When stress adds up it can become a huge burden. It can literally weigh you down physically with the strain of tired muscles and drooping eyes. You just want to throw in the towel: we’ve all been there. Fortunately there are some ways to bounce back and de-stress. Here are eight good strategies for decreasing stress.
When you’re feeling stressed like a scrunched up porcupine: just breathe. It sounds like a cliché, but try it. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds and breathe out through your mouth.
Breathing deeply cuts down your stress and reduces blood pressure. Do it for at least a few minutes and you will feel a noticeable difference especially after making it a regular practice.¹
Screening yourself for screen time is a vital way to cut down stress. These days all the hours sitting in front of the computer – or scrolling and texting on the phone – can really land a big hit and jack your stress levels. This is especially true if you do it late at night.
Turn off your PC and phone at least an hour before you try to sleep and limit how much time you spend in front of a screen. Doing this should result in some noticeable decreases of stress and an enhanced feeling of calm and energy.²
Laugh It Off
Laughing has been scientifically found to reduce stress hormones. Sometimes if you’ve had it past your eyeballs with the daily grind or a collection of problems that’s turning you into a frazzled ball of frenetic flustering, you need to just sit back, turn on a funny series and laugh your behind off.
Laughing releases tension in the body and mind. You can almost feel it relaxing some deep stress inside you when you let loose and laugh. An even better thing about laughing is that it’s contagious and people around you may laugh too, the more you laugh, creating a domino effect of stress-reducing laughter. Isn’t that hilarious?³
Pet Your Pet
Another great stress reducer is spending time with your four-legged friend or your loyal paw pal. Rub your cat’s neck or stroke your dog and your stress-causing cortisol hormone begins to relax while the calming hormone oxytocin begins releasing in nice steady waves.¹
Cut Down on the Vices
This is the one many of you were hoping you wouldn’t have to hear, but here it is. Try your best to cut down on alcohol and smoking, as both can become an unhealthy coping mechanism for stress and lead to longer term health issues. Do your best to avoid using these habits as a way to feel more relaxed and instead try the other tips in this article.⁴
Visualizing positive future goals and experiences is another good way to bust up stress. If you’re stuck inside the office, think about a beautiful place in nature that you loved to go as a kid. Envision your future opening your own company and the growing success you will have as you follow your passion. Visualize yourself having the time of your life, and watch the stress melt away.²
Watch Your Diet
Your diet has a huge influence on how you feel. If you’re eating too many carb-heavy junk foods your stress levels can go up. The same goes for over eating or under-eating. Try to eat healthy portions that leave you filled of a wide range of nutrients and tasty foods like fish, vegetables and fruits. In some cases going on a diet can also help bring your stress down, just be careful not to get too extreme.³
Take a Bath
Is there anything more relaxing than a nice, warm bath? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. There’s a reason baths are famous for being absolutely relaxing and rejuvenating: because they are!⁴