Let’s face it: life is stressful, and sometimes the stress of your work schedule, fights with your boyfriend, or any other natural stressors in your life can get to be too much. It’s never healthy to bottle up your stress inside; that can lead to depression, anxiety, and bitterness. Expressing your emotions calmly through relaxation and stress-relieving techniques is a much healthier option. If you’re feeling especially stressed out with your life lately, read on to discover seven easy ways to relax when you’re stressed to feel calmer and happier instantly.
1. Get a Coloring Book
Coloring might seem like a children’s activity, but adult coloring has become quite a popular trend in the last couple of years. There are countless adult coloring books available in local bookstores and online that are designed to help people like you relax through creative expression.
Art therapy (using artistic techniques to destress) has been proven to be a great remedy for excessive stress. Coloring allows you reap the stress-relieving benefits of art therapy without the frustration and discouragement that free-handed drawing or painting can cause for those who are not skilled artists.
2. Pet Your Pet
Interacting with your animals is a great way to relieve stress. Spending time with your pets has been proven to help you relax and feel more content and less stressed out.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or overthinking something stressful in your life, take some time to take your dog for a walk, give your guinea pig a bath, or cuddle with your cat. Pets are amazing companions that are always there for you and happy to see you; that kind of loyalty and friendship can help you feel less stressed almost immediately.
3. Write In a Journal
You might not be into keeping a diary. But if something is on your mind that is really stressing you out, writing out your thoughts and feelings in a journal can help you blow off some steam and relieve some of the stress you’ve been bottling up inside yourself.
Grab a clean notebook and just write whatever comes to your mind. You can write a mock letter to someone you’re angry with or just compose a few pages of stream-of-consciousness style writing that lets out your emotions and thoughts. You’re almost guaranteed to feel better after just ten to fifteen minutes of writing.
4. Try Guided Imagery
Meditation can be difficult; it’s a challenge for most people to try to sit in a quiet room with a blank brain for any extended period of time. Guided imagery, however, is a calming and stress-relieving form of meditation that can be easier and more interesting for many people to try.
To perform guided imagery meditation, close your eyes and think of a place that makes you happy, real or imaginary. Imagine the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings that are associated with that specific place. Try to immerse yourself in that imagery for upwards of ten to fifteen minutes to clam yourself down and take you out of your stressful reality for a while.
Exercise might not seem like a very relaxing activity. However, it can be an amazing way to relieve some of your stress through physical exertion.
The next time you’re feeling like you might cry from how overwhelmed you feel about something stressful that’s going on in your life, drop everything and go for a quick run. If you don’t want to deal with high-intensive cardio, a brisk walk can have the same stress-relieving effects.
6. Talk to Someone
One of the most effective ways to relieve stress is to talk out your feelings and concerns with someone you trust. Choose someone who you know you can confide in and has your best interests at heart.
You can ask for their advice if you want it, but it can also be helpful to just vent your feelings to them and ask for their emotional comfort and support rather than any logical help they might be able to give you.
7. Eat Right
The foods that you put into your body can have negative or positive consequences on your stress levels. Greasy, sugary, and fatty foods can slow down the processes in your body and make you feel lethargic and more stressed out. Caffeine can also raise your anxiety and stress levels.
Foods that can help lower your stress levels include: organic meat, dark leafy green vegetables like kale, fish, dark chocolate (yay! an excuse to eat more chocolate), nuts, and foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries. Adding some of these foods into your daily diet can help you reduce your stress levels in a healthy way.
Feeling stressed out is no fun, and it’s not good for your body or your skin either. The next time you’re feeling so stressed you think you might explode, use the seven easy ways to relax when you’re stressed to help yourself feel better and more in control of your life.