Believing that stress is one of the most impactful emotions for our body and mind, I relatively practice a few things to help relieve this heavy feeling. Stress like many things has both positive and negative impacts on our body. Without stress we would lack motivation and a sense of urgency, but at the end of the day when it’s time to relax, there are a few things you can practice along with me.
1. Music Kickback: grab a smartphone, get Pandora rolling and sit back for a while. I have a large patio that I lay back in a chair and listen to calming music. Hey, I love to jam to some heavy rock here and there, but for these 30 minutes its waterfalls and violins. Grab a headset that plugs into both ears to cancel out outside noise, hopefully you find some sunshine and can just simply relax your mind.
2. Hobby: I personally love to cook, I don’t read instructions, I measure nothing, but I love to cook. It is calming and relaxing and lets me focus on the end product. I don’t recommend doing anything that requires a ton of effort or learning because this can cause stress in itself. Find whatever it is that you love doing, and turn off the electronics, this is your time!
3. Blogging: who would have guessed right? Connecting with the World and being social with those who appreciate each other is very therapeutic. Spend some time reading, connecting, and writing blogs, it’s helped me build phenomenal relationships with some great people. Having a social life, including blogging, allows you to feel in control and provides an outlet to discuss issues and problems in your life.
4. Shop Alone: unfortunately this can be dangerous and there is a reason why shopping can be addicting, but if you can control your urges, shopping alone has been one of the best things for my stress and moods. Amazon and EBay provide great discounts and you can burn hours on them, the problem is internet shopping doesn’t fall into my category for shopping though. What starts as a deep discount dive turns into drifting into your e-mail, hours of Facebook digging, and not enough time spent on letting go of the day. Shopping alone works when you can stroll aisles without a purpose, being surrounded by people, and being in environments that you are unfamiliar with sometimes. Curiosity and stress release for me usually is best in antique stores where you never know what you will find, and usually provides endless retail space to take some time walking through. Find your specific place or event, and I promise if you can disconnect from the electronic World, you will feel better.
5. Exercise: of course I would say this right? Each time it’s mentioned might be the next opportunity for someone to change their life though. Exercise is by far the best for stress release! After burning through a 55min Insanity workout, taking a shower and sitting outside in the cool air, I am in bliss. Serenity is at its finest after a strong workout and over time has the most impact on our everyday stress in general. If you don’t exercise, keep a journal for two weeks from now jogging your workout and emotions. After two weeks you will see a noticeable difference in your mood and the things mentioned above will only enhance your moods rather than completely support them. I know this is usually the most difficult of all stress releases because it takes time and effort, but exercise is the key to stress management. 30 minutes of walking with a friend or alone around the neighborhood is all that is needed for most people to experience the benefits, so get out there and hit the pavement.
I hope these will help inspire a healthy stress release for many people, often the harder we work and the more drive one has, the more stress we invite. Be sure to involve others in your stress management, anything you work towards is best when you have the support of those you care for.