Stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health and cause an array of issues that may escalate if left untreated.
Whether it’s a stressful event at work or chronic stress that you can’t shake off, living a dynamic lifestyle makes it impossible to completely avoid stress.
Luckily, there are many simple ways to reduce stress and learn effective coping mechanisms. From spending time in nature to exercise and meditation, you need to find the best stress buster for you.
Sit back and take some time to relax, find peace of mind, and live a stress-free life with these 7 soothing activities.
1. Take Deep Breaths
Deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to calm your nervous system and cope better in stressful situations. There are many breathing techniques and it might take some practice until you get used to a different way of breathing.
The simplest method is to take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and release. Repeat this breathing pattern for at least 3-5 minutes.
2. Dance the Stress Away
Dancing is one of the many fun stress relieving activities you can do to get rid of tension and burn some calories in the process. You can have a dance party in your living room and include your partner or family or dance by yourself to your favorite songs.
You can also make a playlist of stress-busting songs that you’ll play whenever you feel like blowing off some steam. There are also many pre-existing playlists of uplifting, happy songs you can dance to as well.
3. Try Natural Supplements
Instead of resorting to stress relief pills, try natural supplements to help you combat the stress. There are many plants with soothing properties that have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Some of the most effective supplements and plants with these benefits include:
- Ashwagandha – an Ayurvedic adaptogen with powerful stress-relief properties
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – can help relieve stress and anxiety, and improve sleep
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) – can help relieve stress and anxiety, and improve sleep
- Green tea – full of antioxidants and L-theanine that may reduce anxiety
- Bacopa – an Ayurvedic medicine plant with strong calming properties
- Chamomile tea – one of the best-known stress-soothing teas
- Lavender – a soothing plant that can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and improve mood
- Kava Kava – an herbal remedy that may reduce stress, improve sleep, and has a calming effect on the nervous system
- St. John’s Wort – may reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of mild depression
Although plants are natural and can help with stress relief, they’re not a replacement for medication and cannot cure serious illnesses.
Make sure to consult your doctor on any new supplement you plan to take. This is especially important if you’re already on some type of medication, have an existing health condition, or are pregnant.
4. Spend Time in Nature
The best thing you can do for yourself when you’re stressed is to spend time in nature. Whether you visit an urban park or take a trip to a nearby forest, connecting to nature and breathing fresh air will do wonders for your stress levels and mental health.
If you can’t go out in nature at the moment, put your headphones on and listen to nature sounds. You’ll find tons of videos of ocean sounds, birds chirping, forest sounds, and leaves rustling in the wind.
5. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy, whether it’s essential oils in your diffuser or scented candles, can soothe the senses and put you in a better mood. Some of the best essential oils for stress relief include:
- Sweet orange
- German Chamomile
- Clary Sage
You can also mix two or more essential oils to create a blend that fits your needs. The best combinations are chamomile and lavender, frankincense and orange, and ylang-ylang and clary sage. An aromatherapy massage is a great option for stress relief.
A scented bubble bath is another way to relax after a stressful day and give your body and mind a break. A fizzy bath bomb, some floral petals, and your favorite book will help you wind down and get some much-deserved me-time.
6. Practice Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation go hand in hand if you want an effective, long-term solution to chronic stress. Practicing yoga every day is one of the most relaxing things you can do for your body and mind.
Start with a few easy poses in the morning and work your way up. For beginners, half an hour of yoga is a great start. As you practice more and more, you can try more challenging poses.
A 10-minute meditation is a powerful way to calm the chatter in your head and let the nervous system simmer down. There are many science-backed health and wellness benefits of yoga and meditation, and best of all, practicing is free.
7. Do Things That Make Your Heart Happy
True happiness is in the little things that we often take for granted. It’s in the first cup of morning coffee, the warmth of a sunny day, the birds chirping in the backyard, the laughter of your kids, and the sound of rain.
The things that make you happy can range from gardening and creating art to going on adventures and traveling the world. Aim to do one little thing per day that makes you smile or gives you pleasure. It can be a conversation with someone you care about, playing with your kids or pets, going for a relaxing walk, or creating something from scratch.
Take Some Time to Relax With These Tips
Stress is a part of the modern lifestyle, and if you leave it unmanaged, it can wreak havoc on your body and mind.
By taking the time to relax and tend to your needs, you’re not only doing yourself a favor but you’re also a better person for the people around you.
Want more lifestyle and stress relief tips? Check out some of the other articles on our website and stay tuned for the latest news and trends.