10 Simple Ways to Relax
By Nina Syahira
April 24, 2014
Photo sourced from worktolive.info
Life is full of stresses; both physical and mental. It comes with our daily tasks and activities. When the stress level gets too high, we would feel the pressure of the responsibilities weighing down on us thus increasing risk of depression. A positive mental attitude is crucial in balancing your emotions for a good general well-being but there are days when it does not feel so easy.
This is why it's important to learn how to deal with difficult issues in case you face one and know that it may differ from one situation to another. What works for one tricky problem may not solve another. Though stress is unavoidable, the good news is that there are various methods we can do to cope with it. So don't worry, we've got 10 of the most effective ways to beat stress. Check out our list below!
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1. Take a deep breath
First and foremost, when faced with a problem that leaves you truly flustered, step away and take a deep breath or two. A racing heart causes shallow breathing which lowers the amount of oxygen entering your system. Furthermore deep breathing also helps to clear your mind and prevent you from acting impulsively that you may regret later.
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If you want to take a step further in achieving a "zen" state of mind, do meditative exercises like tai chi and yoga. Slow and controlled movements produce a therapeutic effect which promotes body relaxation. Not only that, meditation helps with coordination as it increases your awareness on what you are doing thus enhancing your brain's ability to sense and correct the way you use your muscles.
Photo (right) sourced from tomfuszard.com
Sometimes all you need is to take a walk to make yourself feel better. Leave the place of stress behind you for a while and observe your new surroundings.This helps to temporarily take your mind off your problems and even gain a new perspective. Other times however calls for a good adrenaline rush to release tension. Take the opportunity to do a more vigorous form of exercise by heading to the gym.
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Eating is one of the most common habits that people do to deal with stress. When situations get highly upsetting, the level of the stress hormone called cortisol also soars. Cortisol triggers the craving for fatty, sugary and salty foods as they give quick bursts of energy and pleasure. It's okay to indulge once in a while but you may regret it in the long run. To help control the intake of unhealthy food, opt for some mango that contains linanool to lower stress levels or a spoonful of honey containing compounds that reduce depression and anxiety instead.
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5. Close your eyes
Turn away from your task for a while and close your eyes. Whether to take a short nap, daydream or just to enjoy a few minutes of blissful silence, this helps to regain control in balancing your current thoughts and emotions. It also enhances the benefits of meditation and slow exercises like yoga. Give yourself small breaks like this throughout the day to rest your brain thus increasing work productivity.
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6. Be alone
Life is a constant journey so it's good to have some "me" time once in a while away from the hustle and bustle. This is where you grab the chance to reflect, develop new interests and even rediscover things about yourself. If you're itching for an adventure, consider travelling to another country on your own. Immerse yourself in a foreign culture and open your eyes to a whole new world before returning as a whole new you.
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7. Get organised
Going abroad may sound very appealing but if you come back after a great holiday to a home that's still as messy as before, you may slip back into the old troubled you. So perhaps before you leave your worries behind, take care of the clutter first. It may be a psychological matter here where the mess actually reflects the state of your mind. By physically organising your things either at home or work, your thoughts arrangement may also follow suit.
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Music is truly a universal language. No matter who or how old you are or what tongue you speak in, you can understand the united flow of melody and harmony. Listening to music that sounds good to you can help trigger biochemical stress reducers and thus elevate your mood which is why some people like to do this while exercising. Music also literally moves you and dance is one of the most favourite forms of expression and ways to relieve stress.
9. Play games
A fast and satisfying way to unwind after a long day is playing sports like football or video games with your friends. It encourages bonding time and improves imagination and creativity, problem-solving skills and even your general well-being. The benefits also help to keep you energetic and away from your stresses.
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And above all else, be generous with your smiles or better yet, have a good laugh. Laughter leaves your body feeling relaxed for up to 45 minutes after as it triggers the release of endorphins. It also improves blood flow and boosts the immune system by increasing immune cells and antibodies. Laughing with others creates a more intimate connection as well.
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