Stress has become one of the commonest phenomenon that bug people’s lives in the twenty-first century, especially in civilized cities where life has become so fast-paced. Stress has resulted to a lot of modern-day illnesses which were completely non-existent some decades back. All the same, we have been finding our way through the daily struggles, but you’ll agree with me that it hasn’t been easy. If not for various inventions that has come in place to soothe and relieve stress, it would have been a great tragedy. Now, not a lot of us have direct or easy access to these modern-day facilities that have been made available to relieve stress, either by financial restrictions or other limitations. Never to worry, if you fall in the later category, here is good news for you. Here are amazing workable ways to beat the stress and relax in our busy Ghana. They cost virtually nothing and does not require extra facilities. Employ them, and live a relaxed and tress reduced life while still living in this topsy-turvy society of ours.
1. Deep Breathing
The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it does wonders when it comes to stress. For an easy three- to five-minute exercise, find a soothing place if you can and take time to breath or sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest. While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind.
You could combine the deep breath exercise with “the relaxation response”. Try saying an ordinary word or phrase like ‘three’ or a more meaningful one such as ‘praise God’ as you breath out. Try to control your mind from stray thoughts as you repeatedly do this until you feel fully relaxed. It is best to do this in a very quiet and serene environment where you are exposed to sights that’ll prompt you appreciate nature such as flowers, grasses, the sky, sun, moon, water, fishes, etc.
2. Take a Mild Exercise – a Stroll, Swimming, Dance, or Yoga will be Great
The wonders of exercise in stress relief can never be overemphasized and has been working for ages. Here, we’re not really talking about going to the gym to do some hefty workout, rather, it’s all about doing something mild but enjoyable that’ll make the blood flow more than its already doing. Sufficient blood flow to all vital organs of the body(especially the brain) has been proven to do a lot in improving someones’ mood. When you are tensed up, instead of accepting depression, rolling yourself in the sheets and moaning over the situation, step out of the mood by taking a stroll, going to the pool, playing good music and dancing to the tunes, etc.
3. Reach out to Others – Talk, Snuggle, Play, Give (compliments, gifts, etc)
No man is an Island and for that reason, social interaction has a lot to do with both our physical and mental health. All of the forms of interaction enumerated above have been proven to relieve stress in one way or the other, depending on the type of stress. Instead of keeping to yourself at that hot period, try reaching our to others. If you can find someone to talk to about the situation or about something else to ease off the heat, just do so. Of course you could pray as God is the only one who is ever available to talk to, and who never fails to understand! Another important point to note is that we derive more joy when we make another person happy. So you could go out of our way to put a smile on someone’s lips(help someone in need by giving a gift, a helping hand, compliments/encouragements, etc) and by so doing, you easily swap into a different jolly good mood.
On the other, the effects of touch and intimate body contact is one that is incomparable. In times of stress, you could get unlimited relaxation by clinging physically to someone you love – hug, snuggle, kiss and passionate caresses do wonders in beating stress, that’s if you’ve got an intimate friend or partner
4. Take a Break From Technology – Especially Your Smartphone
Spend less time on your digital devices and more time opening your eyes to connect with the beauty of your surrounds. Gaze up at the beautiful blue sky, and the birds flying by. Admire the vibrant colour of flowers, and trees blowing in the wind. Connect back with nature. Walk barefoot on the earth.
5. Get a Massage – Self or Professional
Studies show that after just a five-minute touch massage, heart rate is decreased significantly, pointing to a reduction in the stress response. If you have the time and money, head to a nearby spa for a professional treatment. If not, ask a friend or family member to rub your back for a few minutes, or give yourself a self foot, face, and calf massage.
6. Listen to a Good Relaxing Music
In case you couldn’t readily lay hands an a good classical or country music, try listening to ocean or nature sounds. It has a way of calming the nerves.
7. Set Realistic Goals
One of the greatest drivers of stress in our modern society is an impractical overcrowded “to-do-list”. And in the bid to meet up with the demands of our tight schedule, we overwork ourselves. Develop some realistic goals. Do something regularly that enables you to move toward your goals — even if it seems like a small accomplishment. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unfeasible, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?”. Go for those things because life is a step by step process. If you try to take it holistically in a bulk, you’ll get yourself overburdened and drained.
8. Take a Nap – Work on Your Sleep
It is a well-known fact that stress can cause you to lose sleep. Coincidentally, lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This vicious cycle causes the brain and body to get out of bang and get worse over time. Ensure that you get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn the TV off earlier, manage your time, and do your best to get into bed. This is virtually the most effective stress buster on our list.
9. Be Thankful
Keep a gratitude journal or several (one by your bed, one in your purse, and one at work) to help you remember all the things that are good in your life. Use these journals to savor good experiences like a child’s smile, a sunshine-filled day, and good health. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments like mastering a new task at work or a new hobby. This is because:
“Being grateful for your blessings cancels out negative thoughts and worries,” says Joni Emmerling, a wellness coach in Greenville, NC.
10. Let the Tears Flow (laugh or cry out loud)
A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally. Just like singing, laughing also lowers the level of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood. Lighten up by tuning in to your favorite sitcom or video, reading the comics, or chatting with someone who makes you smile.
On the other hand, if you feel more like crying, depending on your predicament, it is best to let the tears flow instead of holding them back. Have a good cry and savour the therapeutic effects which is as well similar to that of laughter but in their own different ways. A good cry also enhances oxygen delivery to the cells and stimulates release of specific neurochemicals in the brain that promote relaxation.
Get busy – Tidy up some messed corners
It is a fact that an upset mind gives an untidy apartment so getting things tidied up could go a long way to put your mind and whole being together. This is really worth giving a try, any day you are so disheveled in mind and couldn’t get yourself to relax, try putting things in order in that untidy corner in your apartment. At the end of the job, a change is sure to come to your whole being and you’ll feel a lot better. It may not necessarily be inside the house, you may get yourself busy with mowing the lawn, tendering the flowers, etc, depending on what interests you.