Stress can do many things to your body. Among its serious effects are sleep deprivation, obesity, and increased risk of diabetes. Should stress become chronic and not kept in check, it can lead to apremature demise.
Before your stress reaches unmanageable levels, take a deep breath, relax, and try these five easy ways to de-stress.
It’s a practice thousands of years old, and you might know a few or several people who do it. Meditating is known to be a quick and easy way to manage stress. It doesn’t require any special equipment or training, and you can do it in an hour or just a few minutes – totally up to you. Many attest to its ability to reduce stress; some even believe it can help reduce stress-related illnesses, although the fact has yet to be confirmed.
An effortless way to meditate is to sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes, and abandon all thought that occupies your mind. The goal is to focus on your breathing and how it flows through your body, putting you in a calm state as it does. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes a day. You may even do it before going to sleep, to help you sleep better.
2. Unplug, Literally
No thanks to advances in technology, there’s a new addiction for our era. It’s called social media addiction. The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is one of the many causes of social media addiction, which, in turn, causes extreme stress. It doesn’t help that a person already has self-esteem issues and falls into the trap of comparing themselves with others online. People also tend to use social media as a way of dealing with what stresses them daily; the irony is that doing so may bring them even more stress.
An easy way to decrease the stress from social media is to unplug from it and take a timeout from your phone or tablet for an extended period. You don’t have to go for days without social media, but you can take a break from it while doing something else. Take a walk outside. Get some dessert. Have a nap. Do something, anything; just be sure to turn off your phone.
3. Answer Crossword Puzzles
Why does doing crossword puzzles bring down stress? For some, it can be a worthwhile and fulfilling activity. It’s a pastime that demands a lot of focus and dedication, so you tend to really take your mind off everything else. Doing crossword puzzles has not only been a proven stress-reliever, but it can also stave off dementia and improve your problem-solving skills.
The good news is, you don’t even have to wait for the next day’s newspaper for a new crossword to solve. You can subscribe and get as many crossword puzzles as you want to do from sites like www.pennydellpuzzles.com/crosswords/subscriptions/.
4. Get a Massage
What could be more relaxing than lying on a bed, and having an expert masseuse perform Shiatsu or Thai massage on you? A one-hour massage can do a lot of good for your body, as it causes your body to release stress-reducing hormones. Called endorphins, these stress-reducing hormones released through massage cause adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine levels to go down, leaving you feeling reinvigorated.
5. Have Some “Me” Time
Part of unplugging can sometimes mean being selfish with your time, for a short time in a day. When you can manage to get away from your keyboard, are not waiting for any calls, and don’t have anything immediate to take care of, do something for yourself. It can be anything like a walk in the park, getting your favorite snack, cooking your favorite dish, or lazily lying in bed for a few minutes.
Use this time to do something you’ve been putting off as well, such as reading a book or having a long, soothing soak in the bathtub, with scented candles. Do anything, as long as it makes you feel good and relaxed.
De-stressing isn’t as hard as it sounds, but it’s also not as easy because we live in a high-tech, push-button, on-demand society – one that brings distress or worse. De-stressing is, therefore, essential, as it can reduce the stress our work, schedule or lifestyle bring. Find the time and ways to kick back, relax and do what makes you happy.