Top 10 Stress Relievers

Here are a few ideas to help you learn to relax and unwind.


1. Get active
 

Virtually any form of exercise and physical activity can act as a stress reliever. Even if you’re not an athlete or you’re out of shape, exercise is still a good stress reliever. Physical activity pumps up your feel-good endorphins and refocuses your mind on your body’s movements; improving your mood and helping the day’s irritations fade away. Consider walking, jogging, gardening, house cleaning, cycling, swimming, boot camps or anything else that gets you active.

2. Meditate
During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. Meditation instils a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. Guided meditation, guided imagery, visualisation and other forms of meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time, whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus to work or waiting at the doctor’s office.

3. Laugh
A good sense of humour can’t cure all ailments, but it can help you feel better, even if you have to force a fake laugh through your grumpiness. When you start to laugh, it lightens your mental load and actually causes positive physical changes in your body. Laughter fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure, producing a good, relaxed feeling. So read some jokes, tell some jokes, watch a comedy or hang out with your funny friends.

4. Connect
When you’re stressed and irritable, your instinct may be to wrap yourself in a cocoon. Instead, reach out to family and friends and make social connections. Social contacts is a good stress reliever because it can distract you, provide support, help you weather life’s up and downs, and makes you feel good by doing good. So take a coffee break with a friend, email a relative, volunteer for a charitable group, or visit your place of worship.

5. Assert yourself
You might want to do it all, but you probably can’t, at least not without paying a price. Learn to say no to some tasks or to delegate them. Saying yes may seem like an easy way to keep the peace, prevent conflicts and get the job done right. But it may actually cause you internal conflict because your needs and those of your family come second, which can lead to stress, anger and resentment and that’s not very calm and peaceful.

6. Do yoga
With its series of postures and controlled-breathing exercises, yoga is a popular stress reliever. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety. Try yoga on your own or find a class — you can find classes in most areas. Hatha yoga, in particular, is a good stress reliever because of its slower pace and easier movements.

7. Sleep
Stress often gives sleep the heave-ho. You have too much to do — and too much to think about — and your sleep suffers. But sleep is the time when your brain and body recharge. And the quality and amount of sleep you get affects your mood, energy level, concentration and overall functioning. If you have sleep troubles, make sure that you have a quiet, relaxing bedtime routine, listen to soothing music, put clocks away, and stick to a consistent schedule.

8. Journal
Writing out thoughts and feelings can be a good release for otherwise pent-up emotions. Don’t think about what to write — just let it happen. Write whatever comes to mind. No one else needs to read it, so don’t strive for perfection in grammar or spelling. Just let your thoughts flow on paper — or computer screen. Once you’re done, you can toss out what you wrote or save it to reflect on later.

9. Get musical
Listening to or playing music is a good stress reliever because it provides a mental distraction, reduces muscle tension and decreases stress hormones. Crank up the volume and let your mind be absorbed by the music. If music isn’t your thing, though, turn your attention to another hobby you enjoy, such as gardening, sewing, sketching — anything that requires you to focus on what you’re doing rather than what you think you should be doing.

10. Seek counsel
If new stressors are challenging your ability to cope or if self-care stress relievers just aren’t relieving your stress, you may need to look for reinforcements in the form of professional therapy. Therapy may be a good idea if stress leaves you feeling overwhelmed or trapped, if you worry excessively, or if you have trouble carrying out daily routines or meeting responsibilities at work, home or school. Good therapists can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new coping tools.

 

 

 

 

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