We all know that stress is a modern epidemic, but not all of us know how to fight it effectively. We get caught up in our daily routines, struggling to manage as many tasks as possible, from work to family responsibilities, while also trying to maintain a socially active life, and in the process, we forget how important it is to simply take a step back and breathe. Every time we get a free moment, we rush to fill it with new activities, leaving no room for relaxation.
In today’s society, stress has become somewhat a normality, and people see it as an inevitable part of adulthood, so they simply choose to ignore its effects. But you must be aware that stress can take a serious toll on both your mental and physical health. Even if you can’t ban stress from your life completely, it’s still important to focus on finding methods to reduce it, so you can enjoy a healthier and happier life. Since the advice to “just relax” isn’t going to help you much, here are a few tips that can be useful when trying to destress.
Take a break
Sometimes the only way to keep stress from ruining your life is by getting away from what’s causing it. But leaving stress behind is much easier said than done, right? You can’t simply quit your job or ignore your grownup responsibilities. However, you don’t have to take such drastic measures to step away from what’s stressing you. Taking some well-deserved breaks every now and then to disconnect from the things that put pressure on you can prove extremely effective in finding your balance. So, try to schedule some time for yourself to do things that make you feel good, whether that’s going on a short trip, going out with your friends, spending a relaxing day at the spa or even smaller things like reading a book, watching a movie or taking a hot bath.
Some people might think that meditation is simply another trend that will go just like many others, but meditation is in fact a practice that has been used since antiquity to train the mind and achieve mental clarity and peacefulness. Over the years, it’s been proved that meditation can help alleviate conditions such as stress, anxiety or depression. If you’re not familiar with meditation techniques and the benefits it can bring, you might want to join a meditation class or start by listening to some basic guided meditation tracks. If you’re willing to try it on your own, you can begin by creating the proper environment to meditate. Choose a peaceful corner, download some royalty free ambient music to help you set the right mood and start your meditation session.
Try breathing exercises
Another simple yet effective way to clear your mind and find your calm is to practice breathing exercises. They’re like quick magic fixes that can help you regain your composure in no time and you can practice them anytime, anywhere. Whenever you feel like your stress levels are reaching an alarming level, try some quick breathing techniques. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth while you’re slowly counting. Count till three while breathing in and do the same while breathing out and then repeat until you feel fully relaxed.
Relaxation isn’t always about sitting still. In fact, one of the most efficient relaxation techniques involves a lot of physical activity. It’s no news that working out can help you maintain a strong and healthy body, but it can be extremely beneficial for your mental health as well. Physical exercises can improve your mood by helping you release all the tension caused by stress. Also, a good workout will raise your endorphins and serotonin level. These neurotransmitters will make you feel less stressed and more energized for quite a while, so it’s a good idea to make working out a habit.
Spend time in nature
Breathing fresh air and connecting with nature are some of life’s most wonderful pleasures. Unfortunately, our everyday activities keep us trapped indoors for hours and limit the time we can spend enjoying nature’s wonders. But you can still sneak in a quick walk in the park or a short camping trip in your busy schedule. If you have a garden, consider yourself lucky and try to take advantage of it as often as possible.
Go to your happy place
Going to your happy place doesn’t mean you actually have to travel somewhere. It’s about thinking of any place in the world that brings you a feeling of comfort and happiness. It’s effortless and it will cost you nothing but a few minutes of concentration. So, use your imagination to get away from stress factors and let it transport you to a place where there’s nothing but peace and serenity. Your mind is your greatest tool and if you learn how to use visualization properly, stress can become a thing of the past.