Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. Everyone experiences it, whether it’s at work, home, or anywhere in-between. Like a healthy diet, managing stress is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
While we may not be able to fully rid ourselves of stressors, learning how to manage stress gives us a range of ways to reset, recalibrate, and recommit to our mental wellbeing.
Try these relaxation techniques to help keep your stress levels at bay:
- Read. Reading can be a wonderful (and healthy) escape from the stress of everyday life. Simply by opening a book (I would suggest the Bible), you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from your daily stressors. Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea. This is because your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from the stressors that plague your daily life.
- Positive Affirmations. Talking to yourself in a positive way can help create a positive mindset. Stay positive with thoughts like “I can handle this by taking one step at a time.”
- Breathe. Take some reflective time to do a breathing exercise at the beginning of your day or when you have a midday break. Deep breaths notify the brain to calm down.
- Stretch. Stretching helps reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow throughout the body. Take a few minutes to stretch every couple of hours, especially if you’ve been stationary for an extended period.
- Reach out to your network. If you need a coach, reach out to me to talk through any challenges you may face along your health journey.
- Get outside. The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, and a change of scenery can help you relax. Go for a short walk on a nice day to refresh and revitalize. Your mind and body will thank you for it!
- Do what you love. Whether it’s hiking, painting, or cooking, immersing yourself in your favorite activity can be a pleasant distraction. Your thoughts and worries will decrease, making you feel more relaxed.
Ask me about other ways to manage stress on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time.