I don’t believe that people can be “stress-free” by nature. We can be more or less resilient than the others, but sooner or later, everyone experiences the feelings of tension and anxiety. When the stress alarms are triggered, you always have a choice: you can give in to these annoying thoughts and feelings, or you can fight them and recover your mental stability. When your brain just won’t shut down, it’s good to have several useful techniques in mind. No one has to live with constant tension. I’ll share some stress-relief techniques that work for me – try them out or find your own.
1. Pick a hobby that’ll make you happy
When it comes to interesting hobbies, the sky’s the limit. Photography, writing, playing board games, knitting, reading, painting, origami… feel free to choose your own favorite. Even the science confirms that people who pursue interesting and challenging hobbies become more creative at work and able to battle stress. Having a side project boosts our mental health and prevents boredom, apathy and depression.
If you enjoy creativity and love keeping your hands busy, why not try upcycling? It’s fun, useful, and great for the environment. I know lots of people who earn some serious money from this, but for now, I’m doing it exclusively for myself and my friends. I saved a bunch of money and kept all my valuables (that would end up in the trash) and created lots of trinkets which are now decorating my home.
2. Hit the gym
For some people, the main workout motivation is to tone their muscles and look awesome. It’s a shame because regular exercise has much more benefits and I’m not talking about physical fitness and health improvements only. Some heavy working out makes you more resistant and boosts your ability to combat stressful situations. You feel energized, enthusiastic and your self-esteem is increased – it’s more than enough to equip you for facing life’s difficulties.
You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to enjoy all these benefits. Whatever your fitness level may be just hit the gym at least a couple of times per week and you’ll see the change for the better. If you don’t enjoy strength exercises – opt for yoga, pilates, swimming, cycling, or any other physical activity that you love. After that, you’ll realize what “A healthy mind in a healthy body” truly means.
3. Tech detox
A world of technology is something we simply can’t avoid anymore – and most people don’t even want to. However, we slowly begin to realize the effect that this 24-hour online status has on us all: the increasing levels of stress and tech addiction. Sometimes, I literally feel pressured to answer an email or missed call as soon as I can and it really annoys me. However, I’m slowly changing my habits. I explained to my close ones that I’ll need to shut down my phone for at least a couple of hours per day and I reduced my computer use as much as I can – I’m offline at least an hour before I go to bed. I try to meet people in person to have a chat with them.
Unfortunately, I often have to ask them to take their eyes of their smartphones while I’m trying to speak to them.
4. Eat yummy but healthy snacks
You are what you eat. Everything you eat (and drink) has a huge impact on your physical and psychological well-being. When you’re stressed, sugary diets and carbs can create an illusion of comfort, but the truth is that they’ll only increase your stress levels. Also, too much sugar in your diet is linked to a number of health conditions: obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver failure etc.
A bit of dark chocolate won’t kill you (actually, it can be quite healthy if you can control yourself) but a bucket of ice-cream may. If your stomach (or brain) demands an urgent snack, opt for vitamin-filled treats such as fruit and nuts. Also, the water is perfectly fine, but why wouldn’t you prepare some nice mint and lemongrass tea instead? It’s proven that their chemicals reduce the stress levels and relax muscles.
5. Create a soothing atmosphere and – meditate
An ideal home should be a place for rest and relaxation – a shelter where you can hide from work- related stress and anxiety. That’s why I made my bedroom stress-free: I bought a plant, moved my TV to the living room, got some lavender scented candles and a room music player so I can relax while listening to my favorite sounds. I have a daily ritual – I lay down on my bed, play some relaxing music and do some visualization and breathing exercises. You don’t have to be a meditation expert – even an ordinary deep breathing will boost your oxygen flow and help you unwind. There are lots of ways to do calm breathing and meditation, but here’s one fast trick: take a slow breath (through the nose and all the way down to your belly), hold it for 2 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds.
Author: Linda Ward
Linda Ward is a nurse and a wannabe writer. She enjoys writing about different health, food and lifestyle topics. In her free time, Linda loves to dance and work out in a gym.