Our overall health can be massively impacted by our stress levels. Some people only realise they’re becoming overwhelmed or stressed out when they notice a slight feeling of queasiness or a shortness of breath. In a day and age when expectations are very high and every aspect of life is fast-paced, it’s pretty fair to say we could all benefit from feeling less stressed. Your everyday life and overall wellbeing may be greatly improved by decreasing your stress levels.
We don’t get to choose whether or not we become stressed, but with a little practice, we can choose how long that stress lasts. Getting on top of your stress can also help you with any sleep problems, anxiety or low moods you might be struggling with. Try taking a deep breath right now. Hold it for a few seconds before breathing out fully. Repeating this a few times should make you feel more relaxed quite quickly, even if it’s only a slight improvement.
If that didn’t work for you, don’t stress! There’s a calming method out there for everyone. There are many ways you can make de-stressing a priority, whether it’s chewing gum or turning off email alerts on your phone. For a less stressful life, why not try out one or two of the techniques below? There are many ways to relax – breathing exercises are just one of them!
Top De-Stressing Tips
- Connect with people. Talk about your problems, or just have a chat and a laugh.
- Have some ‘me time’. Earmark a few nights a week to focus on something you really enjoy.
- Challenge yourself. Setting and achieving goals will make you feel more capable of dealing with the other things that stress you out.
- Try green tea. Stress has been found to be reduced by the amino acids hidden in this natural tea.
- Prioritise spending time with the people who make you feel secure and optimistic.
- Go on a digital detox. It can be very refreshing to have these ‘digital detoxes’ frequently.
- Try out meditation. Apps like Headspace and Calm can help you if you are still learning and don’t know how to start.
- Get active. It won’t make your stress disappear, but it will clear your thoughts a little. A little extra physical exercise can really relax your body and your mind.
- Pet or play with an animal. You might have to borrow your friend’s dog or keep approaching strangers to play with theirs, but it’ll be worth it.
- Help other people. Those who help out by volunteering or doing community work have been found to be more resilient.
- Work smarter, not harder. If you prioritise your workflow properly, you’re less likely to become snowed under and stressed out.
- Make sure you’re getting enough time off work – if you haven’t had a holiday in a while, take one soon.
- Accept the things you can’t change. Training yourself out of needless fretting may take some time, but it’s worth the effort!
- Get your Spotify playlist on point. You may find your energy levels and mood improve drastically when you have the right playlist and listen to it while you’re on the way to work.
- Take time out to stretch.
- Remember your old hobbies you used to love? Try them out again. It can be very satisfying and soothing to have something like drawing, knitting or woodworking to focus on and take your mind off work.
- Avoid unhealthy habits. As appealing as they may sound, alcohol and caffeine will do you no good in the long-run.
- Get a diffuser.
- Help yourself to a little honey. It’ll give you a quick energy boost and may help relieve anxiety.
- Go tropical. Mango contains a compound called linalool, which is the main ingredient in relaxing lavender essential oils.
- Dance it out – this can boost your serotonin levels and relieve some stress.
- Crunch and munch. A healthy snack will serve as a welcome distraction and also stop you from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.
- Get your head below your heart. Putting your head down between your knees lessens your reactivity to the fight-or-flight response and has restorative effects on the autonomic nervous system.
- Get yourself out of the habit of delaying stress for later: STOP procrastinating.
- Talk it out. Sharing how you are feeling with a therapist, loved one or someone close can be extremely therapeutic.
- Start a garden. This can help you slow down and connect with nature.
- Get outside. You’ll enjoy a powerful mood boost if you’re able to get vitamin D from the sun.
- Chillax with some chocolate. Too much chocolate may not be good for you, but a little dark chocolate at a time of need can boost your brain health and decrease stress.
- Start your morning with a few deep breathing exercises. These have been shown to increase blood flow, better your posture and even reduce inflammation on your body! Most breathing exercises can be done anywhere at any time, and they’re the simplest way to calm your stressed-out body and mind.
- Do yoga. This exercise can bring some quite remarkable benefits, so it’s really worth looking into. It’s likely you’ve already noticed some benefits to yoga practice if you’re a passionate yoga practitioner – everything from a decreased number of colds to increased general wellbeing and better sleep.
- Release physical tension with some progressive muscle relaxation. Sit or lie somewhere comfortable and gradually tense and relax one area of muscles at a time, moving from your feet up to your head (or vice versa).
- Put it on paper. Writing down your thoughts can really help you relax by getting you out of your head and grounding you in the real world.
- Take control. Find a solution to what’s stressing you out, and act.
For more information about reducing stress – and even avoiding it in the first place – check out The Essential Guide to Stress from Need2Know Books!