Everybody gets stressed. Life has many responsibilities that pile up! It happens to everyone, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. But those responsibilities can create tension that needs to be unleashed. It’s important to know a few stress-relieving practices to help release that energy in a safe and healthy manner. And hopefully, in the process, you’ll have some fun and learn a little bit about yourself!
Exercise and Move
As you’ve probably already guessed, physical activity is one of the best stress-relieving practices. So, without further ado, here’s a list of exercises that are sure to channel that stress into motion.
- Take a hike or walk: Getting outside and into nature is highly beneficial to stress relief, especially if you can get to an area filled with plants and wildlife. Believe it or not, spending just 20 minutes in nature can relieve your stress.
- Practice yoga: Although it’s light exercise, it’s often slow-paced and requires a meditative type of focus. With those components combined, yoga is almost guaranteed to release your tension, while challenging your physical capabilities.
- Go for a run: The thought of going on a run might make you stressed on its own, and if so, running might not be for you. However, if you do decide to go on a run, it will lessen the effects of stress and improve your response to stressful situations.
- Compete: Find a rec league, get some friends together, or play imaginary one-on-one basketball like many of us did as kids. No matter the sport, get a competitive game going. The pressure of the competition will take your focus off your usual stressors and allow you to put energy into the challenge at hand.
This list is not only full of great stress-relieving practices but also great exercises! If you already exercise regularly and need another outlet for stress relief, consider these mental challenges.
Solve, Think, and Focus.
We know the last thing you want to do is solve more problems or exert more brain power. You already do that enough, right? That’s where the stress is coming from. But don’t worry, these problems to solve are more like puzzles. And the brain power you’ll exert with these tasks is more introspective and low-pressure.
- Meditate: There are many different ways to meditate, but it’s best to start with the basics. Take some time to meditate and you will find that one of its many benefits is—you guessed it, stress relief!
- Complete a puzzle: Solving puzzles like Sudoku™, logic problems, crosswords, and word searches, lowers stress and gives you a boost of serotonin when you complete them. Even jigsaw puzzles are shown to reduce stress!
- Be grateful: Sometimes, all it takes to wash away stress is to list all of the things that you’re thankful for. Practicing gratitude can be extremely powerful, so why not give it a shot?
- Practice positive self-talk: That’s it. Just that. Start talking more positively to yourself in times of struggle, failure, or uncertainty. Make it part of your daily routine. Say something nice to yourself in the morning, at lunch, and at bedtime. Really, any time of the day works. As long as you say it like you mean it.
Should this list not suit you, there’s an even easier route to take when it comes to stress-relieving practices.
Create and Relax.
Putting your creative side to work is a great way to let loose and get lost in thought. And if that’s not enough, we’ve got some relaxing activities that are sure to lower your stress.
- Make art: Whatever creative medium you feel most comfortable and free with, use it. Draw, paint, write, sing, play an instrument, take photos, dance. Use your heart and create something that speaks to you.
- Make food: You don’t have to be a chef to enjoy cooking or baking. Both of these activities are therapeutic and have the potential to relieve a lot of stress. Choose a dish that is near and dear to your heart and your stomach. Put on some music, podcast, or other audio stimulus to help whisk you through the process. Enjoy!
- Take a nap: We know some people reading this probably haven’t taken a nap since elementary school, and it’s time to try again. Of all the many health benefits that naps provide, lowered stress is one of them.
- Close your eyes and listen: Find a comfortable and mellow place to lay down or sit comfortably, close your eyes, and listen. Listen to music, to white noise, to an audiobook, or just to your surroundings (this is especially relaxing in a natural setting).
Stress-Relieving Practices. Check!
Whichever activity you decide to take part in, you will return feeling restored. And hopefully, these stress-relieving practices will help you level out so that you can face the next responsibility with ease and clarity.
If all of this stress is bogging you down and making you feel incapable of getting anything done, it may be time to boost your self-esteem. Read our blog for some tips on how to do just that.