Methods To Reduce Stress
Stress can interfere with so many areas of our life to the point where it feels like we are too stressed out to do much of anything. On those brutal days, try out one of these tricks below to help.
Go to an office supply store and pick out a nice journal—something that suits your needs and in a color you like. Then carry it with you everywhere and keep a list of all the things you are grateful for in it. Or once a day, write down 3-10 good things that happened or that you are grateful for. Pretty soon, you will have a record of good things and a more positive mindset.
Keep A Journal
Similar to the gratitude journal but less focused. Use a journal to record all your thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes, fears, desires, plans, and that pesky to-do list. Dump everything onto the pages and write away the tension in your life. If the thought of someone someday reading the journal terrifies you, comfort yourself with the knowledge that you can burn each entry as it leaves your fingers if you like or even have a journal burning party.
Go for a walk outside, do some exercise, put some music on and dance or start housecleaning. Simply getting up and moving around with a vigorous activity will get your blood flowing and cause your brain to release happy endorphins which act as natural painkillers and make you feel better. Plus, now that your house is sparkling clean, you’ve explored the neighborhood, and you know some killer dance moves.
Light A Candle
A nice scented candle that smells good and helps you feel more relaxed. Lemon and lavender are popular choices but rose, cinnamon apple and lilac are lovely too. Whatever you feel is the right candle for you, get a large size. Then do some journaling or maybe some yoga while the candles burn nearby. Hey, don't knock aromatherapy until you've tried it.
Ditch The Caffeine
If you are feeling jittery or have excess energy but no motivation to use any of it then try reducing your caffeine intake. Replace that afternoon cup of Joe with a protein bar, a cup of antioxidant green tea or maybe a potassium-rich banana and see if the results are an improvement.
Read A Book
It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is so long as you take the time to sit down in your favorite chair with a cup of something warm to drink, maybe a few cookies to munch on mid-story and a cozy blanket to snuggle. Pretty soon you will be lost in your book, oblivious to the world around you.
Get in touch with long-distance relatives, have a night on the town with your circle of friends or go to Grandma’s house for dinner. Reconnecting with people who know and love you can boost your hormone levels and reduce your stress. The same goes for your furry friends too.
Laughter Is Good Medicine
The act of laughing raises our endorphin levels, reduces the tension carried in our shoulders and boosts the immune system. It can also length our lives and all around makes us feel better. So find your funniest friends or pop on your favorite sit-com and prepare to laugh.
Learn To Say “No”
Saying no might seem like a really easy solution to our crowded social calendar but the act of actually saying no to someone trying to make a demand on your time can be harder than it looks. Practice it a few times and then stay firm on your decision.
Procrastination Brews Stress
If you are a master procrastinator, you are probably pretty stressed out a lot of the time. Instead of procrastinating all the time, get organized and create a system that works for you to streamline your workflow and get things done sooner. This will relieve more stress than you knew you had.
Find that special someone in your life and pin them down on the coziest couch or overstuffed chair or the bed and cuddle them. Cuddling raises our hormone levels and releases oxytocin which makes us feel safe, happy, relatively pain-free and—you fell asleep cuddling, didn’t you?
Put Some Music On
Find something that is soothing and relaxing for you (Celtic ballads, old swing dance tunes, Lady Gaga—whatever floats your boat) and then do some relaxing yoga. Or maybe wash those dishes you’ve been avoiding, pull out your coloring books and get creative. Or break out the cookbook and bake up a storm.
Watch A Documentary
Nature documentaries most likely bored you as a kid, but now that you are an adult, they can be some of the best medicine for relaxing. The soothing tones of the narrator paired with the visuals of fish swimming in the sea or flocks of birds preening their feathers can have a calming effect on our busy minds.
Medicate With Chocolate
Too much chocolate can make you sick, but a little bit of the darker variety can actually have positive health benefits—some of which include raising your endorphin levels and making you feel better. Chocolate triggers the same part of your brain that activates when you are in love and releases the same lovey-dovey hormones.
Depending on how into it you get, simply planning out your future garden on paper can have an immensely calming effect. After that, you get to vigorously pull weeds, pick flowers and plants that smell or look nice, spray water everywhere (which can reduce stress amazingly) and then reap the benefits of all your hard work with a harvest of some kind. Plus your garden will become a sanctuary that you can escape to and relax in without the stress of the world following you.