Top Ten Ways to De-stress
Top Ten Ways to De-stress
By Lisa, Guest Blogger
Stress is all around us. Sometimes it seems we are surrounded by grumpy people, faulty machines, troublesome computers, and weather which rarely seems to cooperate when it's important.
Fortunately, we are also surrounded by a myriad of ways in which we can de-stress. Here are the top ten ways to relax, rejuvenate, and revitalize your world.
This comes first because it is always available at any time, in any place, and in any situation. Your breath is always with you. The human body is designed by evolution to react to the way we breathe. When we take long, slow, deep, filling breaths, we draw vast reservoirs of oxygen into our system. The act of those long breaths triggers a cascade of secondary actions in our body designed to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and ease muscle tension. Recommendation: Take a moment. Breathe deeply in, filling the upper lungs, mid-lung, then stomach. Pause. Breathe out slowly, releasing toxins, squeezing the air out of your system. Pause.
This one act alone can make a noticeable difference in the level of stress you're experiencing.
2. Go For A Walk
If the weather cooperates and there's a park nearby, that's always a nice option. But anywhere you feel comfortable can lend a hand with your mood. Walk through a peaceful church, or through an interesting farmer's market.
Find a walking trail online and visit historic sites. Take a walk by a local river or coastline. Even walking gentle circles around a room can help. Recommendation: A Walking Meditation - https://www.verywellmind.com/use-walking-meditation-for-stress-relief-3144792
3. Learn Basic Yoga or Qi-Gong Moves
We all have different health and mobility issues, but within what is healthy for you, find three or four basic moves that are reasonable. Maybe it's mountain pose, standing in balance with your feet hip-width apart. Maybe it's corpse pose, if you're somewhere that you can lie down and just breathe. I like a modified tree pose, where my focus is on my balance. It helps me to shut out the outside world for a little while. Recommendation: Tree Pose - https://www.yogabasics.com/asana/tree/
4. Self-Massage your Shoulders
We all tend to carry stress in different parts of our bodies. Some people get tense jaws or necks. I tend to get a tightness in the backs of my shoulders. I've learned if I gently knead those spaces with my fingers that the tension eases. Find ways to soothe the tight muscles. If you have flexibility issues, maybe an inexpensive massage object will help you get to places you can't reach on your own. Recommendation: A ten-minute Qi-Gong session for neck and shoulders - https://youtu.be/Cj_l8QqhfGc
So often we can miss our body's signals of what it needs. Bodies tend to get more stressed when they are dehydrated. Make sure you hydrate regularly. If at all possible, drink water rather than soda or alcohol. Recommendation: Nine symptoms of dehydration - https://www.today.com/health/are-you-dehydrated-9-symptoms-lookout-t93151
6. Explore Beauty
Beauty comes in a myriad of forms. Visit a local art museum or gallery. Investigate a local garden complex. Try something new. Allow yourself to get absorbed in the varieties of sights and sounds you discover. Recommendation: 42 of the best museums in
the world - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/lists/worlds-best-museums-to-visit-before-you-die-bucket-list/
So often we can get wrapped up in our own troubles and issues. Find a way to volunteer, even just for an hour. Whether it's reading stories to children or helping an elderly person attend a social event, you'll find that your own concerns fade into the background when you help someone else smile. Recommendation: Unexpected benefits of volunteering - https://www.thebalancesmb.com/unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering-4132453
8. Find an Engaging Book
The internet is lovely, but there's just something about immersing yourself in a wonderfully crafted book. Half of the adventure is seeking it out. Visit your local library and wander the shelves. See the myriad of options available. Perhaps talk with a librarian to get some direction, or explore on your own. Then find a delightful place to hunker down with your book and delve in. Recommendation: Free Online Books - https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/free-online
Is there a type of music you really enjoy? See if there's going to be a performance coming up that you can attend.
If that's not a good match for your situation, use your phone, laptop, or tablet to find the music online. Many libraries provide headphone so that you can play the music at their computers. Soothe yourself with the tones of your choice.
Recommendation: Soothing piano music - https://youtu.be/e1tcRv3uHy0
10. Practice Gratitude
Each of us has so much to be grateful for, which we often take for granted. We have a roof overhead and food to eat. We have clean water to drink. Our health may not be perfect, but it is still better than what many people in our world face. We have numerous blessings. We just need to open our eyes to their presence. Recommendation: Visit gratefulness.org for a free online gratitude journal - https://gratefulness.org/practice/private-gratitude-journal/ If you feel stress creeping up on you, take a look through this list. Choose the item best suited to the situation and take those first steps. You'll find that the stress eases, life regains its balance, and the world settles into a rhythm which makes sense again.