Stress, you’ve most likely heard about it, read about it, and experienced it. Some people experience a great deal of stress daily and incur a myriad of physical and emotional ailments while others seem to go about their merry days with little no stress at all. The truth is that stress does not have to control your life or destroy your happiness. You can learn to deal with the thunderstorms of stress and avoid the flood of harmful side-effects that come with it. Here are ten simple things you can do to relieve stress in your life no matter what or how big the cause.
1. Listen to Music
If you find yourself in a stressful situation or feeling overwhelmed by problems, try listening to calming and relaxing music. Slow, quiet music, such as classical music, has been proven to have a profound and relaxing effect on our minds, emotions, and bodies. Listening to calming music or a tune that takes you back to your childhood can help you to take your mind off of your problems and simply relax.
Exercise causes your body to release endorphins that help improve your mood. You don’t have to go to the gym and workout for hours or run a marathon to get the stress-relieving benefits of exercise. A simple walk around the block or a few jumping jacks in your office can help to lower stress levels and improve your state of mind.
3. Eat Stress Relieving Food
Your diet plays an important role in how well your mind and body handle stress. While many people tend to binge eat or consume unhealthy foods such as sweets and pizza, experts recommend eating healthy foods that have been proven to reduce stress. Eating oatmeal causes the brain to release serotonin, which has a calming effect on the mind and body. Foods rich in complex carbs are best in helping to relieve stress, so stock up on the whole grains and oatmeal for better moods.
4. Laugh and Laugh Some More
Whether is’s a hilarious sitcom or silly knock-knock joke, the benefits of a hearty laugh go a long way in relieving stress. Studies show that laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulates, the heart, lungs, and muscles and causes the brain to release feel-good endorphins.
5. Attend a Church Service
People who attend church service regularly, believe in a higher power, or have a positive spiritual lifestyle tend to manage stress better than those who don’t. Church services and other spiritual gatherings can help to relieve stress by providing support during difficult times.
6. Volunteer Your Time
By volunteering your time to serve food at a homeless shelter or visit the sick in a hospital, you help to take your mind off your problems and focus on the problems and concerns of others. By giving your time and energy to people less fortunate than yourself, you have an opportunity to reevaluate your situation and your life and see how fortunate you are.
7. Start a Daily Journal
Keeping a daily journal is a good way to reduce stress and get things in perspective. Write down everything stressful in your life. For each thing that’stressful, write down something that you’re grateful for next to it. Read your thoughts and concerns after you write them down, and focus on the things you’re grateful for. It’s also a good idea to write down possible solutions to the things that are causing you stress. Even if some of the solutions may be difficult or impossible, write them down anyway. Reading your solutions to certain problems will inspire you to make changes in your life that can lead to greater happiness.
8. Practice Yoga
The common goal of yoga is to join the body with the mind. This is accomplished through body and breath awareness. Yoga may help to lower blood pressure, and heart rate, while increasing the production of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that is lowered in people with mood disorders.
9. Start a Hobby
Staring a new hobby like gardening, model building, or scrapbooking can help to relieve stress and give you a sense of accomplishment. It feels good when you complete a task or find that baseball card with your favorite childhood player. The point is to find a hobby you enjoy and not see it as a job or a chore and have fun doing it.
10. Share Intimacy
Sharing a hug, kiss, or having sex with someone you love is a great stress reliever. Close and intimate physical contact can release oxytocin and lower cortisol, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure. Besides that, hugs, kisses, and physical intimacy feel good and make you feel better.
Stress is a normal part of life. How you deal with the stress in your life will determine your overall physical and mental health. High blood pressure, headaches, upset stomach, and more serious ailments can all be caused by excess stress and anxiety if you don’t learn to handle stress in a positive manner. Following some of the tips above can lead to a happier and healthier life.