For myself, I found that vigorous workouts helped to reduce stress quite a bit, and also improved my overall health and well-being. Lifting weights is a great way to accomplish both of those. Many people write off weightlifting, but it has tremendous benefits. After you reach age 40, your muscles naturally begin to waste away, so you can maintain those with weightlifting. Another good thing to point out is that as you age, your bone density decreases as well, and weightlifting counteracts this as well. It also gets your endorphins pumping, and will relieve you of your stress. Weightlifting isn’t for everyone, but I would recommend it, even if it is just light weights a few times a week.
Bicycling or cycling is another good exercise, or any aerobic activity. Swimming is another good one which I recommend, but unfortunately, not everyone has access to a pool or other place to swim. I recommend both of these for relaxation exercises not only because they help you to relax, but they are less strenuous on the body than other aerobic exercises like jogging, treadmills and the likes. These exercises put less wear and tear on your body in the long run, where running and similar exercises have been found to increase hip, knee, and ankle issues after doing them for extended periods of time.
Yoga I also find highly relaxing, and also healthy. It provides a way to shut down the outside world for a small amount of time and lets you get in touch with your inner being. It is quiet, peaceful, and relaxing, and will leave you refreshed and feeling like brand new! It also does wonders for your blood pressure and mental well being! There are many places to learn or practice this, but we like the Green Yoga Association, as it goes hand in hand with what we are trying to accomplish here.
Other eastern practices are also very good for your overall mental and physical health. Tai Chi is another great way to calm down and get that peace and serenity you have been grasping for in an ever chaotic world. Tai chi is also good for your health. Meditation is another good way to relieve stress and get that serenity you need. I find that yoga and meditation work well together, as they were intended to.
One thing to remember here, is that these relaxation exercises take time to learn and perfect. Find out what works best for you and keep at it! Don’t get down on yourself, if you miss a day or two, which will happen.
Also, bear in mind that some people, especially those with serious psychological issues and a history of abuse, may experience feelings of emotional discomfort during some relaxation techniques. Although this is rare, if you experience emotional discomfort during relaxation techniques, stop what you’re doing and consider talking to your health care professional or mental health provider. We do not make any claims here that this will be a medical breakthrough for you, and if in doubt, always seek a medical professionals advice!
You need a routine that you will follow almost religiously, almost like going to work every day. Set aside several hours a week to take care of yourself by doing these relaxation exercises, you will not regret it one bit, that I can guarantee you! Peace my friends!