Tools To Relieve Stress
Tools to Relieve Stress
Since stress originates in the brain, the best tools to combat it are those that draw attention away from your thoughts, while activating your senses. The stress relieving strategies listed below are a great way to start modifying your habits to gain more serenity in your daily life. We invite you to give one or more a try.
Exercise | Physical movement of any kind helps to relieve stress - running, biking, walking, gardening, dancing, yoga, playing with your kids, cleaning the house, etc. Ideally 30 minutes day is recommended, these minutes can be done all at once or spread out throughout your day. Health experts suggest that taking a 5 minute dance break six times every day is a really good choice. You may not be able to do that, but you get the picture. Exercise outdoors is even more beneficial for stress relief.
Music | Music can calm, center, energize, and motivate. Consider making playlists for different times throughout your day based on your performance needs. Dance music can inspire you through chores, exercise, and errands. Songs from your youth can bring back memories and be a distraction from current worries and pressures. Nature sounds can be calming, and classical music enhances focus.
Aromatherapy | Essential oils are very popular, but herbal teas are a wonderful and hydrating alternative. Most herbal teas are caffeine-free, so they will not create jitters. The most beneficial scents for stress relief are lavender, chamomile, lemon, and rose. Additionally, peppermint is calming and also increases focus and alertness.
Massage | For stress relief, the power of physical touch should not be underestimated. A 20 second hug releases oxytocin, which improves mood, lowers blood pressure, and slows the heart rate. Massage therapy is a great way to relieve tension and to release toxins from muscles. Acupressure mats can help with headaches, neck pain, and sciatica. Foam rollers are used for self-administered soft-tissue massage.
Journaling | Studies have shown that journaling enhances well-being, clears the mind, creates self-awareness, and boosts the immune system. It also helps with problem solving, and promotes decision-making and action. You can start with 5 minutes a day and do not worry about grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The journal is for your eyes only, and is for processing. Write about whatever comes into your mind which usually are problems, concerns, and feelings. Remember to express your achievements, joys, and successes too. The goal is to get the thoughts and emotions out of your mind and onto the page to be analyzed.
Entertainment | As far as movies, television, or video games go - laughter releases those ‘feel good’ endorphins and slows the release of stress hormones, and crying also promotes endorphin release. Emotional tears include stress hormones and toxins being released from the body. Video games often provide instant gratification and dopamine release. So even though mental health experts discourage those suffering from stress from distractions, there are some benefits. As with most things, moderation is key.
Arts And Crafts | Many of us prefer to express ourselves through visual media, making arts and crafts a great way to reduce stress. Did you know that the repetitive motion of crocheting and knitting can bring you to a state of flow where you create without overthinking? Painting and drawing can bring the same types of benefits as journaling by allowing you to get your emotions and concerns out onto the canvas. Creative expression stimulates parts of our brain that can lead to deeper clarity and management of emotions.
Mindfulness | Mindfulness and meditation exercises are an excellent way to reduce stress. Techniques include focusing on your breath, focusing on the present moment, and letting your emotions come and go without holding on to them. In fact, most of the tools noted in this article are ways to carve out a mindful space in your day. If you need a kick-start, there are some helpful apps that you can try including Calm, Shine, Ten Percent Happier, and Headspace.
Life’s stresses will always be there, so it is helpful to have some strategies to assist you in finding your best centered self. We wish you luck on your road to a less stressful daily life. Let us know in the comments below if you have found any great ways to keep stress at bay. And, remember, if buying and/or selling a home is in your future, it does not have to be a stress-inducing experience. Our REALTORS® are experienced, and will walk you through every step with confidence.