Let’s face it, we all feel stressed out sometimes. It might be your career that’s the cause of your stress. Or your relationship. Whatever it is, stress eats away at your happiness.
Stress is a devastating phenomenon. It affects virtually every aspect of the body, including our muscular, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Long-term stress can even shorten our lives, and it needs to be managed.
So what can you do to help relieve stress almost immediately?
Here are 12 great ways to reduce and eliminate stress quickly.
1: Take a Deep Breath
Deep breathing has been shown to calm you down when stressed immediately. “The goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper,” writes Healthline. Deep breathing helps slow your heart rate, and a slower heart rate will quickly calm you down.
2: Close Your Eyes
If you’re feeling stressed, take some time and just close your eyes. Couple this with taking deep and slow breaths, and you will probably feel your stress melt away. Closing your eyes eliminates visual stimulation and lets you be more alone with your thoughts.
3: Go for a Walk
Escaping your environment and going for a walk is a great way to remove yourself from the situation that got you stressed. Walking also lets your mind wander. Extra points if you choose green spaces in which to walk. Studies show that a 10-minute walk can help clear your mind and lower stress levels.
4: Find a Social Support Network
You might be surprised at the support that’s available in your area. Therapists can help you process whatever is causing your stress, but finding your own support group by volunteering, joining and gym, or taking a class can also help expand your support network.
5: Work Out
Exercise helps to relieve stress in virtually all of us. Exercising just a couple of days a week can help reduce our overall stress levels and improve feelings of happiness and well-being. Of course, regular exercise will also get us healthy, and good health is critical to feeling good and energic throughout the day.
6: Learn To Say No
It’s okay to say “no,” especially if it’s something that you know isn’t right. It’s tough for many of us to refuse invites or favors, but taking care of yourself is a required element of self-care.
What else can improve our self-care? Taking baths at night help, and doing yoga. Maybe even getting a massage or reading your favorite author. In other words, taking time for yourself by saying no to distractions will help you manage your long-term stress.
7: Write Down Your Thoughts in a Journal
For some of us, taking time to reflect on our lives and what might be causing stress is an excellent way to process what’s bothering us. A journal is also a great substitute for talking with someone about your stress when you may not be ready. So get a journal and keep it in a safe place, then take some quiet time to write in it whenever you feel stressed out.
8: Go Somewhere by Yourself
Sometimes, escaping the environment that’s causing your stress will be the only way to process what’s going on. Whether it’s the beach or a cabin in the woods, pick a place where you feel comfortable and go there. Take that quiet time to be with your thoughts.
You might be surprised at how often clutter or disorganization makes us stressed. Clutter impedes our ability to focus; when we can’t focus, we feel helpless and frazzled. Take some time to put things back where they go. Ditch things that you no longer use. Only keep around those things that you use and value.
10: Schedule “Me Time”
Be sure to schedule some time to just be with yourself. This might be every day or every week. During this time, you get to do whatever you like. For instance, you might want to pursue a hobby, try a new sport, go to a movie alone, or maybe sit in the quiet and think. The sky is the limit. During this time, it’s all about you.
That’s right, a simple 15 to 20-minute stretching routine can work wonders for your body and mental health. Stretching reduces tension in our muscles, which also helps reduce pain and increase mobility. It has also been shown to increase serotonin levels in our body, which is the hormone responsible for improving our mood and reducing stress.
12: Do Something Creative
If you’re an artist, painting or drawing can be a fantastic way to temporarily escape life for a while and be with yourself, letting your mind focus on creative things. Creativity reduces stress because there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to art. “Just like physical exercise, creative stimulation engages and focuses our minds on the task at hand — and distracts us from feelings of stress and anxiety,” writes Entrepreneur.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.