We all know the feeling that comes from being overworked, overwhelmed, and completely stressed out. Finding ways to relax and de-stress can be difficult. While small amounts of stress are a regular part of life, feeling consistently and extremely stressed is not. According to the American Institute of Stress, excessive stress will increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Learn more about how stress impacts your life in this infographic. It can also be emotionally devastating which can lead to anger, irritability, depression, loneliness, and constant worrying.
If you feel as though stress might be getting the better of you from time to time, you’re not alone. You’re also not helpless: there are many amazing ways to relax, de-stress, and find a little bit of peace in your life. Try some of these de-stressing methods to start feeling like yourself again.
De-Stressing Your Mind
Tip 1: Meditation – The ancient tradition of meditation is finding new life as a method to reduce stress. It’s easy and accessible – you can meditate just about anywhere without any special equipment. Simply sit up with both feet on the floor and close your eyes. Then, focus on a statement that provides you with a feeling of positivity. These statements can be something like “I feel relaxed” or “I love my life.” Sync your breaths with your mantra and enjoy the feelings of peace and calm.
Tip 2: Deep Breathing – Deep breathing goes hand in hand with meditation for relieving stress. Drawing air deep into the abdomen rather than taking shallow breaths into your upper chest provides your body with more oxygen. This helps to reduce tension and anxiety. Sit up straight and breathe in deeply through your nose. Your stomach should rise, and your chest should stay relatively still. Exhale through your mouth, contract your stomach and remove as much air as possible. Take ten to fifteen deep breaths and count along with each one.
Tip 3: Put Down the Phone – Constantly dealing with emails, social media updates, and messages can easily turn a busy day into a stressful nightmare. In fact, a study conducted by the department of psychology at the University of Worcester found that smartphone use is linked to a rise in stress levels. Free yourself from the tyranny. Create a device-free zone in your home where smartphones simply aren’t allowed.
De-Stress Your Body
Tip 4: Exercise – Move your body to release “feel-good” chemicals that help to elevate your mood and release stress. This doesn’t mean you have to train for a marathon, though. Even a ten minute walk can help you feel happier, more relaxed, and less stressed. Try to walk through a park or another beautiful green space for an added bit of peace.
Tip 5: Decompression – Stress makes us tense up. Decompress to help soothe away negative feelings. A warm bath can be an effective way to soothe tight muscles. If you don’t have the time or space for a bath, placing a warm heat wrap on your shoulders and neck for ten minutes can also be an indulgent and effective choice. For an extra treat, use a foam roller or even a tennis ball to give yourself a self-massage.
Tip 6: Eat a Healthy Snack – Stress-binging on unhealthy foods isn’t a good way to deal with your stress, but enjoying a small, healthy snack can often help. There’s nothing that stresses your brain out more than feeling as though your body doesn’t have enough nourishment. Remove this stressor by eating something small that will fill you up. A hardboiled egg, a serving of almonds, or anything else filled with healthy fats and protein will do the trick. Get even more out of your snack by eating it in a quiet, relaxing place. Take some time to meditate while you eat to enjoy an even greater feeling of satisfaction.
De-Stress Your Emotions
Tip 7: Listen to Music – Research shows that listening to classical music helps to reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. The right tunes can even help to decrease stress hormone levels. If you don’t love classical music, however, even your favorite pop tune helps to release dopamine and other “feel-good” chemicals. Take a break for a few minutes to listen to an upbeat song through your headphones, or belt it out along with your radio on your drive home.
Tip 8: Laugh – We all know how much fun it is to have a good chuckle, but laughter can also be an amazing way to reduce stress. When you indulge in a big belly laugh, you increase your intake of oxygen. This gives your brain an excuse to release the endorphins that help you feel great. Share laughter with a friend to also help you connect to others, another way to help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Tip 9: Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy has long been used as a method to improve emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Today, research into aromatherapy is ongoing, but there is growing evidence that certain scents can help to improve mood and reduce stress. Indulging in an aromatherapy massage can help you decompress and relax, while using personal care products with a soothing aroma helps you enjoy a stress-relieving scent all day.
Use peppermint essential oil to help find a feeling of peace and relaxation when stress starts to get overwhelming. You can learn a little more about what peppermint oil can do in this article on our blog.
While it might be impossible to get rid of stress completely, there is still plenty you can do to keep it at bay. Take time out for yourself to relax, decompress, and de-stress. You deserve it.