12 Fun Ways to Relieve Stress
Stress is an evil of our modern society; people lead an increasingly stressful lives, whether be it work, home, finances or plain old uncertainty. But, experts state that a little stress can be good; it keeps you sharp and ready to move forward, and is sometimes vital for achieving optimum performance.
Medical research has determined that prolonged stress is very bad for the body, and can block the body’s natural ability to repair, regenerate and protect itself. Over 90% of disease is caused by stress. Stress is both a physical and psychological response. It can lead to chronic disease, obesity, insomnia, deteriorating relationships, depression, and more.
Stress is such a powerful and harmful force that it is vital that you learn effective stress management techniques to live a successful, happy, and healthy life. Learning to deal with stress can take a while, but everyone can. For this, it is necessary to know yourself well and to know a few stress reduction techniques. Then, extreme situations (rush at work, exam periods, family problems pandemics, etc.) will have less impact on you.
It helps if these stress reduction techniques can be fun as well, so here’s Tip Shacks guide to fun ways to relieve stress.
Identify what makes you stressful and uneasy
Making a list of your stressful experiences is useful. Immediately deal with the issues that you can change, for instance waking up earlier for work in the morning, not leaving things till the last minute, and delegating tasks in case you are taking responsibility for everything. Forget about the issues that you cannot influence like being stuck in a traffic jam or not getting into the elevator because there is no room for you.
- Make a list of your possible sources of annoyance (work, transportation, family, friends, etc.).
- Classify them from the most impacting to the least impacting.
- Consider reducing the factors that top the list.
A concrete example: you have a dispute with a work colleague.
Rather than maintaining tensions at work, why not talk about the problem with this colleague by asking a third party to be present? You can then try to find a solution and feel confident again.
How to make stress your friend
Ask yourself: What triggers your anxiety? If for example it is your job, then maybe it’s time for you to reconsider whether it would be best to find a less stressful job. You can also make your job more tolerable by allowing yourself to get that needed vacation or leave.
There are different methods for dealing with stress, but the goal is to determine which ones are right for you. If you are allergic to sport, do not jog under the pretext that it is good for clearing your mind (and then we know it will not last!).
It makes sense, but it has to be integrated: we are unique, and using someone else’s method may not work! Try, if you like:
- physical activity: sport;
- intellectual activity: yoga, relaxation, Buddhism;
- cooking or gardening.
Decide how you are going to experience an event
An event that happens to you may have no effect on you until you choose words to qualify it. It then becomes happy, boring, sad, or extraordinary. By qualifying it, you modify it a little, and above all, you modify your perception of this event.
How you experience it determines how your body reacts, so take a moment to think before judging and classifying a situation as entirely negative. When you experience an event, it’s easy to stay on top of it and let yourself be overtaken when it is not necessarily of the utmost importance. Putting the importance of an event in perspective can allow you to release your anxiety or anger.
Stop thinking of events as negative and try to see the positive in them instead.
12 Fun ways to relieve stress
1. Watch a horror movie
Paradoxical? Maybe yes, but horror have been proven to be excellent stimuli for mental health.
When a person watches a movie with zombies, for example, the concentration releases energy to neurotransmitters, called glutamate, dopamine and serotonin. Throughout the action, the spectator remains “on the alert”, with their brain activity increased especially when the undead approach a young girl with the firm intention of eating her brains:
- The movie, especially the tense scenes, stimulate the adrenal glands, which will produce adrenaline.
- The released adrenaline relieves body pain like an anesthetic. When the film ends, the body and the brain calm down. The spectator feels a little stronger!
2. Laugh out loud every day
Children laugh 400 times a day, adults, they allow themselves on average only 15 times. However, researchers have shown that laughter is excellent for health and has a real impact on stress and even on the first signs of aging!
When a person laughs, his zygomatic muscles are activated. His brain relaxes because it is for him as if the dreaded danger had just been averted. Sometimes, if we laugh for no particular reason, it is because the brain releases nervous tensions to save us from panic.
Laughter allows us:
- to stay positive;
- to release tensions;
- to work the stomach and the digestive system by contracting the diaphragm and the abdominals;
- to supply our brains with oxygen.
3. Eat chocolate
It is not uncommon to have a sudden urge for chocolate during an increase in stress (or fatigue!). Chocolate contains phenylethylamine and serotonin which transmit the vitamin to the brain B1 and magnesium, real anti-stress chemicals.
- releases positive energy to allow us to move forward;
- helps fight against cardiovascular diseases and certain forms of cancer.
- In addition, the effect is immediate
Note: in moderation!
4. Take care of your sleep
If you spend a third of your life sleeping, it is because you need it! There is nothing more effective than a good night’s sleep to find yourself fresh and ready the next day. But when you are stressed, this can be difficult to achieve.
Some ideas to improve your sleep in times of stress, or make more restful nights:
- Watch your diet: avoid consuming caffeine and caffeine before going to bed and favor foods rich in carbohydrates that will help you sleep (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, etc.)
- Prepare to sleep: at least an hour before bed, turn off your TV and your phone, relax and keep any source of noise away. A good book, a hot shower and the window open, you should reach Lala land quicker than expected!
- Wake up well: do not overlook the importance of light to effectively wake up! Open your curtains when the alarm clock rings, and prepare soft music to stretch out comfortably. Hydrate yourself and take time to enjoy your breakfast.
If during the day you still lack sleep? Take naps after a meal, if you can for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Take acting lessons
What could be better than letting go during an improvisation session or slipping into the shoes of other characters? For shy or easily anxious people, acting lessons can help to manage the fear of speaking in public, and also to manage stress by several breathing exercises.
Acting allows us:
- to train your breathing and your voice;
- to laugh and share;
- to master the art of improvisation;
- to indulge in front of other people;
- to improve your memory.
6. Manage your schedule
When someone is overwhelmed, they don’t always know where to start. Write down the tasks you need to take care of and prioritize them. Finally, establish the schedule for the next day, including a break time.
This will give you an overview of what remains to be done and how long it will take. And don’t forget to schedule some down-time; a person’s concentration span varies. However, everyone should take a few minutes regularly to get some fresh air, walk or drink a glass of water.
Take advantage of this development to assess your working conditions. Make sure you have tools that are reliable enough to perform the tasks that lie ahead. Is your office chair giving you low back pain? Does your computer need an overhaul? Don’t your work clothes need to be replaced?
In the office: reorganize tasks, tidy up your workspace, replace tools if necessary, train yourself if new skills if necessary.
At home: learn to delegate, list things to do, share a car to go to work or take the children to school and above all, do not panic if all the tasks are not fulfilled.
7. Manage your physical condition
Studies have shown that an individual must practice at least half an hour of sport per day (walking, it counts!). Even if you don’t like sports very much, choose a discipline to your liking. A few lengths of swimming pool, a little jogging or even a game of squash relax, let off steam and release tension.
You are spoiled for choice since all sporting activities eliminate stress.
If you are not a great sportsman, you can start smoothly: swimming, jogging, martial art, dancing, cycling, etc.
8. Develop periods of relaxation
Stress is an unmistakable sign: the body needs a break! Why not go away for a weekend or a few days far from the city? Do not let yourself be overwhelmed by everyday life. Test new activities, new restaurants with your friends, go in search of something new!
It is proven, relaxation decreases the effects of stress! With a little practice, you can put your brain to sleep when you need it.
More regularly, take the time to spend, three times a week, 20 to 30 minutes in nature (an urban park does the job very well). A study by the University of Michigan shows that a simple walk, or a little time spent sitting in contemplating the vegetation significantly reduces stress by lowering the level of cortisol (one of your stress hormones).
9. Practice yoga
Yoga is a great technique for overcoming anxiety. This oriental practice, originally, helps rebalance the energy in the stomach and the viscera. Thus, the practitioner finds a certain serenity. Ideal for facing the trials of life!
Yoga helps manage stress and improve well-being. Practicing yoga once a week offers a moment of relaxation, letting go and self-awareness. There are a multitude of similar therapies that aim to rebalance the body’s energy at the belly level.
10. Practice Buddhism
The Zen philosophy is based on a principle of self-detachment. She advocates indifference to material things. It achieves a level of wisdom and tolerance. By taking a step back, the Buddhist can apprehend them more calmly.
Many books inspired by the precepts of Buddhism can help you overcome stress. In the canonical texts there are a certain number of precepts of positive form which invite to purify your body, your speech, your spirit and thus to remove stress.
11. Heal thyself
A stressed person sometimes suffers from back, neck or even headache or stomach pain. She may also suffer from insomnia, joint disorders, respiratory disorders or rheumatism. In short, stress can subject you to many ills.
By effectively treating these pains, it allows the body to relieve itself and the mind to chase stress. Think of spa treatments, but also balneotherapy and thalassotherapy.
12. Practice a martial art
Martial arts allow you to let off steam while working on your concentration. You will learn to defend yourself, to know and to control your body. The practice of karate, for example, combines self-knowledge and sports practice.
Martial arts teach you to differentiate defense from attack and thus control certain excesses of nervous violence, exercise regularly and build muscle and works on your concentration by practicing its moves.
Stress affects most individuals and the way it is understood depends on each person’s personal situation. The true causes of stress are not the problems or negative experiences that you encounter in your life; but your attitude toward them.
So, the trick is to change your attitude and to develop a relaxed state, because you cannot be stressed and relaxed at the same time.
It is important to understand that what we focus on, we energize. The more you continue to think about the factors that cause your stress, the more energy you give it. So it is vital to let go and focus on relaxation instead.
If you can find your own fun ways to relieve stress, you’re less likely to be upset by a stressor, and thus less likely to suffer its harmful effect occur. Eventually, it is your choice. You could either continue to react in the same stressful way, or you could choose to improve your life by changing your attitude and becoming relaxed. There’s no other way around it.
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