The past few years have been remarkably stressful, wherever you live on our beautiful planet, bringing the need to learn how to unwind and relax in our own homes to the fore. At Aqua Pulse Spas, we know that indulging in a massage spa is the number one way to kick back and relax, but we’ve also investigated some other ways to raise those serotonin levels and bring your stress levels way down whilst enjoying your own space.
1 – Massage spa: Adding a regular spa treatment to your week is a great way to help manage stress, especially if like most of us you are struggling to fit “me time” into your schedule. The process of immersing your body and soaking in warm, foamy water relaxes your muscles, which in turn enables the release of physical tension, encouraging your mind to relax. Add massage jets to this experience and you have a sure fire way to unwind both body and mind, promoting deeper sleep and a feeling of wellness. To find your perfect massage spa for sale, click here.
2 – Yoga: Yoga promotes relaxation, deep breathing and mindfulness. Whether you practice already, or want to include some yoga in your life it is never too late to start and you don’t need any equipment other than a mat with a firm grip which is comfy to lie or lean on. Yoga is not competitive, it really is all about you and your physical and mental health. You can find plenty of books, audio guides, YouTube channels and DVDs to help you find your perfect practice, and you can spend as long or as little as you want (or have time for) and still get a benefit. Great, huh?!
3 – Meditation: Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. You can meditate anywhere you find a bit of quiet space, whether that is in bed at night, in your spa, at your desk, on your balcony or in your garden. And it is a practice you can do regardless of your health and physical abilities. Again, there are heaps of places to find some guided meditations to help you get started, we find YouTube a great place to start.
4 – Food: Eating well is a wonderful way to reduce stress and increase overall health. And we don’t mean endless salads (although a delicious salad has its place on any menu), we mean finding food that nourishes and comforts you. For example, salmon, blueberries, bananas, yoghurt and dark chocolate all have amino acids and particular vitamins which have been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine. Don’t treat food as “the enemy” as so many harmful diet tropes would have us believe. Instead, see it as medicine and fuel, and treat your mind and body accordingly. Dark chocolate covered blueberries, anyone?
5 – Reading: Reading is proven to reduce stress and increase relaxation. In fact, in a study directed by the University of Sussex, individuals who had read for just six minutes showed slower heart rates, less muscle tension, and a reduction in stress levels. And, if you join your local library, it’s free!
6 – Board games: Even board games have been shown to reducing stress, encouraging laughing and increasing “happy hormones”. Although maybe not Monopoly…
7 – Jigsaws: Solving a puzzle, either with friends and family members or solo can help quiet your mind while being in the present moment. When your attention is on putting together the shapes and pieces of a jigsaw rather than flitting from thought to thought, it creates a calming effect much like meditation. This so called “flow state” can help reduce stress and anxiety.
8 – Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is well known for having both psychological and physical benefits. Depending on which essential oil you choose, aromatherapy can help improve mood, encourage relaxation and reduce stress. There are plenty of options and you are bound to find an oil or blend which you both love and which helps you to relax.
9 – Exercise: Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the chemicals in the brain which cause your mood to “lift”. Endorphins are responsible for the so-called “runner’s high” and for the feelings of relaxation and optimism many feel after a good workout. There are plenty of ways to work out at home: fold away treadmills or rowing machines, YouTube workouts, Zumba, weights and more. Anything which lifts your heart rate and encourages the release of endorphins is worth a go, even dancing like a crazy thing in your kitchen when no one is watching! Or, so we’ve heard. Ahem.
10 – Movies: Besides being entertaining, movies are proven to have psychological benefits. Therapists have even used a method called film therapy for stressed out patients as a relaxing and mentally soothing activity. Watching a few episodes of a TV show or a longer film takes you out of yourself and allows you to immerse in a different story, allowing you to tune out of your worries for a while.
And bonus number 11, be kind to yourself. Life can be hard, you deserve to be able to switch off and unwind when you need a break, so give our top 10 a try!
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