We all experience certain levels of stress, whether it be at work, school, or within relationships. When we are feeling stressed, hormones like cortisol flood our systems, sometimes known as the "fight or flight response." Your heart goes up, you begin to breathe more heavily...any of this sound familiar?
Sometimes stress is unavoidable but what really matters is how you handle it.
One of the best ways to cope with stress is by floating. However, if you're stressed out at work or on vacation, you may not have access or even time to float. With that in mind, here are 4 ways to deal besides just floating, so you can effectively keep your stress levels in check:
1. Take A Deep Breath or Five
Sounds really simple, we know, but according to stress.org, abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind. Not to mention, it's free and easy to do anywhere!
2. Walk It Out
Entering a more 'zen' mindset could be as easy as taking a walk in the park, according to a small study by scientists at Heriot-Watt University in the U.K. The study found that walking through green spaces can put the brain into a meditative state and can trigger "involuntary attention" mening that it holds attention while also allowing for reflection. Also, a number of studies have also shown that spending time outdoors relieves stress. Next time you're feeling stressed, try walking it out.
3. Put Away the Technology
The ability to text, email, call, or instant message a friend or family member at any given time is a great luxury, but it also causes increased stress levels. And get this: the average American spends roughly 4.7 hours on their phone each and every day. So do yourself a favor and try to unplug from that tiny little screen for awhile.
4. Visualize & Meditate
Visualization is the act of imagining yourself in a peaceful and safe environment - a place that makes you relaxed and happy. Here are some great tips for practicing visualization:
- Go to a room where you will not be interrupted for 20 minutes.
- Close your eyes.
- To relax, take several deep abdominal breaths.
- Focus on your breathing as you relax.
- Search online for a guided meditation or audio of your choice
- If you choose to visualize on your own without audio, think of a restful place you have enjoyed or would like to visit. Picture it in your mind. Imagine how you would experience it through each of your senses. Hold that visualization for several minutes.
- At the end of the session, take a minute or two to return slowly to a less stressed-out reality.
While all of these methods of relaxation techniques very well, we still recommend to anyone who experiences stress to try incorporating a more regular floating practice into daily life. This is because in a float tank tank your dopamine levels instantly rise, making it easier and more natural for your body to overcome stress. Not to mention that this feeling typically lasts a couple of days, sometimes longer, so it's extremely effective for managing stress on a long-term basis.
At the end of the day, there is no one relaxation technique that is best for every single person but it's important to make sure you consider your specific needs and preferences when it comes to choosing a technique. The right technique is the one that resonates with you the most truly elicits your body's natural relaxation response.