10 Ways to Relieve Stress That Are Simpler Than You Thought
For most people today, stress has become an unfortunate part of their everyday lives. Stress is often unavoidable. We can’t control what is going on in the world around us, or the different triggers that may ultimately cause us to feel stress. When it comes to living with stress, it’s not about eliminating it or preventing it from impacting you, it is about learning how to relieve stress when you start to feel overwhelmed with the stress in your life.
Everyone has their own approach to handling stress, but here are 10 ways to relieve stress that you may want to test out, and that are much simpler than you may have imagined.
1. Listen to Music
When you find yourself in a stressful or overwhelming situation, take a moment, relax and start listening to music. It is a simple, yet extremely effective approach to stress management and one that has been proven to work, no matter what type of stress you may be under.
Studies on music and its positive effects on the body and the brain have been conducted for years. Research has found that listening to music can lower blood pressure and even reduce the hormone cortisol, which is actually linked to stress. With this in mind, consider light, calming, slow and relaxing music to help you get the affects you are looking for.
Meditation is one of the most effective approaches to managing and relieving stress, and it is an exercise that has been in practice for centuries. Meditation is not only easy, but it is extremely effective and comes with a number of other unique benefits that can change the way you think and manage your emotions.
All you need to do in order to meditate to relieve stress is to sit in a calm, quiet, comfortable place. Give yourself just 10 minutes and breath in and breath out following your breath with your mind, focusing on your breath. You don’t need to think about anything else, just follow your breath and let your mind relax and unwind. That is all you need to do in order to get these unique benefits.
Feeling stressed? Get up. Move and get some exercise. It is really that simple and it can change the way that you are able to handle the stress in your life. Exercise is a great way to relieve tension and mental stress. It can also help you release endorphins—the hormones that can help boost mood and energy and help those overwhelming feelings of stress melt away. In the long run, exercise can also help lower your body’s stress hormones such as cortisol.
4. Use Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil can help you instantly relax, unwind and relieve any tension that you may have. If you are feeling stress and feel as though it is starting to have a physical impact on your head, neck or shoulders, you can relieve this tension with peppermint oil.
You can put it in a diffuser or even put some peppermint oil on a napkin and breathe it in. Or you can rub a little bit of the peppermint oil on your temples or the back of your neck to relieve tension.
5. Light a Scented Candle
Sense of smell is actually extremely powerful and one of the most powerful senses that people have. Smell can help trigger or even calm different areas of the brain and when it comes to stress and anxiety it can help calm and soothe your feelings of stress.
If you are planning on lighting a candle to reduce your feelings of stress, there are a few scents to try: lavender, rose, orange, ylang ylang and sandalwood are all scents that are known for helping to calm the mind and body.
6. Chew Gum
This is one approach to stress reduction that is extremely easy yet extremely effective. Several studies have found that chewing gum can not only lower stress but help people have a better sense of well-being. Chewing gum can even help promote blood flow to the brain and can actually help people feel relaxed.
7. Start Writing Things Down
You don’t have to be the world’s best writer, but you can start writing things down when you are feeling stressed. Some people write about what is stressing them out, others write what they are grateful for, which is actually a very effective approach. If you start writing things down that you are grateful or appreciative for it can help you reduce stress and anxiety as it can help you focus more on what is positive in your life.
8. Breathe Deeply
You don’t need to practice mindfulness or meditation in order to receive the unique benefits that breathing can have on your stress. When you start feeling overly stressed, nervous or anxious, your body will likely go into “fight or flight” mode which elicits your stress hormones. This is why you start feeling your heart beating faster or you may feel flushed or find it hard to breathe.
Take a moment and take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this slowly and do it a few times to start feeling the effects it can have on your feelings of stress.
9. Spend Time With a Pet
Studies have found that people who spend time with their pets are less likely to feel stressed and that spending time with animals actually tend to have a more improved mood. Interacting with pets or animals can actually help release oxytocin, a chemical in the brain that is responsible for helping you have a better mood.
10. Watch a Funny Video
Feeling stressed while working at your computer? Take a moment to find a funny YouTube video or clip that you know will make you laugh. Laughter is one of the best ways to help you relieve stress and to eliminate some of these feelings of being overwhelmed or tense. It can help you relax, unwind and help you manage that cortisol hormone—and ultimately find that stress relief you have been looking for.