There’s much to love about modern life, but it can be pretty stressful from time to time. We’re asked to work longer hours than ever before, and it just seems like there’s always something to do. To avoid these stress levels from building up to dangerous levels, it’s important that we’re taking some steps to keep ourselves relaxed. Below, we take a look at nine tried and tested methods of remaining at your best. If you’re ever feeling like the stresses and strains of life are becoming too much, then try one of the activities below — you’ll be sure to feel better.
Walk it Off
Of all the activities that people should be doing more of, none are quite as underrated as simply walking. There have been many books advocating the virtues of simply going for a stroll, yet no-one knows exactly why it’s so beneficial. But there’s no reason to get too bogged down in the science of the matter: what’s important is that it works. If you’ve had a day that raised those stress levels, then put on some walking shoes and go for a long stroll, with music or without, and let your mind wander. You’ll likely return home no longer bothered by whatever was causing your stress.
…Or Run It Out
If you’re full of nervous, stressed-out energy, that perhaps you’ll need something a little more active than just going for a walk. In which case: time to put on those running shoes, and go for a jog. Working up a sweat is one of the best ways that you can leave your troubles behind, largely because once you’ve ran, ran, and ran until you can run no more, you’re too tired to worry. Also, as you exercise, you’ll be releasing plenty of endorphins into your body, which will raise your mood.
Meditation and Yoga
We’re all in a rush these days, or so it seems, and thus one of the best ways to beat the fast-paced nature of life is to, well, slow down. Of course, that’s a little hard to do when you’re caught up in the middle of everything, but actually, sometimes just actually walking slower — at your own pace — is a good start. You’ll be moving at your own pace, rather than everyone else’s. Meditation is also a great option, as it helps to bring you back to yourself a little. It puts a little buffer between you and the things that can induce stress. Yoga also helps — it’s a bit like meditation for the body.
Talking With Friends
We sometimes find ourselves just swimming around in our own mind. We can let a small problem become much bigger than it really is, simply because we’re not letting the problem leave our mind for a moment: it’s just there, and the more we think about it, the bigger the problem becomes. So it’s good to get out of our heads for a while, and into a more neutral space. This is where your friends come in. If you find that you’re having a rough day, call up your best friend or get together with a gang. With them, you can either talk through the issue (and come to the conclusion that it’s no big deal), or you simply be distracted for an hour or two — and that’ll be akin to hitting the reset button on your stress levels.
Some of us feel guilty when it comes to treating ourselves, but we shouldn’t! It’s a great way to make ourselves feel better when life is becoming a little too much, and we’re beginning to feel the stress. It’s best to look at things that’ll make your body and mind feel great, such as visiting a massage and facials spa. You’re guaranteed to feel a lot better than you did before you walked through the front door, and you’ll also look great, too — and if that’s one thing that will help us to overcome those minor worries of life, it’s the understanding that we look our best.
A Relaxing Night
While it’s a good move to go for a walk or run or spend time with friends after a stressful day, it’s not always possible — in the winter, for example, or on those days when we get back home too late. On those days, don’t carry the stress with you the whole time: use your home to lower your stress levels. It’s a good idea to create an environment that works to calm you down, rather than agitate you even further. Take a look at setting up a relaxing, tech-free zone where you can read, listen to music, and all-around sink into a calm state of mind. Your home will become your own private oasis from the madness of the outside world.
Time in Nature
It’s easy to forget, but humans really shouldn’t be inside as much as they are. We belong in the outdoors, yet we’ve moved to the inside world, mostly because it’s easier to control our comfort levels there. Even if the majority of your life is spent at your home, office, vehicle and so on, it’s always recommended to get some nature time — it’s fun, for starters, but studies have also shown that there’s something about nature that puts us into a calm state of mind. It does us good. So next time you have a stressful week, pack some supplies and go for a long hike in the great outdoors — it might just do you a world of good.
Sometimes, the reasons we feel stressed are legitimate, but at others, they’re not. It’s just that we don’t have any perspective on the problem. The next time you’re feeling stressed because of something, try and enter a larger state of mind — you might find that the thing that’s stressing you out isn’t a problem at all. If you find it difficult to think bigger, consider looking up at the stars. There’s nothing that’ll get you thinking big than the universe!