No matter the day or time of year, stress seems to creep up into our lives chronically. Just when you sense that things are calming down, it strikes and drags you back into the endless cycle of stress and stress relief. When you’re in the “stress” portion of the cycle, it can seem like your life is ending and that you’ll never be able to put your mind to rest. Don’t panic when this happens, take a moment for yourself and engage in one of these 6 easy and some lesser-known stress-relief exercises to put your mind at ease.
- Color in a Coloring Book
Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, why not get in on the fun yourself? Engaging in coloring has been known to bring people into a more relaxed, creative, and focused state – properties necessary for high job performance and timely completion of daily tasks. While adult coloring books tend to have a lack of fun imagery of dogs dressed as people, the concept is entirely the same.
- Solve a Puzzle
Similar to coloring in a coloring book, solving a puzzle requires a certain level of brain function and focus. By engaging yourself in a task that requires the upmost precision, you are essentially forcing yourself to temporarily rid of thought outside of the task at hand. By focusing on one thing, you are entering a meditative state and allowing your mind to put thought of outside factors and stressors temporarily at bay.
- Engage in Light Exercise
Exercise is the number one, tried-and-true, likely most under-utilized stress alleviator on this list. Physical activity is known to boost endorphins, or in other words, your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters. When your body releases endorphins, you experience a sense of euphoria and your perception of pain (or in this case, stress) is decreased, diminishing feelings of anxiety.
- Pick Up a Book
When you sit down to read a book, you are transporting yourself to another world – a world of your choice. When reading at a steady pace and immersing yourself in the contents of your chosen book, as long as the book isn’t what’s stressing you out, you are in the perfect conditions to decrease your heart rate, stabilize your breathing, and set your focus on one thing only.
Stretching interrupts the body’s response to a stressful environment – bodily tension. When the body senses a stressful situation, it’s “fight or flight” mechanism is triggered, and the body tenses up, especially in the areas of the shoulders, back, neck, and head. Stretching is a powerful tool that relieves this tension, and, along with it, helps to increase blood flow and induce deep breathing, another stress-relief method.
- Listen to Music
Certain types of music, namely slow-paced types, like jazz and classical, can have sedative and hypnotic properties similar to the effects of meditation. Depending on what you’re listening to, music has the power to synchronize the brain with the beat and effect levels of consciousness.