With our hurry-up-and-go-faster lifestyle, stress is one thing we are never able to outrun. Stress at work, stress at home, stress in the family... there’s no getting away from it! And it isn’t just about working mothers, or the fathers trying to make ends meet; stress is something that affects even young people. As the years go by, the number of text books increases, peer and parental pressure are unavoidable. Well, we’ve found some quick and fun ways to say goodbye to some of that unwanted stress.
If those yellow smiley-face stress buster balls don’t work for you, why not try something new? Some of these techniques include getting up from the couch; the harder ones involve training your mind.
Running is a great way to clear your mind and de-stress. It gets that adrenaline pumping, which helps keep a cool mind. In fact, any exercise will do! Exercise causes your body release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that create a natural high and sense of well-being.
You know how when you have that really annoying tune stuck in your head, writing it down makes it go away (with a little luck)? Well, you can do the same thing to melt that angst away. Try writing down what’s bothering you; when you read it again, you might get a fresh perspective, and either realise that it’s not such a big deal after all, or else come up with a new and creative solution to your problem.
Some clichés are actually true - laughter can be the best medicine! Apart from the obvious psychological impact, it improves blood flow!
If none of that works, remember that while misery loves company, sharing your problems can make them seem a little less troubling. Or at least, good enough company can take your mind off them! We know that friends and family can sometimes be the reason for your anxiety; often they’re the best stress busters, too. Go out with your besties or have a family game night.
If you’ve been feeling stressed out, you have the best excuse to spend an extra ten minutes in bed. But that doesn’t mean you can hit the snooze button and catch a few more winks; instead, just relax, let your mind blank out, and go to your happy place for a few minutes. Try it either after you wake up in the morning, or before you drift off at night.
But what if you’re at work and feeling out of your depth? You obviously can’t just climb back into bed to feel better, though hiding under the blanket sometimes sure seems like a good idea! Just take a deep breath. The right breathing techniques work to alleviate pressure, and can even make you much healthier. We often hear people tell a worrier to take a deep breath, and there’s a lot of merit to that. It’s one of the quickest ways to relax! And don’t work through lunch. Take a few minutes off, breathe, relax, and enjoy each and every bite.
Staying positive is tough in troubled times, but it’s important to train your mind to see that glass half full. Focus on the good stuff in your life. There is always something to be thankful for! When you do think of these things, write them down somewhere. Keep that list; it makes great reading when you’re feeling a little down. Another thing you can keep in your pocket is your favourite scent, one that you associate with something you love. It’s aromatherapy of the easiest kind!
Here’s one that might sound strange; use your non-dominant hand. Try doing simple tasks with your “other” hand; it’s challenging and stimulating at the same time.
Often in self-help courses, they tell you to go home and tell loved ones that they are appreciated. Though this is hard for some of us, paying compliments never hurt anyone - least of all you! Tell your neighbour they look nice, or tell a stranger you like their shoes. It just might make their day, and will definitely make you feel better about yourself. Also, remember to accept all compliments graciously.
One of the most fun and easiest things to do is to pamper yourself. Take some time out every now and again to do something selfish. Go to the spa, buy yourself something nice or indulge in a gourmet meal! If it’s not practically possible at the moment, plan and visualise it.
While some of these things may seem a little quirky (or maybe even a tiny bit crazy), there’s no harm in trying, right? After all, stress isn’t only stressful to you, but causes those around you to be more irritable. So we’ll leave you with one last quirky tip: try saying the alphabet backwards!