Since 1992, The Health Resource Network has sponsored Stress Awareness Month in an effort to raise public awareness about how stress affects our lives and what we can do to address it. Long term, prolonged stress can lead to serious health issues. The American Heart Association states that many behaviors that accompany chronic stress elevate blood pressure. These behaviors are poor eating habits, inactivity, smoking, and high alcohol intake. At KAFFEE’S GARDEN SPA, our team of Spa Therapists are very aware that stress elevates the heart rate, increases muscular tension, breathing rate and feelings of anxiety. We are trained to provide therapies to help manage and correct the effects of stress. There are medical findings showing that massage promotes the relaxation response which is when the heart rate decelerates, breathing rate slows and muscles relax. Massage therapy is a proven, non-invasive way to physically reduce levels of stress hormones in the body while increasing levels of endorphins (the feel good hormone). A weekly massage can do wonders to help manage a stressful period. Every one of our other holistic spa therapies provides relaxation and stress reduction.
A session in the Salt Room to receive microscopic salt particles will clean your airways to improve lung function allowing deeper breathing and better sleep. Our Spa Facial is a relaxing and therapeutic, sensory delight that introduces you to the subtleties of Aromatherapy, which are essential oils that supports the nervous system, helping to manage stress. The facial also includes a hand and foot massage in addition to the shoulder, neck and face massage. Really just stepping in the door of the Spa, knowing you are about to be treated, is an immediate stress buster!
Your Spa visits can be supported by other easy and enjoyable lifestyle habits that we can be incorporate into your daily routines that lift our spirits and reduce our stress. Here are a few to try:
1. Breathe Deeply
Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.
Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
2. Be Present
Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness. Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food.
When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense..
3. Tune In to Your Body
Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back, or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at your toes and work your way up to your scalp, noticing how your body feels
Simply be aware of places you feel tight or loose without trying to change anything. For 1 to 2 minutes, imagine each deep breath flowing to that body part. Repeat this process as you move your focus up your body, paying close attention to sensations you feel in each body part.
A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. It is generally accepted that daily meditation can alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you be more resilient to stress.
It’s simple. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes.. Focus your attention on reciting – out loud or silently – a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “I love myself.” Place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breaths. Let any distracting thoughts float by like clouds.
Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. Take a warm bath with salts and essential oils that support the nervous system, like the ever popular Lavender.
6. Laugh Out Loud
A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally. It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood. Lighten up by tuning in to your favorite sitcom or video, reading the comics, or chatting with someone who makes you smile. Don’t you always feel better when you talk to someone you love?
7. Crank Up the Tunes
Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Create a playlist of songs or nature sounds (the ocean, a bubbling brook, birds chirping), and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece. Also singing along to your favorite songs will give you a lift in the shower or where ever!
8. Get Moving
You don’t have to run in order to get a runner’s high. All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercise like head rolls and shoulder shrugs.
9. Be Grateful
Keep a gratitude journal or several (one by your bed, one in your purse, and one at work) to help you remember all the things that are good in your life.
10. Reach Out
Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talk to others – preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share what’s going on. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong. The relationship between Client and Spa Therapist is a perfect example of a supportive connection.
We hope you have found this information helpful and that by making frequent visits to the Spa and practicing a few of the tips you found here, you will feel happier and healthier with minimal stress.
To celebrate Stress Awareness Month we are offering you a specially priced package, The Garden Salt Kur for $135.00 (regularly $160.00) only during the month of April. Visit our website to see the details of this relaxing package KaffeesGardenSpa.com or call us at 561-833-4483.
For more information on stress relief and a free e-book visit stressawarenessmonth.com