There is so much talk of stress and how bad it is for us. It makes us lose our hair or makes it turn gray or both, and it can cause all sorts of other strange things like loss of taste buds or migraines. Not to mention all those scary life shortening statistics. Stress IS bad for us, but honestly it’s time to be done talking about that side of stress. It sometimes feels like, “World, stop! We know it’s bad for us, but talking about how bad it is for us is really just making it worse and now I’m stressing way worse! GAH there go my hairs!”. Yikes-ok, stop. Step back and take a deep breath. Here are five ways to stop the stress, even if it’s just for a minute.
1. You might be sick of hearing this but I promise it actually works. Just breathe. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. If you shape your mouth like you are drinking from a straw it will help you control your exhale which is really important. The trick to breathing is not just to breathe, but to shift your focus to that breath. Pay attention to how many times you breathe. Make a count and stick to it. One breathe is all the way in and all the way out. Focus on the air moving in and out of your lungs. The ultimate thing to do is to breathe in for a shorter count then you exhale. For example if you breathe in for a count of four, breathe out for a count of eight. Trust me, it really helps to relax.
2. Listen to some feel good or mellow music! Check out the Tunage category of Salt Lick Lessons for some relaxing jams to help you out with this. It works best when you let yourself get completely lost in the music. Focus your attention on the sound. Listen to the words, the sound of the singer’s voice, the background instruments. Sing along. They don’t need to be happy go lucky lyrics, but something you can relate to right then or something that helps you move your focus.
3. Move your body. Run, hike, bike, climb, swim, sweat. Moving your body releases endorphins and dopamine which naturally make you feel better. Not to mention, you feel proud and happy that you had the strength to do the workout. Also stress is a lot of energy so if you move, you help it release from your body. Activity is probably the quickest and most effective stress reliever there is. Read how my mom figured it out here.
4. Take care of yourself. Take a nice shower or bath. Wash your face, wash your clothes, drink some tea and take your vitamins. One of the first tricks to feeling good is to make yourself feel good. Fogroots soaps are fantastic for this purpose and they have a lot of aromatherapy qualities that help you relax even more.
5. Remember that you are in control of your reactions. You can’t always control what happens to you. In fact, you usually can’t ever control what happens to you, but you control how you react to what happens to you. Your life is like a boat and you are the driver of that boat. You pick where it goes, and if the water gets crazy you choose how to handle it. You can’t live your whole life without experiencing stress, but you can decide what to do about it. This realization alone will help you stress less. Recognize your stresses and choose to react positively and in a way that will help you rather than amplify the problems. You are the driver, so don’t let stress drive you.
What are your tricks for relieving or eliminating stress? Share them here–thanks!