If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed at work or dealing with financial issues at home, then you have a lot of stress in your life. While you can’t snap your fingers and make it all go away, there are things you can do to manage it and also improve your life.
Your body is naturally equipped to handle a little bit of stress from time to time. When presented with stress, your body views it as a danger and switches into fight or flight mode. Then to calm the body back down, your nervous system uses the vagus nerve to slow your heartbeat and control your breathing. Unfortunately, years of chronic stress can make it harder for your body to calm itself. The good news is, there are some simple things that you can do to relieve your stress.
1. Deep Breathing
The number one way to relieve stress instantly is through deep breathing. When you feel you’re getting stressed, pause and give yourself time to take 4-5 deep breaths. As you inhale and exhale slowly, your heart rate will begin to decrease and your body will start to relax.
Another great way to deal with stress is by exercising. This doesn’t mean you have to run to the gym every time you feel stressed. Simple stretches at home or a nice walk around your neighborhood counts as exercise too. No matter which exercise you choose, it will bring your stress level down and make you feel much better.
Sleeping is another stress reliever that can help you manage your stress. If you tend to stay up late worrying about your problems instead of heading to bed, this can make matters worse. When you have trouble falling asleep, try doing something to relax your body and mind before going to bed. This can be as simple as taking a hot shower or reading a good book.
If you just can’t seem to turn your brain off, meditation is for you. Not only will it help you to relax but it will untangle your thoughts so you can think more clearly. Try to find a space in your home where you can sit quietly and meditate for a while without interruption.
Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is by having a good laugh. For you, this could come from watching a funny movie or hanging out with friends. No matter what you do, make sure the activity you choose gives you something that you can laugh about.
Another great way to relieve stress is by playing sports, games or even with your kids. When you’re playing around and having fun, your mind and body are able to relax and enjoy the moment. So schedule some playtime or even a game night with your family or friends. If you have a pet, having fun with them counts as playtime too.
If you love to cook, try out a new recipe for some fun and tasty stress relief. While others may view this as work, for you it may be another form of play that allows you to get your mind off of things. Feel free to invite a friend or family member to join you if you like to socialize as you cook.
Let off some stress in a creative way by using your drawing skills. If this is a talent of yours then it’s a good way to focus your mind on something positive and beautiful. Even if you’re more of a doodler then that type of drawing works too.
When you’re stressed out and overwhelmed, it can be hard to remember the good things in your life. Journaling is another great way to relieve stress while writing down things that you are thankful for. It also relaxes your mind and helps you to reflect on your life.
While stress is unpleasant, it doesn’t have to be unbearable for you. The next time you start to feel overwhelmed, try doing one of these activities to relieve some of the stress in your life.