If you’re somebody who gets stressed easily, you should consider finding a routine to help you relax. Recent studies have shown that consistently being stressed is not only dangerous for your heart, but it can also cause you to gain weight. This is because your body is in “fight or flight” mode, where it wants to consume all the calories it thinks you are burning off. Not only does your body want food, but high cortisol levels (stress hormones) will cause you to crave fatty, sugary foods. This is due to a drop in blood sugar, directly caused by high levels of cortisol. So what is to be done?
Well, obviously the solution is to relax. Though, it might be easier said than done. Here are a few things that can help you find your inner peace:
It may seem trivial, but don’t underestimate the power of scent. Go to a candle store and pick your favorite scent—something that ultimately makes you happy. One candle can have a powerful effect.
A Warm Shower or Bath
This one is a popular, yet customizable option. Showers and baths allow for a wide variety of products to create this spa-like feel. The heat from the water is the ultimate reason showers and baths are the go-to. It’ll help relax your muscles and is probably one of the easiest ways to find immediate stress relief. Tip: Burn your favorite candles while bathing for added effect.
By concentrating and controlling your breathing, you can start to feel more control over yourself and whatever situation you may be in. Breathing exercises are easy and, best of all, free.
Putting your body under further stress may be counterintuitive, but exercise is by far the best natural stress reliever you can find. After an intense workout, your body will produce higher levels of endorphins—neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feels good. This what you’d call a “runner's high,” and yes it’s real. People deal with stress in a lot of unhealthy, habit-forming ways, but exercise is a good habit to make when it comes to stress. Whether you run on a track or play tennis, as long as you're moving around, it’ll help your mood.
If you’re under constant stress, try some or all of these strategies. There are many more out there, but these are the easiest and cheapest ways to relax those neck muscles. Your body wasn’t designed to be consistently under long-term stress. It needs a break too.