When you’re dealing with too much stress, it begins to hurt your health in many ways.
Your blood pressure can rise, you can develop heart problems, skin conditions, depression and anxiety amongst other health troubles. For that reason de-stressing is essential, to help make sure your nervous system is in “rest & digest”, more often than your “fight or flight” mode.
Here’s 11 ways to relieve stress (quickly & naturally):
1. Take a walk outside
Moving our body can help to lower stress levels because the act of exercise helps us release the type endorphins, that make us happy.
Also, when you are moving through your neighbourhood, take in your surroundings. Look at the trees and the animals. Smile at your neighbours… When you focus on your breath, get some perspective and look at the bigger picture, this can help the intensity of the stress, become a distant memory.
Breathing is more than just a way to get oxygen to your cells. Focusing on our breath can bring our whole body into a center. And when we feel centered, it’s as if that stress just magically disappears.
Sit in a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose for eight counts. Hold for a moment and then breath out for the same length of time, counting to eight. Repeat and focus on the numbers as they move through your mind.
See also A Beginner’s Guide To Meditation
3. Read a book
There are few things better than getting into a book when you are dealing with stress. You may not like books, but you could also read the articles in magazines. Maybe that’s not your thing as well, which is fine. Then read a comic strip.
The idea here is to take your mind away from your stresses. That’s why you should read something you enjoy. Not something about work or any subject that ignites your stress.
4. Use essential oils
Many avid oil users swear that aromatherapy is a great way to make stress disappear. Between lavender, lime, eucalyptus, rose, cinnamon, and cedarwood, there is an essential oil that will relieve the stress of your day with an aroma you enjoy.
You can put the oil in your home diffuser or even in a USB oil diffuser if you are looking to relax on the go.
5. Listen to some music
Studies have shown that people who listen to music on headphones before and after getting surgery showed a reduction in stress levels.
And most people have a favourite type of music. Whether it’s country, pop, rock-and-roll, blues, folk, dance, etc., there is typically a genre that appeals to everyone at some level. It is said the best music to relieve stress is classical, but just listen to what you love!
6. Get amorous
As it turns out, “getting busy” with your partner has shown to get rid of stress. Like exercise, sex releases endorphins that are superior in the body to stress, in every way. So if you have a bad day, plan a nice evening for you and your significant other to turn it all around.
7. Do a yoga practice
Yoga is a centering activity much in the same way as meditating. In fact, most yoga instructors start with meditation and move into stretching. It forces us to focus on our breathing and where our body is while maintaining a pose.
It takes time to get feel as if you are in a flow but once you get the hang of it, stress usually begins to ease off after your first sun salutation.
8. Write in a journal
All people are writers – some just practice and others don’t. Either way, when you feel a little bit of stress creeping in that is too much, pull out the journal and write about it.
If you don’t keep a journal, just make a file on your computer and type it, or pop over to the nearest store and pick up a cheap school notebook. It’s an easy thing to do and doesn’t take much time. Getting your feelings, thoughts and emotions out on paper can help you both: 1) separate yourself from the feeling of stress and/or: 2) get perspective on or make sense of, what is stressing you. As you get the hang of this practice, you’ll begin to notice your stress melting away as you write.
See also 12 Days Of Self-Care Journal Prompts
9. Hang with a furry friend
If you don’t have pets and don’t want any, feel free to move on to number 10. But if you do, you already know how beneficial it is to hang out with your animals. Snuggle with your cat or dog whenever they give you the opportunity.
10. Reorganise/Clean Something
Do you have a closet that needs a cleaning? Or have you been feeling that your rooms need a new look? Perhaps you could rearrange the living area?!
There are all kinds of little projects laying around our homes that need doing. If you’re feeling stressed, sometimes these are a great thing to tackle because firstly it will distract your mind, and secondly, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment once your done. And that sense of accomplishment will help eradicate any lingering stress.
11. Play Something
If you don’t have a game on your smartphone that you already like, your friend or colleague will – ask for a recommendation, then play it to help get your mind off whatever it is that stresses you.
Playing isn’t an action exclusive to games either. You could play a musical instrument, or listen to music in your headphones or play a board game with a friend or family member. Just have some fun in a way that feels good to you.
Stress is good in small doses but too much can cause a wealth of possible health issues. So while not everything on this list will appeal to you, but all you need to do is find one that works. Happy relaxing!