Stress is a part of daily life. Whether it comes from having too much to do, saying yes to everything, or just the pressure of an unusually large task, everyone has been attacked by stress at some point in their lives. But the most important thing about stress is how we choose to handle it. There are three main categories of techniques to deal with stress: Relaxation Techniques, Physical Activity, and Multimedia Activities. Each one has its own pros and cons that can be discovered through experience. I chose to do deep breathing, walking, and listening to music, to relieve stress in my life.

The first technique on my list to try out was deep breathing. Initially I had to do a little bit of research because I didn’t quite know how it works. So I read up on deep breathing, printed out a sheet of instructions and gave it a shot. It turns out that this technique is a little more structured than I thought. It involves lying down on you back with your knees bent and inhaling slowly and deeply. You place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen. You can tell this technique is working if your abdomen is rising more than your chest with every breath. This should be done for 5 to 10 min a day. When I tried this technique, I think I did it for approx. 7 minutes, but I could be wrong since a minute seems like a day during this exercise. I found that it helped a lot though. It allowed a sort of peace to wash over me.

The second technique I had to experience was walking. This would fall under the Physical Activity category. This technique was a little harder to find on the internet when it came to stress relief. The main idea that I found was that you should walk until you’re halfway towards being tired and try to clear your mind. The walk can be brisk or just a stroll, as long as you feel comfortable. The main point is to utilize the fresh air, weather and nature to help get your mind off of things. But when it says clear your mind, it doesn’t mean not to allow any thoughts. It just means keep thoughts about your day out. You can think about your surroundings, the nice breeze, etc. I tried this and found it to be a very successful strategy for stress relief. I have to admit that I was doing a bit of deep breathing too, but overall the walk was a great help.

In the last category, Multimedia Activities, I chose to listen to music. In relation to stress relief, there are many different types of music suggested. Again, as with the walking, the choice is left up to you to pick whatever makes you comfortable. If possible, you can choose music that brings back old pleasant memories to be lost in. As with walking, the main goal is to reduce and eliminate your stressful thoughts. When I first started out, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of music to pick. I thought, do I want music I enjoy, or music that relieves stress? I chose to go with the latter, and I picked out some classical music to listen to. And I don’t know what it is about type of music, but it did the trick. Listening to music was a great stress reliever.

In conclusion, the idea to get across here is to choose whatever works. Try different activities and utilize things from each category. When you’ve experimented enough and you find what’s right for you, stick with it. Now that I’ve done this research about deep breathing, walking and listening to music, I know that all three work really well for me. So maybe next time I’m feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, I’ll take a stroll with my CD player and breathe in as much as I can.

 

The Jack of Hearts

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