Unfortunately, as life has grown tremendously easier in the 21st century, stress levels have surprisingly increased as a result. Men and women around the globe are finding that they are being thrust into a world that requires them to juggle fifty balls in the air at the same time. As attempting to balance the work, social, and family elements of life, stress levels build and threaten you with a sheer burnout.
But how can you relieve stress when the mere thought of incorporating stress-alleviating activities into your already hectic life makes you stress even more? Believe it or not, there is a wealth of things you can do that are both easy and convenient.
The “Instant” Fix
While stress can never be eliminated in an instant, there are a few things you can do that create some instantaneous relief. First and foremost, pause for a moment and take three big breaths, allowing a few seconds to pass as you inhale, and again as you exhale. By doing this simple exercise you effectively slow your heart rate which also slows the overwhelming pace of the hormones responsible for stress.
If that doesn’t do it for you, get on YouTube and find one of your favorite songs and sing along with it. The rapid mouth movements involved with singing will increase the amount of oxygen flowing through your body.
Lastly, grab something soft to squeeze repetitively. Stuffed animals, squeeze balls, and even the steering wheel can all be effective tension-relievers. By continuously squeezing something soft you can relieve tension, both physically and mentally.
Got 10 Minutes?
An instant fix is always great, but the best stress-relievers work over a period of time; in this case, 10 minutes or less. You actually have one of the best stress-busting tools available to you—your friends and family. Track one of them down who you know will listen inventively without judging. Not only do you get to rant n’ rave for a few minutes, but you will instinctively start to relax due to your friend’s significantly calmer mantra.
If for some reason you’re not able to track down someone to vent too, try writing down your feelings in a journal, or even on a plain sheet of paper. This is highly effective because you tend to say exactly what you need to say without the fear of being judged. After all, you’re the only one who is going to read it.
Finally, let your legs do the work. Find a few minutes (or more) to take a walk around the block. Walking not only gives you a perfect opportunity to clear your head, but it also is a great cardiovascular activity, increasing blood flow and oxygen.
An Hour or More
For those of you who really need to take some of the tension out of your day-to-day life, one of the absolute best remedies is a nice, long, and hot bath filled with bubbles. Relax in the warm water as your inhibitions literally soak away. For an added boost of stress-relief, try adding about two cups of milk to the bathwater. This creates a cloud-like sensation of floating.
Another fantastic option is to take a nap. We tend to get out of this habit as we exit adolescence and enter into adulthood. However, a good nap is sometimes just what the doctor ordered, so to speak. Your body and mind both get a short break from the world, allowing you ample time to get a quick recharge.
One of the best ways to combat against stress is to take proactive measures to prevent it before it has a chance to start. Are you getting eight hours of sleep at night? If not, you may want to consider readjusting your schedule to allow for at least eight solid hours of sleep.
Don’t forget about regular exercise! Not only is a good workout good for your body physically, it also plays a significant role in reducing any lingering anxiety.
Finally, take a few minutes to consider what you actually enjoy doing. In other words, what makes you happy? Perhaps you enjoy kayaking in the peaceful hours just before dusk, or maybe crocheting cozy little hats. Whatever it may be, make time in your daily life to enjoy whatever it is that makes you happy.