As much as we may not want to deal with stress, the hectic lifestyles we lead because of tight work schedules, school, and even a demanding home life leave us with no choice. Everywhere you turn, you will find people complaining of fatigue and stress. Accordingly, it now necessary to co-opt stress relief management activities in your daily life to effectively deal with stress.
Here are some activities that you can turn into habits to help you relax and reduce the tension caused by stress:
1. Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are a good option for dealing with stress, especially if you are looking for quick relief from a stressful situation. Deep breathing is the way to do it and it has many benefits for the body which includes mind relaxation to alleviate mental tension and acts as a muscle relaxer for physical tension relief.
2. Laughter and smiling
Laugh more and smile more to feel better and relieve stress. It can be very hard to do, especially if your day is not what you want it to be, however, laughter and smiles will make you a happier and positive person.
Watch a movie or TV show that makes you laugh- laughing for as short as ten minutes has far-reaching positive effects on your mental and emotional state. Smile more and in no time your surrounding will feel happier; humor and laughter are natural stress relievers.
3. Spend time with loved ones
There is no better way to beat stress other than to spend time with people you love and care about and who feel the same way about you. Spend time with your friends, children, spouse, partner etc. to keep you happy and to help you through the tough times.
4. Physical exercises
Engaging in physical exercises like running, jogging etc. is a good way of relieving stress. Regular exercise can do wonders to boost mood, elevate emotions and relax you mentally and physically. Physical exercises trigger the release of feel good hormones, endorphins, in the brain which leads to better mood and suppression of stress.
Additionally, exercise is a distraction from stressful situations and is an effective outlet for frustrations and tension. You get to sweat out stress and it also improves your general health.
I am sure you have heard of the great relaxing benefits of meditation, which combines breathing and physical exercises for the ultimate mental and physical relaxation and stress relief.
Apart from deep breathing, meditation takes you to a sleep like state and helps build stress reliance over time. When meditating, you are forced to concentrate on the now, which prevents your mind from veering off to unhelpful thoughts and worries which overwork the brain and lead to stress.
Yoga has not been practiced for over five thousand years for nothing- it is one of the best mind exercises for self-improvement that there is. Yoga is a convergence of various stress management techniques including breathing, imagery, meditation, and movement for both mental and physical stress relief.
7. Guided imagery
Guided imagery involved the active use of the conscious mind to control and guide thoughts and focus on relaxing images. It involves playing natural sounds or being in natural surroundings. This activity takes time to master.
Visualization is similar to guided imagery where you focus your mind to ‘see’ yourself in the place you want to be such as succeeding at a task, handling situations better etc. It is good for stress relief since it builds self-confidence and fends off second-guessing and unnecessary worries.
9. Sufficient sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things for good health and stress relief which is often overlooked in our endeavor to be more productive and successful. Insufficient quality sleep is a quick trigger of stress, in fact, you will have noticed that you are more irritable, grumpy and tired when you do not sleep well. Tyr and get the recommended 6 to 9 hours of sleep daily.
Sex is a great stress relief management activity because of the emotional, mental, and physical benefits derived from it- lower blood pressure, the release of feel-good hormones etc. Sex among adults in a committed relationship offers the best rewards for stress relief because of the compounded benefits of friendship and love derived from the relationship.
11. Music and Dancing
Music is a soother of the mind and a comforter of the soul. Listening to music that you love or soft relaxing music offers immeasurable stress relief and takes your mind away from worries. Music therapy is being used in the treatment of may health conditions and it can lower blood pressure and relax the body and mind. Dancing goes hand in hand with music, move around and gyrate to the music for the physical and the stress relieving effect it will cause.
12. Get organized
How about beating stress by simply getting organized and doing away with all the clutter in your life- both mental and physical. Have you ever realized that a dirty or disorganized environment heightens stress?
Disarray and chaos lead to more stress and saps a lot of your mental energy which can otherwise be used positively. Eliminate stress by keeping your room and house clean, shifting your mind from unnecessary thoughts of no value and you will soon feel better.
13. Get a pet
Pets can do wonders in terms of stress relief; their companionship, unlike human relationships is not so demanding which is good for stress relief. Playing with your dog or cat, or any other pets which you my have makes you feel good and appreciated and the positive and response you get from them is a mood booster. Pets love you unconditionally and will help distract your mind from stressful thoughts.
If you did not know, cooking is a great activity for relieving stress, more so, if it is something you love doing. There is no better feeling than eating a meal you have put your effort in and seeing others enjoy it as well. It is a great distraction from a hectic day and the aromas wafting in the kitchen from the foods and spices are comforting and soothing.
We cannot possibly exhaust all the stress relief management activities because we are sure you also have your unique ways of dealing with stress. The benefits of stress management activities cannot be understated, add these activities to your daily routines and reap the benefits of a calmer, less tense, happier and even stress-free life.
We recommend doing what you love and will make you happy. Do not take up an activity if you do not like it because you will be piling up more stress! Try these 14 stress relief activities to find out which one works best for you.
More importantly, do not seat the small stuff. There is avoidable stress which does not have to bother you- learn to let go of things and as much as possible, approach difficult situations with a positive attitude.
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