel stress—during your normal life, on an everyday basis is not a normal time to feel stress, though many people experience this.

You might think that there is nothing you can do about this constant, everyday anxiety and stress, because the situation causing it is not going to just go away. There are ways to help deal with that stress, however, that can lower your overall level of stress and help you create a less anxious and more fulfilling life. Here’s how to cultivate a relaxation response to combat your stress response caused by a stressful life situation.

  1. Invest in aromatherapy. Aromatherapy can be seriously helpful for women who are experiencing consistent stress. This injects a soothing scent into your life, which can help to calm the body every time you smell it. Oil diffusers make it easy to have powerful essential oil scents filling your home at any given time. All you have to do is make sure that the diffuser is on and filled with your favorite oil and you can instantly feel less stressed. How does aromatherapy work? There are certain scents that elicit calm in the body—these may vary from person to person, but most people respond well to lavender, vanilla, sandalwood, and chamomile.
  1. Listen to calming music. You already know the effect that music has on your body. Loud, boisterous music can make you feel amped up and excited. Raucous music can make you feel more stressed out. Calming music or even guided meditation can help you block out stressors and feel calm and serene. When you feel a wave of stress coming on, putting on your favorite CD of calming music or a guided meditation, can help ensure that the stress does not overwhelm you.
  1. Try a sleep machine and a wakeup light. One of the biggest complaints of those who have too much stress in their lives is that they find it difficult to sleep. Luckily, there is a pretty simple solution to this problem that doesn’t necessarily include taking a sleep aid. A sleep machine is a sound therapy system that provides soothing sounds and tones to help lull the body to sleep. Most machines allow you to pick from a variety of different sound tracks, so you can find the one that makes your sleeping space as soothing as possible. On the other end of sleep, a wakeup light can combat that stress of being ripped from sleep by a loud alarm clock.
  1. Find ways to eliminate the physical side effects of stress. Stress has very real physical side effects, from beck and back pain, to aches and even physical sickness. If you can find a neck massager the wear throughout the day to fight neck pain, do it. If you can take a few minutes to use an acupressure set to relieve back pain, do it. A shiatsu massage pillow can go just about anywhere and provide instant back pain relief, as can a massage cushion.
About Darlene

Darlene is passionate and enthusiastic about helping women simplify their lives, develop stress resilience, regain balance, and find happiness, despite the personal storms life throws at them. She has published a popular series of stress management books which focus on simple, practical and healthy stress relief strategies, as well as provide FREE resources and services that help women become more stress-resilient.

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