Stress Management Activities that Work
We all experience some form of stress in our lives caused by any number of things – depression, anxiety, loneliness, failure, defeat, rejection, loss, disappointment, and more. So identifying your stress symptom(s) is fairly easy. A bad relationship, the death of a loved one brings on some form of stress. Even children experience stress – a child may lose a favorite toy and start to cry. Yes, being human hurts!
The real challenge comes in finding ways to manage stress so it would not interfere with your moods and productivity. Every passing year we are bombarded by new studies on stress all in pursuit of the magic formula that would help a person be stress-free.
For me, meditation is one of the most popular stress relievers. The state of just being quiet and still to gain back the balance that I lost because of stressful events works for me. Achieving inner peace takes much practice, but once you start meditating daily it can have a profound impact on the wellness of your mind, and consequently your physical health. I can attest to that, meditation improves my state of mind and benefits both my physical health and emotional wellness.
Do deep breathing exercises. Whenever you feel stressed out, take a good, long, and deep breath. why not give the 5s a try? Inhale to the count of five, hold it to the count of five, then exhale to the count of five. The good thing is you can do this anywhere, and no one will know! I use this technique every day, sometimes numerous times a day when I feel tense, stressed, or just plain over-worked.
Yoga is excellent for both the mind and body. It increases balance and flexibility to boost functional fitness and its breathing and meditative aspect calms the mind, which has been shown to have numerous physical, mental, and emotional health benefits.
Take a long walk outdoors. When you go on your walk notice everything around you. Notice the trees, the birds, the grass, even the cars, the road, the pavement underfoot, the people passing by (try smiling at them or saying hi,) and everything that’s around you as you walk. Be in the moment!
This reduces stress and boosts cardiovascular health. Fresh air and being in nature supports mental and emotional health by calming the mind and reducing external stimuli and noise that have been shown to have adverse effects on health and well-being.
As our society is evolving rapidly, this leaves you little time to process your environment and relax. The world is a noisy place and the problem with living a fast-paced life includes chronic stress, which has a negative impact on your mind, emotional state, physical health, and overall wellbeing. Silence reduces tension and stress, replenishes mental resources, restarts brain power, allows you to tap into your inner self, improves creativity, helps to eliminate bad habits, regenerates brain cells, brings inner peace and calm, and cultivates awareness.
Stop thinking about those things you don’t have and be thankful for what you do have. Being thankful reduces stress and this is good for bodily health.
Get enough rest. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body and mind can become frazzled, fatigued, and stressed. Get enough quality sleep daily. Set a routine for resting by using soothing music, and earplugs, or by wearing blindfolds.
Work Your Body
Exercise is one of the most efficient stress-reliever according to the Stress Management Society and Mayo Clinic. Find an exercise you enjoy that will motivate you to exercise on a regular basis. Dancing, walking, running, and swimming are great examples of exercises you can do alone. Rigorous exercises like pickle ball, tennis, volleyball, and badminton give you the added benefit of socializing with friends. The good news is that any kind of exercise will help you maintain a healthy mind.
Aside from taking good care of one’s heart and oxygen circulation inside your body, exercise also gets rid of stress hormones and releases endorphins which are also suitably known as “happy hormones.” These happy hormones help you have more energy and a positive outlook in life.
The American Heart Association recommends adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. This adds up to 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week.
According to Web MD, writing is a great stress management activity. You may find it very cathartic to record the stressful events and your reaction to them in a daily journal. Journaling can be a metacognitive process where, when you review the things that stressed you, you may be able to develop solutions that could change your behavior and reaction towards these stressful events.
Smile and Laugh Often
Laughter is the best medicine – this adage will never get old and will never lose its truth. Laughter releases endogenous endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers to boost positive mood and improve your wellness. Laughter has been linked in several studies in improving your mental health. So go watch a comedy, share jokes with a friend, read jokes, or even go to a comedy bar once in a while.
Maintain a supportive circle. Make sure you have people in your life that you can rely on and reciprocate that support back to them.
While you may feel that you would like to be alone whenever you are stressed, try doing the opposite! Go out with friends to unwind and de-stress.
Spending quality time with the people you care about has been shown to reduce stress. Positive social connections also promote positive mood and happiness, which has been shown in several studies to have a positive effect on emotional, physical, and mental wellness.
Why not Volunteer? It gets you out and takes your mind off of your stress. Consider freely giving time and labor for community service. It always feels good to help others. Having a daily routine gives you more contact with others.
Last, but not the least, if you feel you need it, find the treatment strategy that is right for you. Finding the right kind of treatment strategy can improve the quality of your life by allowing you to collaborate with your physician on ways to improve your mind, health, your physical health, and your spiritual health. Each person has a different emotional and physical makeup, so it generally takes patience and time, and time to find a treatment strategy that works for both you and your doctor.
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Tich Nhat Hanh
I am Donna SLam, an entrepreneur, who achieves peace of mind and a healthy lifestyle by practicing mindfulness and walking. Learn how I do it when you get my free guide “3 Simple Steps to Living Stress-Free”.
Meditation is a habit that may come easily to some. I have been meditating for over five years, but there were many days I found myself slipping. These days, not so much, not since I completed the no-cost Action Habits Challenge by Connie Ragen Green, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur. You can check it out here.Follow me on: