Stress and anxiety governs so much in our day-to-day lives, and there’s so much happening from the day and throughout the day from various stressors and other types of influence. Sometimes it can be pretty easy to tip from one stressor to the other and sometimes we end up at the mercy of our emotions and feelings. While we try to keep our balance and stay on an even keel, pretty much anything can tip us over the edge if we’re not careful, and a snide remark from a friend or some bad news from a manager at work can get your anxiety pumping and your heart rate climbing rapidly. When this happens you have to try and keep your cool, otherwise you risk having a bad day and falling victim to your own emotions and feelings. That said, it can sometimes be a powerful thing to sit with your emotions and to feel the emotions without reacting. Sometimes though, you need to be able to reset and get back to an equilibrium that is more conducive to activity and work, especially if there’s something important that you have to do, and you have no time for an emotional outbreak!
Sadly, our brains can’t tell the difference between an approaching wild bear and a pissed off friend or manager in terms of the anxiety response (or even a particularly bad lot of traffic when you’re late) so sometimes we get anxious where there’s really no need. As opposed to helping us to escape, this can cause stress which is never good. We’ve outlined ten scientifically proven ways to relax so that the next time something goes wrong you can just turn to there and get back on track sooner. Keep reading to find out some ways to destress.
1. Try For A 10 Minute Walk
While pretty much any walk will help to clear your head and support the growth of endorphins (which also help to get rid of stress hormones), consider a nice stroll in a park or other green space. This can really put your body into a state of reflection and you might find some peace in your journey. If you’re still stressed after ten minutes, try going around again and breathing steadily. This will also help improve your motivation.
2. Inhale Deeply
Any yogi worth their salt know that the breath – known as pranayama or “life power” – plays a huge role in feeding the body and alleviating stress. Breathing exercises – or even simply taking a couple of full and deep breaths – can help decrease pressure within the body and calm anxiety, because of an additional glut of oxygen. While shallow breathing – a marker of anxiety – stimulates the stress response, deep breathing does the opposite and actually calms the body. Furthermore, breathing activities have been demonstrated in clinical studies to lessen circulatory strain and heart pressure.
3. Eat mindfully
The association between the stomach and the brain is huge! Emotional eating makes up a big part of our lives, and some people turn to food as a tool when they’re stressed. This can be ok in moderation, but it can also cause obesity if done too often and too much without consideration for nutritional values. If you eat mindfully, you actually get a whole lot more out of the eating experience and you manage to calm the mind when you do. You need to choose a snack that will fill you up and the go and be somewhere quiet and without distractions. Don’t eat in front of the computer or in front of the TV, you need to be able to focus on the taste, the texture, the smell, the sight and all the other elements of eating. It will be so much more rewarding for you when you manage to eat mindfully as you’ll be full and mentally rewarded, as opposed to feeling empty and unfulfilled five minutes after you’ve eaten!
4. Purchase Yourself A Plant
Houseplants aren’t simply delightful air purifiers – they can really help you when you’re feeling down. Analysts have discovered that just the act of being around plants can make you feel more chilled out! One such study performed at a university found that a group of stressed people who went into a room absolutely filled with plants had a significant reduction in their stress levels, while a control group who had no plants saw no drop in their stress levels. You can buy plants to put in your bathroom or kitchen, but just the presence of some green leaves will help you to distress faster and for longer.