Everyday stress is a common fact of life, but the way we handle stress makes all the difference in daily well being. The side effects of stress are harmful and taxing on our bodies, and include, but are not limited to headaches, stomach pain, sleeping problems, illness, and depression. Some may develop rashes, or acne; and stress may even be responsible for sudden weight gain. With all these side effects, managing or reducing stress should be everyone’s top priority.
Here are some tips for reducing your stress and finding tranquility.
Writing in a Journal
Try to work through your stress by writing down what is hanging over your head. Writing down your thoughts provides an opportunity to explore and possibly determine the root cause of your stress. By exploring your emotions through writing you may discover a solution to anxiety and alleviate your stress.
Create a To Do List
Stress may come from a place of feeling overwhelmed. Create a to do list and prioritize tasks, this will help you visualize what needs to be done. A list provides the ability to cross tasks off as they are finished- leaving you with a sense of positive accomplishment.
Find a quiet place to sit alone. You may want to close your eyes. Try to be as still as possible and pay close attention to your breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, let your chest and lower belly rise and your abdomen expand. Focusing on your breath will take attention away from any negative thoughts and help you move away from stress.
Breaking a sweat is an excellent way to relieve stress. Physical activity releases natural endorphins which produce the feeling of euphoria and overall well being. Taking a spin class or going for a run outside are a few good examples of stress fighting activities. The time spent exercising will give the mind a break from obsessive negative thoughts.
You don’t need to be super flexible to reap the benefits of a little at home yoga. Yoga is for everyone, and according to a study done by The American Council for Exercise (ACE), they found that participants’ flexibility improved after only eight weeks of practice. Yoga helps establish a strong body and mind connection. It trains your mind to be more present in the moment and less focused on the things which you cannot control. No need to go into full pretzel mode, check out a few of these easy stress relieving poses.
Talking to Others
Perhaps one of the easiest way to help relieve stress is confiding in someone you trust. Talk about what is bothering you. The person you turn you may be able to offer advice, but sometimes just having someone there to listen is all you need.
Find a Hobby
Hobbies are a great distraction from stress. A few examples are things like making jewelry, painting, chess, or archery. There are so many hobbies to choose from, you will never be bored, and your stress will take a back seat!
If you start to feel stressed or agitated, try chewing gum. It has been said that the chewing stimulates blood flow to your brain to relieve tension. Also a there’s nothing a little sweetness can’t remedy.
Not really in the mood for rigorous exercise? A mild hike or walk outdoors is very therapeutic in stressful times. Even a short ten minute walk outside with fresh air can dramatically improve your day and eliminate stress.
Lavender is one of most studied scents, and has been shown to relieve stress. Keep a small bottle of Lavender oil in your purse or desk, when you start to feel the stress settle in, apply a drop to each of your wrists and behind the ears to create a light aromatic remedy. Please keep in mind, Lavender may interact with some medications or cause an allergic reaction to sensitive skin.
Listen to Music
Music has the ability to help you relax before a stressful situation. Some suggestions include classic or choral music. Maybe even a little dancing may help blow off stress before that big presentation- just make sure no one is watching!
Be Kind to Yourself
Maybe the most important technique of all. When you are in the grips of stress, take deep breath and tell your self, “I will get through this!”. Simply giving yourself positive affirmations and thoughts, even if just in your own mind, will help you. Be your best ally and overcome any stressful challenge!