It is no secret that the hectic pace of life may be stressful and frustrating. It is extremely important to find time for yourself between family, social obligations, and work. To recover from the everyday stresses, you do need to relax, and there are different ways to stay healthy in body and mind. Here you have some easy but useful relaxation tips to follow. Try one or more to see what works for you best.
How to relax your mind and relieve stress
1. Exercise regularly
Unfortunately, exercising is often underestimated when it comes to combating stress. In fact, by putting just a little physical stress on your body, you can easily relieve mental stress. You need to exercise regularly to get stronger benefits. According to the studies, exercising reduces the number of stress hormones (cortisol) in the human body, which explains the fact why people who do not do sport feel more anxious than those who exercise regularly. Moreover, sport releases chemicals that act as natural painkillers and improve the mood. Your sleep quality negatively affected by anxiety and stress can also be improved by exercising. If you keep fit and healthy, you will feel more confident and competent in your body and thus enhance your mental wellbeing. What is more, you do not necessarily need to become a professional sportsman. Enjoyable activities, such as dancing, rock climbing, walking, jogging, or yoga, can also be stress relieving.
To get rid of bad thoughts popping into your mind and relax your body, try practicing deep meditation. No matter what is happening right now, mindfulness can give you an opportunity to rest and realize that you are basically okay. If you are new to meditation, there are simple exercises you can practice. For example, sit in an uplifted posture, straighten your spine, and place your hands on your lap for additional support. Relax the muscles of your face and take a deep breath. Try to tune into your breath and feel its natural flow. If your mind is still wandering, it does not mean you are doing something wrong. Meditation is not about perfection. The more time you practice seated meditation, the more relaxed you will be whatever is occurring. Specialized meditation apps also can help you practice mindfulness.
3. Write down your thoughts
Note down your thoughts to get things off your mind. This will help you relax. Once you feel depressed or stressed, take your time to describe your feelings and what is bothering you. The way you do this does not matter – you can use a simple notebook or a notes app on your gadget if you prefer. Do not worry about spelling or grammar mistakes and focus on expressing yourself. This exercise will help you become calmer and release some of your stress.
4. Try art therapy
Art therapy can help show your creative side, get in touch with your feelings, and reduce stress. Never forget about self-care, as you need and deserve little rest. Spending even a few minutes on painting or enjoying art may bring enormous benefits. It is almost impossible to ruminate on your problems when your attention is focused on art. What is more, you can incorporate your problems into your creations, and after that start looking for solutions with a clearer head. According to the online gallery Russian Icon Collection, a great idea is to get a few religious pieces for your home to reach out spirituality, kneel in prayer, and regain your calmness. Alternatively, you may lower stress levels by writing, practicing a musical instrument, or even gardening. Being engaged in something interesting or beautiful can definitely make a difference.
5. Reduce caffeine
High doses of caffeine – a stimulant found in tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and coffee – increases anxiety. Each person has a different threshold for how much energy drink or coffee they can drink. For that reason, if you notice that several cups of latte macchiato per day make you anxious or jittery, you should cut down on coffee. Remember that a moderate amount of coffee is fewer than five cups per day.
6. Connect to nature
You will feel more relaxed and less stressed after spending just a few minutes in nature. Therefore, when bad thoughts cross your mind, take a break and go for a short walk. Moreover, you do not necessarily need to be in nature physically to calm down, as looking at images of greenery on the Internet for some time can also reduce stress. This way, even people living far from nature can feel a positive effect on their mind.
7. Spend time with your family and friends
If you are getting through stressful times, social support from family and friends can help you get your head back above water. A sense of self-worth and belonging will give you peace of mind and comfort. Being part of a friend network releases oxytocin that is a natural stress reliever. According to recent studies, people with the fewest social connections more often suffer from anxiety and depression. This positive effect is known as “tend and befriend.”
It is fairly hard to stay stressed and depressed when you are laughing your head off. Smiling and laughing are indeed good for your health, as they help beat stress. A wide smile relaxes your muscles and relieves your stress response. Bursting into laughter may also improve your mood and immune system in the long run. Thereby, do not hesitate to hang out with friends who make you laugh or watch a funny TV show.
9. Avoid procrastination
Stop procrastinating and try to stay on top of your priorities to keep your emotions under control. Procrastination causes severe stress that negatively affects your sleep quality and health. Make a to-do list, set realistic deadlines, and work your way down the list.
Hopefully, these tips will help you relieve stress and relax your mind. Try them today, and your life will become much better.