- Mental Health
Fun and Easy to Do Stress Reduction Exercises and Techniques
We all experience stress at different times in our lives. Some individuals experience it more often than others or more intensely than others. Moving to another city, ending a relationship, dealing with financial problems, family problems, and so many more things can cause us to feel stressed out.
Stress can actually be useful, as long as it is not too frequent, too prolonged, or too intense. It's a survival mechanism and keeps us aware. Stress keeps us safe in many situations and can also cause us to change our behavior when we realize a particular situation may be harmful, unsafe, or otherwise not comfortable.
In some circumstances, stress can be avoided. In some cases, stress cannot be avoided. Clearly it is better for your health and well being to avoid as much stress as possible in your daily life but when we experience unavoidable stress, it is important that we learn to not let our stress impact our health, relationships, jobs, or daily living.
This article is intended to provide information on how to avoid stress, exercises to help during stressful situations, and how to cope with or reduce stress.
Keep Your Hands Busy
Many people become restless when they are stressed and will often fidget with things. People that smoke will often do so to keep their hands busy when they are stressed. You might notice that you are tearing small pieces of paper or scratching away at something out of stress, anxiety, or nervousness.
Try yo find something that will occupy your hands. This can be the widely used Stress Ball which you just roll around in your hand and squeeze to relieve tension. You can also try gardening, putting together a puzzle, drawing, painting, building something, or any number of things. When your hands are busy it may also help to take your mind off of things.
Relaxing Things To Do On A Budget
Read a book
Go for a walk
Start a puzzle
Organize the house
Practice a new recipe
Learn a new language
Do research on the internet
Visit a new area
Exercise in the living room
Write a poem or a song
Write a letter to someone that lives far away
Read interesting articles online (i.e. Reddit)
Brew a cup of tea
Take a bath or a long shower
Take a nap
Repair something around the house
Keep Your Mind Busy
We can't put everything aside. Some things that cause us stress need to be pondered over, thought about, and dealt with. However, we quite often dwell on things needlessly and stress ourselves out. There are times when, for our own health and sanity, we need to stop thinking about whatever it is that's stressing us out.
There are a lot of things that we can do to keep our mind off of stressful situations. You can watch television, read a book, listen to music while you do housework, talk to a friend or relative on the phone or even a stranger in a chat room, play a video game, complete a crossword or other puzzle, and countless other things. If you find that you are getting bored with something or that your mind is beginning to wander back to your stress or anxiety, switch to another activity.
Write Things Down
Writing can be tremendously therapeutic. Grab a pen and paper just start writing down your feelings and, if possible, describe the situation you are in. It will help you to vent your emotions as well as reflect on the way you feel about your situation.
Whether an important task or a simple one, when you get responsibilities out of the way you will feel much better. The more you complete, the better. It will allow you to keep your mind busy while you complete the tasks, it will give you a sense of accomplishment, and it will allow you to either focus and deal with your stressful situation or move on to something else more relaxing or entertaining that will help you to keep your mind busy.
Do Breathing Exercises
You can learn to do several different breathing exercises but it is important to always do them safely. Breathing exercises can be very helpful in stressful situations. They help to calm your body and slow your heart rate. Sit or stand as comfortably as you can and take several slow, deep breaths. Make sure your breathing is comfortable as you do not want to run out of breath or become faint. Just concentrate on your breathing.
Pretend as if you are blowing out all of the negative energy and breathing in calm, fresh air. Do this for about a minute or so every few minutes or whenever you feel that you need to.
Do Muscle Tension and Tension-Reduction Exercises
This is another way to help you calm down in a physical way using your body. All you have to do is attempt to clench or tighten your muscles beginning with your toes and moving up towards your head. Don't clench them too much but just enough to feel that they are tense and slightly uncomfortable. Hold yourself like this for about 30 seconds and then begin to slowly unclench your muscles beginning either at your toes or near your face and head and work your way slowly to the other end of the body.
This exercise tends to make you feel more relaxed afterwards and also keeps your mind and body focused while you are doing the exercise.
Be Physically Active (Even A Little Bit)
Physical exercise helps our body to produce endorphins which are natural feel-good chemicals released in the brain. Exercise will naturally make you happier and will help to relieve stress. It is one of the best ways to reduce stress and, according to some scientific studies, even more effective than some medications that are used to relieve depression and anxiety. Try to go for a run or walk, do some stretching, or other form of physical activity and you will feel a great deal better.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Making yourself comfortable or super cozy can really help to relieve stress. It doesn't solve your problems or completely get rid of negative feelings and emotions but it can make you feel much better. Try to slip into your most comfortable, soft pajamas or other clothing. Then prepare your bed with fresh sheets and bedding and make it as soft and plush as you can make it. If you're not going to bed, set up a sitting area with anything you might need for the next little while, a glass of water, a book, a snack, a blanket, and a pillow.
Meditation has been used for centuries for multiple purposes, including stress relief. You should find a secluded area where you can sit in silence. To meditate, you will need to clear your mind of all thoughts. There are various widely used chants that people rehearse while meditating. The chants are repetitive and help to keep you from thinking about things. Chanting is not necessary but it can help you to clear your mind. Meditation is very relaxing and can help a lot with reducing your stress.
Indulge in Beautiful Scents
Beautiful scents can be extremely helpful for stress reduction. Aromatherapy is therapy with the use of smells and fragrances. You can find scents that are supposed to have specific purposes such as sleep inducing, mood enhancing, and stress relieving. There are wellness shops as well as online stores and department stores that sell different types of oils, candles, creams, incense, and other forms of aromatherapy products. You will have to choose what works best for you and choose the fragrance that you like the best. Although some scents are better for certain purposes, it doesn't matter what scent you choose as long as you enjoy it.
Try to ensure that the scent is strong enough on whatever product you acquire. For instance, some scented candles tend to lose their smell quite quickly.
Listen To Soothing Music and Sounds
Most people have heard of some type of relaxing music whether is be classical piano or violin, the sounds of nature, or smooth jazz. There are many sounds and songs that can help you to relax when you listen to them. With YouTube available you can even watch videos if you like with your music. You can sit quietly and listen to relaxing music and sounds or listen to them while your doing any activity you like. Clean your house to some classical music, or sit and watch the moon while you listen to some soft jazz. music has a magical way of transforming our emotions.
Avoiding Stressful Situations
There are many unavoidable stressful situations. However, there are also many stressful situations that you can avoid quite easily. We knowingly put ourselves into stressful situations sometimes. As well, we put ourselves in situations that we think may be stressful but hope for the best.
For instance, we often let projects, responsibilities, and tasks pile up. Sometimes it becomes too much and we feel like we can't accomplish everything. The simple answer is too complete projects and responsibilities as they come up. Don't put things off to the last minute. We sometimes tell ourselves "it can wait another day." When we wait, unexpected circumstances may arise that cause us to be unable to complete a task or responsibility. We become overwhelmed and sometimes forget about everything we have to do. To help organize and remember what our responsibilities and projects are, it's often very helpful to keep a to-do list. Just make sure that you check things off of your list.
When you have upcoming projects and responsibilities it is good to plan ahead and have some things prepared. Obviously you can't prepare for everything, but some activities you can. For instance, try to know where things are. It's always a burden when you're running late and can't find your keys or the address to where you're going, among other things. Have everything you need prepared (keys, wallet, address, etc.) and ready in one spot.
Tips to Help Avoid Stress:
- Don't put things off to the last minute.
- Keep a to-do list to help prioritize and remember tasks.
- Plan ahead so that you are prepared for unexpected circumstances. unexpected circumstances.
Coping With Stress
This section is mainly geared towards individuals that find themselves in unavoidable stressful situations. There are some situations we really don't have much control over and we have no choice but to experience the stress. These situations can include things like dealing with terminal illness in the family, a loved one or important possession that is missing, being in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, or sudden and extreme financial difficulties.
There are not answers, cures, or solutions for every problem but there are some techniques, exercises, and other activities people can to to help cope with the stressful situation they're in. You may notice similar techniques for coping with stress and reducing stress. Exercises and techniques used for reducing stress may also be used to help cope with stress and vice versa.
Talk to People: Talking to people, whether you know them or not, can help reduce your stress a great deal. If you have a friend or family member that you can trust you can tell them your problems and ask for assistance. You can also talk without bringing up your problems. Talking with someone about day to day things can help to get your mind off of your situation as well as make you feel like you are not alone. There are also many places online that you can speak anonymously. There are forums, message boards, and chat rooms with people that you've never met but are willing to hear you speak. There are also sites available that allow you to create free blogs or journals in which you can write about whatever you want. You can allow people to read what you have written or decide to keep it private. Talking to people will help you vent your problems and help to ease your mind.
Write Things Down: As stated earlier, writing is a fantastic stress reducer. It is very therapeutic. It will help you to remember things that have happened in the past should you decide to read it later. As well, it helps you to vent if there is nobody available to talk to or you do not feel like speaking to people about your problems. You can think about and reflect on what you are writing and maybe gain a better perspective of the situation you are in.
Do Your Own Research: Whatever your problem may be that is stressing you out, there are likely many other people that have experienced that same problem. The Internet is an incredible resource for all kinds of information. Try doing searches for blogs, websites, chat rooms, or forums to see what other people are discussing. Reading others' stories will help you feel that you're not alone, and you will have other people to relate to. This may not solve a particular problem, but it usually helps you feel better about it.
Even reading articles such as this can help you to learn more about your stress, understand it a bit better, and know that you can do things to make it better.
Have a Helper: Some people are lucky enough to have caring and helpful people around them. It can be very helpful and beneficial to recruit the help of someone, whether it's a loved one, a relative, a friend, or even a stranger. If you have someone that can do little things for you while you are learning to cope with your stressful situation, it will take away much of the burden of responsibility and allow you to focus more on your situation.