10 Simple Stress Relievers You Actually Want to Do
Good Stress vs. Bad Stress
You can’t get away from it, no matter how perfect your life is right now, we all experience a bit of stress (okay…maybe A LOT of it!). So how do we learn to manage or relieve it? Stress comes from a myriad of sources. Some stress can actually come from joyful circumstances such as getting married, having a new baby, packing for a vacation, or moving into a new house. Although these are happy occasions, they also come with a ton of added pressure and stress. There is obviously a lot of stress that isn’t happy such as relationship issues, unemployment, money problems, juggling kids and jobs, health issues and the list goes on. Add in the day to day challenges we can’t avoid and you may be finding yourself on edge, near hysteria or just completely stressed out.
Slow Down and Smell the Roses
#1 Do less. We talk about doing less but we never get around to actually doing less. I have learned the fine art of saying No! It is very liberating and creates the time for me to do, well nothing sometimes.
#2 Try aromatherapy. The sense of smell is powerful and triggers numerous positive brain responses. There are several essential oils that you can put into a diffuser that really have a calming effect. I love cedarwood, lavender, tangerine, jasmine and my personal favorite rosewood oil to help me slow down and smell the roses.
#3 Spend 10 minutes a day of quiet time. This is uninterrupted time which means no phone, complete silence, all alone and you will be amazed at how much this helps. You can feel totally rejuvenated with just a little 10 minute time out. If you are so inclined, make this your meditation time.
Get in Touch
#4 Daily Hugs/Touch. The human touch heals and soothes. You may already be an affectionate person but if you’re not, try it! Hug your family and friends more often and longer (8 seconds is said to release endomorphins) or hold your significant other’s hand.
#5 Get some face time communication. Share your worries, concerns, fears and challenges with someone close such as a friend, a spouse, a family member or coach in person. You don’t want things to get bottled up as stress has a nasty way of dragging you down. Talking with someone will help to diffuse it. Perhaps combine this with “Have a cup of tea”.
#6 Do something creative and hands-on. Activities like painting, drawing, planting an herb garden, playing in the sand box, knitting, or any crafting has a way of calming us. The act of making something is therapeutic and these activities will put you into a more relaxed state..
Medical Evidence Hugs are Calming
"The gentle pressure of a hug can stimulate nerve endings under the skin that send calming messages to the brain and slow the release of cortisol," explains Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the University of Miami Medical School's Touch Research Institute. (WebMD.com)
Hug Somebody Today!
Eat, Drink and Be Stress-Free
#7 Consider adding a good Vitamin B Complex. These are great for boosting your ability to manage the normal stress of everyday life. If you find you are constantly feeling anxious, consider taking something like the supplement containing Passion Flower, Lemonbalm and Skullcap by Swanson Vitamins. I take them on occasion and the family calls them my happy pills.
#8 Have a cup of tea. Make it a scene right out of the movies with a steamy cup of something healthy and fragrant and you curled up in front of the fire. Chamomile is known for its calming effects.
#9 Eat well. Again, I’m great at knowing what food is healthy for me and why it is, but I don’t always make sure it’s what ends up on my plate. If you don’t know what the words are on the label don’t put it into your shopping cart. This is a simple solution and when you give your body good healthy real food, your healthy body will be able to cope much better with life's surprises.
Release Your Inner Child
Exercise is Not a 4 Letter Word
#10 Move your body. Yes, find something you like to do and make it happen 3-4 times a week for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. This is one of the greatest ways to reduce stress levels. It can be as simple as putting some old 80s music on and dancing in your kitchen. Make whatever you choose something you actually enjoy doing, not forced painful movement. Unless you of course, happen to love forced, painful movement.
Talk a walk on the wild side by trying something new like Yoga, Tai Chi or Kick Boxing. If you happen to have a dog, they would love to walk you every single day!
So just as a reminder, if you have decided to implement all ten of these tips at once, please reread tip #1. Seriously just try two of these stress relievers at a time and you will feel better, I promise.