Stress has become one of the commonest phenomena that bug people’s lives in the twenty-first century, especially in civilized cities where life has become so fast-paced. Although we always find our way through the daily struggles, stress has resulted in a lot of modern-day illnesses which were completely non-existent some decades back.
However, recent stress relief tips and facilities have emerged to soothe the anxiety and get people relaxed. Among the very many of them, we bring you the top 10 quick, easy and no-cost stress relief tips and relaxation techniques that will get you going healthy and happy in the midst of life’s struggles. Read, practice and enjoy!
1. Deep Breathing
The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it does wonders when it comes to stress relief. For an easy three-to-five-minute exercise, find a soothing place if you can or just sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees and take time to breathe. 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 and clears your mind.
You could combine the deep breathing exercise with “the relaxation response”. Try saying an ordinary word or phrases 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. Doing this in a very quiet and serene environment where you are exposed to sights that’ll prompt you to appreciate nature such as flowers, grasses, the sky, sun, moon, water, fishes, etc. gives the best results but it can still be done anywhere with significant results.
2. Take a Mild Exercise
Exercise is one of the stress relief engagements with amazing results which can never be overemphasized. 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
3. Reach out to Others
No man is an Island and for that reason, social interaction has a lot to do with both our physical and mental health. Instead of keeping to yourself during that hot period, try reaching out 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 your way to put a smile on someone’s face (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 hand, the effects of touch and intimate body contact are such that are 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
Spend less time on your digital devices and more time opening up yourself to the beauty that surrounds you. Gaze up at the beautiful blue sky, and the birds flying by. Admire the vibrant color 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 significantly decreases, pointing to a reduction in 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 Relaxing Music
In case you couldn’t readily lay hands on a good classical or country music, try listening to ocean or nature sounds. It has a way of calming the nerves.
7. Take a Nap – Adjust Your Sleep Habits
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. Manage your time, turn off the TV earlier, and do your best to get into bed in time. This is virtually the most effective stress relief and relaxation tip on our list.
Don’t forget the children’s song: “early to bed, early to rise. Makes us healthy, happy and strong!”
7. Scrap Too Ideal and Unrealistic Goals
One of the greatest drivers of stress in our modern society is an impractical tightly scheduled and overcrowded “to-do-list” which gets us worked up on a daily basis. Instead of those perfectionist goals, stick to doing things that move you toward your goals little by little every day. 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.
9. Get Busy – Tidy up Messy 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 of 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.
10. Be Thankful
Keep gratitude journals (possibly 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.
Bonus – Let it Out
In case you give all the above a try and is still not relieved, you may consider letting out your emotions through laughter or wailing – whichever you find easier at the moment.
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 savor the therapeutic effects which are 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 a release of specific neurochemicals in the brain that promote relaxation.
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