Updated: Oct 20
These days, it seems we’re all stressed - from reasons ranging from work to relationships to major life events. You’ve seen in some of our previous posts about how massage therapy can relieve stress and anxiety and calm your nervous system. But there are many other steps you can take to improve your mental health, alongside getting a massage!
For one, our lead massage therapist recommends deep breathing techniques, such as the 4-7-8 technique. To do this, breathe in deeply while slowly counting to 4, hold your breath while counting to 7, and exhale while counting to 8. Kaiser Permanente advises you to make sure you get all the air out of your lungs when you breathe out. The breathing exercise should be completed 3 to 7 times, or until you feel relaxed and at peace.
In addition to breathing techniques, writing your thoughts down in a journal can be surprisingly therapeutic, which I can personally attest to! Putting your troubles on paper is a great way to cope with anxiety and depression, rather than letting these negative thoughts swirl around in your head. If you need to talk to someone, find a trusted friend, partner, or mentor to surface a concern you have. Of course, these aren’t a strong substitute for cognitive behavioral therapy, and there are always licensed therapists in the Eastside that have your back, even in the worst of times.
Another way to reduce your stress is to get some exercise. Cardio, yoga, and weightlifting all release endorphins, which are the body’s natural chemicals that make you feel better. The Cleveland Clinic points to these chemicals as being able to lower both your stress and your body’s pain levels. (As a side note, the Clinic writes that a massage can release endorphins as well!)
With that being said, we know of a local business that can help you improve your mental well-being with exercise. ZenRock Fitness in Bellevue and Redmond offers personal training services for both individuals and couples, along with in-home/in-office training and virtual yoga classes. They have an excellent post on their blog that further addresses the benefits of exercise for mental health.
Remember, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional!