10 Simple Ways To Reduce Stress
When you’re feeling stressed out it can really ruin your day. You can’t focus, you feel tense, and then you get a bad night’s sleep. We all need a few tricks up our sleeve to reduce our stress levels and help us to feel better. There are so many simple ways to lower your stress levels, so take your pick of a few of these.
- Mediation sessions
According to Health Line, ‘In an 8-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammatory response caused by stress.’ Meditation is about calming the mind and focusing on the present moment. For some it’s a spiritual practice, for others it’s a way to calm down and ease tension. There are many great meditation books for beginners, including Strength In Stillness by Bob Roth and Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris.
- Creative activities
When we practice creative activities our bodies release endorphins and our minds relax. Artistic expression is helpful to release emotions and channel our energy into something positive. There are plenty of creative activities that are helpful to relax. Try singing, painting, baking, or dance. Arts and crafts are an excellent distraction when you’re feeling tense and need to take things down a notch. Consider joining an arts and craft group, or book yourself a creative course?
- Explore the outdoors
Time recently reported that, ‘spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness. It’s been shown to lower stress, blood pressure, and heart rate.’
When you need to reduce your stress levels the best thing you can do is to get outside and explore the outdoors. Take yourself for a bike ride, a hike, or a swim. Switch off your phone and allow yourself to appreciate the natural world.
4 . A yoga practice
According to a study in Medical News Today, ‘yoga improved mood and anxiety levels more than walking. The researchers suggest that this was due to higher levels of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).’ Additionally, research from the Journal Of Integrative Medicine, demonstrates that yoga is also effective to reduce the symptoms of depression.
If you’re looking for a great way to reduce stress, try including a yoga practice in your weekly routine. To make a good start, try checking out applications such as Daily Yoga Practice or Glow Yoga.
- Herbal supplements
When you need to calm down there are several herbal supplements that can help you. Valerian root is a plant-based supplement, made from the roots of the valerian flower. Several studies have noted how valerian can influence GABA levels, producing a calm effect, and improving sleep. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another popular herbal supplement. The oil can soothe the effects of both anxiety and depression.
When you’ve been experiencing depression for some time it’s important to see a doctor. Perhaps you’ve already tried medication and this hasn’t relieved your symptoms? It’s worth revisiting your doctor, to inquire about new treatments for example ketamine treatment.
- Breathing exercises
When we become stressed out, it’s easy to panic. Breathing exercises are a great way to help you calm down. If you’ve ever attended a yoga class, you might have already practiced a few breathing exercises. One of the best breathing exercises in yoga is ‘Sitali breath’. It’s a helpful way to lower your body temperature and relax. For this breathing technique, you have to stick out your tongue and curl your tongue inwards. Next, you need to inhale using your mouth and exhale using your nose.
- Positive affirmations
When you feel stressed, it can be helpful to repeat positive affirmations in your head. The practice can help you to believe that the feeling will pass, and shift your attention to positive thoughts. According to Very Well Mind, these are a few of the best positive affirmations for stress and anxiety:
- ‘Anxiety isn’t dangerous. I’m just uncomfortable. I’ll make it through this.
- The picture in my head isn’t healthy. That’s just me being negative.
- I’m going to focus on things I love to get me through this.’
You might like to write these down, or repeat them out loud. You’d be surprised how effective this is to help you stay calm.
- Listen to music
Simple but highly effective, listening to some soothing music is a great way to calm yourself down. Find some instrumental tunes for ‘relaxation’ or ‘meditation’, using Spotify or YouTube. Lay down somewhere quiet and allow the music to float over your body. Breath slowly, and try to clear your mind. Focus only on the music, the sounds to hear, the instruments, and the tempo. Listening to relaxing music is another great way to support your meditation practice.
- Support from friends
When you’re feeling stressed you need laughter, fun times, and support. Arrange a day out with your closest friends, whether it’s a museum trip or a picnic in the park. Talk about how you’ve been feeling, and then do a few fun activities as a distraction. Research indicates that when we simply talk about our problems, this can help us to calm our stress response. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your friends about certain things, try writing down your thoughts in a journal. Journaling is another brilliant way to get things off your chest.
- Scented candles
Treat yourself to a few scented candles, and light these when you are feeling stressed. Aromatherapy is a great way to relax our emotions, and help us to unwind. Choose scents like eucalyptus and chamomile to promote relaxation. To lift your spirits, try candles like ylang-ylang or vanilla. To avoid stress symptoms, simple practices like this go a long way.
Once you’ve got yourself the perfect stress-busting regime, you’ll start to improve your wellbeing. For further ideas take a look at self-care apps such as My Possible Self or Mediatopia. Here you’ll find some excellent features to support your self-care routine and de-stress.