Although stress manifests differently for each individual, it is typically some manifestation of your brain and body rebelling against all you are trying to control. When anxiety overwhelms you, try these enjoyable and useful strategies.
Our erratic work schedules often leave us with no time in the day. Daily stress levels were skyrocketing, even before the pandemic. The pandemic has changed the status quo, and the world has begun to feel heavy. Doctors and therapists advise us to rest and relax; this is such a common thing to hear that it has become a cliche.
We can recognize when we are stressed even in ordinary, orderly times because our shoulders stiffen up and merge with our ears, our digestion becomes off, and we become very unpleasant to be around.
Relaxation doesn’t imply a spa session every weekend. Relaxation takes less time and effort than most people think. What can we do to reduce stress, especially if we’re cooped up inside? Not to add to your worry, but both acute and chronic stress can harm our health and encourage us to indulge in less-than-smart escapist behaviors.
We polled the experts to find the finest indoor hobbies that can help you decompress if you can’t get outside. In this article, we take you through some of the most effective, stress-relieving exercises and activities that let you unwind after a full day’s work.
Best Stress-Busting Exercises
Listen to your Body
If you listen closely, you will realize how well your body communicates with you. Close your eyes and mentally scan your body from head to toe. You will get an idea of how stress affects your body parts each day. You can either sit down with your feet placed on the floor or lie down on your back.
Be aware of the places on your body that feel tight or loose. For about two minutes, imagine deep breaths flowing into every part of your part, especially the ones affected by stress. Repeat the same as you move from the toes to your head. Pay keen attention to the sensations you feel, and open your eyes after you are done.
Power of Laughter
Cortisol, the primary stress hormone circulates all over our body when we are stressed out. Laughter lowers the amount of cortisol by increasing the intake of oxygen and combats stress effectively.
Lighten up your mood by turning to your favorite comic books, watching your favorite sitcom, or by talking to someone who makes you smile.
Hug someone you love
Hugging another person releases oxytocin in your body. Rightly dubbed the cuddle hormone, it lowers stress and makes you feel happier. Oxytocin even reduces blood pressure.
So, if you’re particularly stressed, don’t hesitate to ask someone you love to give you a hug. It’s probably the most physically relaxing activity you can do.
Magic of music
Did you know that music can have a profound effect on your emotions? Fast music makes you concentrate better and upbeat music can make you feel optimistic about life. On a similar note, slow tempo and melodies relax your muscles, soothe your mind, and release day-to-day stress.
In fact, music is one of the most effective ways of relaxation and stress relief. What’s better than cranking up your favorite tunes at the end of the day?
Leisure activity of choice
Take time out of your day to do something you truly like. This can be reading books, playing games, or even gardening. Anything which helps you not think about your workload is a win.
Active pauses with leisure activities are especially important. When you go back to work, the tiny pause resets your brain and your performance is much better.
Some fragrances have the effect of reducing stress hormones, along with changing brain waves.
Diffusers and scented candles are especially good for this purpose. You might want to light one up before you go to bed.
Did you know that aerobic exercises can have a neurochemical impact on your body? Yes, you read that right. Exercises reduce the stress levels in your body by lowering the amounts of adrenaline and cortisol present in the body. Physical activity also stimulates the generation of endorphins in the brain.
Endorphins are the body’s own way of treating pain and elevating mood. These endorphins released in the brain tackle stress and create a feeling of optimism and relaxation. If you are not used to aerobics as a form of exercise, you can choose any kind of exercise. In fact, even a simple 15-minute stroll around your neighborhood can help.
Guided imagery is allowing yourself to tune out from reality for a few moments. It’s when you imagine you are somewhere you feel happy, like watching the sunset on the beach. You imagine each sensation along with the visual, such as the feel of sand in your hands, the smell of seawater, and so on.
You can find audio narrations to transport someone’s spirit to another place. Close your eyes and let the audio guide your imagination. If you know how to take short mental breaks, you can do so too.
For better results, mix guided imagery and aromatherapy. Scents can guide your brain to the land of your imagination faster.
Going for a brisk stroll is possibly the simplest way to obtain stress-relieving exercise. According to some research, a 10-minute walk can help you feel more at ease and maybe just as effective at lowering stress and anxiety as a 45-minute or longer stroll.
Physical activities, in any form, can be a huge stress reliever. This includes yoga, tai-chi, regular stretching, etc. Moving your body with purpose lowers cortisol and adrenaline level, thus reducing stress.
If you can’t get into any of the major physical activities, taking a 15-minute walk daily is enough. Along with walking, the changing imagery reactivates your brain muscles in a positive way. Even taking rounds around your office floor can lower some of the stress from work.
Swimming is a wonderful aerobic workout that also incorporates some resistance training because the water is denser than air and will resist your movements more than it would on land. In addition, for some people, being submerged in water may be incredibly relaxing and help reduce tension even further.
Indulge in Something Tactile
You can return to the present moment by engaging your senses and getting out of your thoughts. It takes you back into your body, whether you’re popping bubble wrap, organizing your change jar for the bank, or making homemade slime with the kids.
Get a Massage
Your brain receives signals from the sensory receptors in your skin when you massage your muscles, indicating that it is safe for you to unwind. Additionally, it helps you become more conscious of the areas of your body that need to be relaxed.
The large ropy muscle at the front of your neck, your shoulders, the hinge of your jaw, and pressure points in your hand’s palm are all terrific places to start.
Exercising while listening to your favorite music is a fantastic idea as it has been proven to be a stress reliever. Additionally, it stimulates the mind and inspires feelings. It can bring back pleasant memories and help you forget your tension if you dance to music from a joyful period of your life. Just remember that only some enjoy dancing, even by themselves. So do what feels right to you because forcing someone to dance can make some anxious.
Life is full of stress, yet that stress can also be a double-edged sword. It can improve performance and alertness in small dosages. But being under chronic stress might have serious negative effects.
Depending on what you’re going through at the time, you’ll need to decide which stress-relieving activity is best for you. For example, is your mind racing, or are you trying to get out of your skin? Do you feel stressed or in pain physically? It’s crucial to have a variety of tactics in your toolbox at the ready for when you recognize you’re overwhelmed.
Healthy living involves combining active pauses with a balanced diet. Avoid food with too much processed sugar and focus more on healthy food such as eggs and walnuts. You can even mix Kratom and other health supplements into your diet. However, when it comes to supplements, natural or otherwise, you should consult your doctor first. If you are on some sort of medication, some supplements can mess with your body when mixed with medicine.