In today’s fast paced world, there is no dearth of the stressors that we are left to deal with, in our environment. And whether we like it or not, these stressors don’t just impact our mind, they have a negative effect on our body too. Let’s take a look at a few simple things that we can do, to not just feel relaxed, but also to undo some of the damage that so much stress does to us.
1. Breathe Deeply
When we’re stressed out or anxious, we unconsciously start restricting our breath and it comes out in short and shallow bursts. At times like these, it helps to focus on your breathing and get yourself to breathe in and out slowly, with the air coming in through your nose and going out from the mouth. This will not only help slow down your heart rate it will also calm your restless mind.
2. Get Your Workout Gear Out
One of the best things to do when you’re feeling stressed out is hit the gym or go for a run, or simply get out of the house and take a brisk walk. Exercise helps release endorphins and anandamide, chemicals that have a mood boosting and calming effect on the body. As a bonus, getting out and about will also help take your mind off the stressors.
3. Draw Yourself A Nice, Warm Bath
You don’t need a fancy spa to do this in. You can create the luxurious and calming effect of a nice bath right at home. Water when enhanced with bath salts, is healing and relaxing. Just spend some time submerged in it, and you’ll come out sans all the stress, feeling refreshed in body and mind.
4. Give Tryptophan A Go
The next time you feel that stress is taking over your life, reach out for foods rich in tryptophan. These include nuts, cheese, turkey, chicken and soybeans. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps us calm down, unwind and relax. It does this by increasing the levels of serotonin and melatonin, chemicals in the brain which help boost your mood, and induce sleep.
5. Listen To Your Favorite Piece Of Music
We all know that music lifts our spirits up. But research has now proven that music is great for reducing stress levels and that there is a strong link between music and reduced stress levels in daily life. Music has also been found to be great for the stress in people undergoing surgery, critically ill patients and in pregnant women.
6. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Chocolate
There was never a better reason to end your day by indulging yourself with your favorite chocolate treat. This popular comfort food the world over, also happens to be a great calming food. The magnesium in the chocolate helps with relaxation and the anandamide it contains helps you experience a feeling of peace. Chocolate also raises the level of endorphins, the feel-good-hormones because of the high levels of phenylethylamine that it contains.
7. Hug Someone You Love
Cuddling with your favorite person isn’t just good for your relationship, but research suggests that it also helps reduce stress by releasing the hormone oxytocin in your body. And oxytocin is a well-known mood booster. It also helps lower the amount of the stress hormone cortisol. And it doesn’t always have to be a person you hug, as it’s been proven that playing with and showing affection to your pet can also be a mood booster and a great way to unwind after a long day at work.
8. Laugh Out Loud
Although the saying is a bit cliche, laughter really is the best medicine. In fact, laughter therapy is now getting offered as a treatment for stress induced ailments. Research suggests that laughter or even an anticipation of it can help lift our spirits up and reduce stress levels in the body. You can choose from a variety of ways to relax from watching funny movies, joining a laughter class or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.
9. Indulge Your Senses With Some Aromatherapy
Essential oils, with their sedative and calming properties can help us relax deeply. A few drops of these added to your bath, poured in an oil burner or added to water and sprayed around you or spritzed on your skin, can turn your home into a relaxing sanctuary and help ease-out your stress. A few oils that you can use are chamomile, lavender, orange or bergamot essential oils.