Stress is something that all of us face every once in a while. However, there’s no doubt that the last couple of years has brought a lot of extra stress into most Canadian lives. So how can you help manage it? How can you help control it without being overwhelmed? Here are 8 easy ways to help you destress.
1. Breathing exercises
Oftentimes when we are stressed or anxious, our breathing gets quick and shallow. If you find this is the case, take a deep breath and focus on regulating your breathing. Close your eyes and concentrate on slowing things down. Take deep breaths in and out of your nose and allow your body to slowly calm down and relax. Plus, practicing deep breathing exercises can be helpful on a daily basis, not just when you feel overwhelmed.
Journaling can be a great way to destress, as it provides a safe avenue for us to let out our feelings. Journaling can also allow individuals to brainstorm and make sense of their thoughts and emotions, which in turn can allow more insight for problem-solving and understanding one’s self.
3. Working out
If you are feeling stressed, one of the best things you can do to help combat it is to work out or engage in some sort of physical activity. It doesn’t have to be high-intensity – a yoga class can be equally as therapeutic as running or a strength training session. Physical activity in general will boost your endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Like breathing exercises, workouts or physical activity can be very helpful to implement into your daily routine to help keep stress at bay.
4. Taking a walk outside
As mentioned above, physical activity releases endorphins, which will help you destress. Being outside and in nature has also been scientifically proven to help calm the body and aid in stress relief. It has been shown that fresh air can help lower the heart rate as well as provide a distraction from thinking about problems or insecurities. Combining the physical activity of walking and the health benefits of fresh air can be an easy way to calm down when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
5. Finding a way to laugh
There’s a saying that laughter is the best medicine, and research has shown that laughter can, in fact, be a great way to relieve stress. So, how can you find a way to laugh when you’re upset and anxious? Take some time to yourself to watch a funny show, listen to a comedy podcast, or even call up a friend who you know can put a smile on your face.
6. Getting enough sleep
One of the biggest stress triggers is lack of good sleep. Of course, you could argue that being stressed makes it even harder to sleep; in this case, you might have to change your bedtime routine and implement techniques to help you sleep easier and better. Keep electronics out of the bedroom, use blackout blinds and something to create white noise, such as a fan. Wind down slowly for the evening; have a hot shower to help relax, read, or listen to some calming music. You can even try meditating or bedtime yoga to help you settle in for the night.
7. Adding some plants to your space
Remember when I said above that being in nature can have positive calming effects on the body? The same thing can happen when you bring plants into your home. They help create a more relaxing atmosphre that your body can physically react to in a positive way. Plus, they can help filter and purify the air around you.
Sometimes the best thing to do when you are stressed is to just unplug. Media, both mainstream and social, is full of triggering news that can often make things feel overwhelming. So ignore it. Turn off your social media notifications and news alerts. Take a social media break and delete the apps, or even just take an hour (or more) away from your phone. Instead of mindlessly scrolling, do something you enjoy. Take a bath, read a book, cook a meal, or have a nap. You don’t need to be plugged in at all times.
The tips above are all easy ways to destress; however, if your stress levels become a concern, then it might be time to seek outside help. If you feel like things are too much, then it might be in your best interest to speak to a therapist who can offer more ways to help manage and cope with stress.
Hannah Logan is a Canadian travel writer who dreams of being just like Indiana Jones. You can follow her travels on her personal travel blog Eat Sleep Breathe Travel where she shares her travel tales and (mis)adventures around the world.
Hannah Logan is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.