Stress can take over your life. No matter where it comes from, it’s always necessary to eliminate it from your life as soon as it starts to become a problem.
Sometimes stress comes and goes; it’ll appear and perhaps push you to meet your deadline or encourage you to work harder. You might be one of those “I work better under stress” type of people, in fact, stress is an instinct, giving us the “fight or flight” response.
However, chronic stress can be detrimental to your life. Giving you sleeping problems, headaches, a weakened immune system, and constant tense muscles.
Here are some activities you can try out for yourself, hopefully, they’ll take some of the stress away and help you to regain balance in your life.
1. Exercise the stress away
Sometimes all you need to get the pressure out of your life is to get the blood pumping. Think of it was “sweating the stress away.”
Exercise has multiple benefits, helping with your mental state, putting everything into perspective, and making you feel a lot more grounded.
Going for a jog, lifting some weights or following a cardio YouTube video is all you need to do. We promise you’ll feel better afterward.
2. Blast out some yoga
Yes, technically still a form of exercise but it’s specifically focused on relieving stress, so, it deserved its very own point.
Yoga is an art, one which forces you to focus on the things that matter – your breathing, your body, your posture. If you get into the habit of practicing yoga whenever you feel stressed, your body will thank you for it.
Of course, you can take yoga classes but YouTube videos also work perfectly. As long as you’re in a serene area, you’ll start to feel super relaxed.
You can every try your hand at meditating.
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Proven Health Benefits of Yoga
5 Simple Ways to Manage Stress by Keeping a Cool Head and Fire in Your Belly
3. Dip into your paint brushes
One thing that relaxes many people is painting. Whether it’s the creation of art, the outlet, or the peaceful manner, you’ll almost certainly feel less stressed after painting something.
You don’t have to be the next Da Vinci, as long as you have a few paintbrushes, colors and canvas, you’ll make a masterpiece.
Try to envision yourself painting your stress out. With every brush stroke that you make, imagine it’s the weight off your shoulders, manifesting itself into your art.
If you’re not really into metaphors, try to relax and let the brush strokes do the talking.
4. Try journaling to help articulate feelings
Again, you don’t have to be a writer, or even close. Journaling is for your eyes only (unless you want others to take a peak). The goal with journaling is to put every single thought in your head, onto paper.
If you had a particularly stressful day, translate your thoughts into words, write them down, and take it out of your body that way. Journaling is a great habit to get into, disabling the stress to manifest in your body.
You can every try writing down your annoyances and destroying the piece of paper afterward. Another powerful metaphor.
5. Tend to your plant babies
We can’t think of anything quite as relaxing as gardening. Don’t worry. Gardening can be done indoors or outdoors.
Seeing your plant babies grow from seeds, flourish and beautify your space is humbling, peaceful and enjoyable.
Research different plants, grow your own herbs, or make unique flower pots for your new additions to live in.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how soothing a regular schedule of watering, cutting, and maintaining of a garden can be. It doesn’t matter if it’s in you backyard or on your window sill.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Listening to your favorite music can relax you. Take time out of your day to blast out your favorite tunes, sing along, and rock out to the best hits.
If your favorite music isn’t the most peaceful of sounds (we’re not judging), why not try listening to classical music, or whale noises? It’ll put your mind and body at complete ease and help you to clear the cloudiness of your brain, making way for stress-free thoughts.
7. Try your hand (or needles) at knitting
A creative outlet can be the best thing for a stressed-out brain, and nothing quite relaxes you like a brilliant knitting session.
Try not to focus on making it perfect (that’ll stress you out in itself) but focus on the sounds of your needles clicking together and your woolly creation.
You don’t have to make it perfect, that’s not the point in knitting. You have to enjoy the process, and in turn, you’ll get better and better. Before you know it, you’ll be knitting scarves for all your friends.
We like to call them the stress scarves. They’re a real hit.
8. Go on a great hike
Imagine the scenario. You’re super stressed. You place your phone in your drawer, put your hiking boots on and take a couple of hours out of your day to relax with nature. When you return to your phone, everything is excellent, and nothing burned down without you there. However, the stress you initially felt has disappeared.
That’s what hiking does. It puts everything into perspective, while allowing you to exercise, and breathe in the fresh air.
Nothing quite humbles you like roaming around nature. What were you stressing about again?
9. Start collecting things
Starting a collection of items is just a fun little hobby. It will give you an interest in something other than the stress you’re accumulating, and you’ll feel a great sense of pride.
Here are a few suggestions of things to start easily collecting:
Beginning a collection will also give you a fantastic excuse to distract yourself. Whether it’s few traveling, web browsing or thrift shopping. You’ll have the best time and let your weary brain focus on something else.
Sometimes all you need is a distraction.
10. Start a movie marathon
There are so many movies out there, just waiting for them to be enjoyed (or not enjoyed). What are you waiting for?
You might think that you don’t have time to watch a movie, but that’s not true. Everybody has time to take a few hours to watch something new or old.
Look out for the cinematography, the acting skills, the lighting, the interior. It might just inspire you in your life, too.
Just like with music, we don’t recommend watching a horror or disaster film. These types of movies might ultimately add more stress to your life. Try a romance or comedy.
11. Learn something new
Stress can sometimes manifest itself as a reaction to being stuck. We might feel stuck in work, in your studies, in life. You might be losing interest in everything around you, causing you to stress out.
Don’t worry, we understand, and we have a solution. Learn something new.
Try to learn how to play a new instrument, learn a new language, teach yourself how to play chess. These hobbies will stimulate your brain, adding much -needed excitement.
You can take classes, watch tutorials, or use apps on your phone. Whichever one floats your boat, go for it.
12. Visit museums and art galleries
Walking around a quiet museum or art gallery can be an incredible stress-buster. You’ll also learn new things, be inspired, and possibly meet new people.
Plus, there’s nothing quite as humbling as walking amongst history. You might think you’re under a lot of stress, but the caveman skulls might tell you otherwise.
13. Read a book
Our favorite books to read when we’re stressed are non-fictional motivational books. Even ones unashamedly related to relieving stress, like Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky.
Obviously, non-fiction books are equally as great and act as escapism to the stress in your life. Schedule some time in your day to read a book. You won’t regret it.
14. Try out calligraphy
Calligraphy might seem like a bit of a strange one, but it’s effective stress relief.
Have you ever watched the calligraphy videos on social media? You can quite literally watch them for hours because they’re just so satisfying. Well, imagine you’re the one behind the pen, now.
Calligraphy is relaxing, satisfying and fun. Studies have even shown that it reduces the symptoms of stress.
Maybe you could become the creator of the next calligraphy video?
15. Take a look at the stars
We know, it’s cliché, but it does work. Stargazing has the fantastic ability to ground you thoroughly.
So, you’re stressed from work? You’ve got personal stresses? Are you feeling too much pressure? Take a look at the stars.
You’ll get this humbling feeling, taking you right back to the beginning of your existence and allowing you to become free from the mundane stresses of your day.
It’s also cool to know that we’ve all got a little bit of stardust in us.
16. Test your culinary skills
There’s no happy medium when it comes to stress. Either we feel too shabby to eat anything, or we eat absolutely everything in our peripheral vision.
There’s no better time to try your cooking skills out.
Making yourself an incredible meal has so many benefits. Not only will you fill your body with nutrients, making you feel all around less stressed, you’ll also distract yourself for a little while.
Sometimes all you need is a healthy distraction to make you realize how minor your stresses are.
17. Try to solve some puzzles
Exercise your brain and allow it to focus on something else. Direct your attention to something fun.
Puzzles are real life-savers when it comes to stress. Either they’ll completely distract you, and make you recognize that fun does exist (we know that it feels like a myth when you’re bored.)
Alternatively, you can try your hand at more difficult puzzles. These might seem stressful, but they’re an all-around different kind of stress. A healthy, fun, challenging type of pressure.
Listen to how your brain and body reacts. You’ll feel stimulated but not sad. Challenged but not hopeless. These feelings are all super wholesome.
18. Clean up your space
Sometimes the stress we’ve manifested in our brains, roots from the clutter we’ve manifested in our area.
If you have lots of clutter and dirt, not only can it add to the stress you might be feeling, but it can also be the primary cause of it.
Not to mention, thoroughly cleaning your home or workplace can be a wonderful stress buster.
If you’ve not heard of Marie Kondo’s cleaning steps yet, you need to check them out. She helps people clean out their homes in the most stress-free, healthful way possible.
19. Try redecorating your space
So, you’ve cleaned up your entire space, but it still seems to exasperate you? That could mean that you’re due for a great interior design switch up.
It doesn’t even have to be anything crazy, just a swap around of furniture, a pop of color here and there, or a new rug can make a huge difference.
You will be treated with the fresh start that you truly deserve. Also helping you to evaluate what you want (and don’t want) in your personal space — a super important step in eliminating stress from your life.
Out of the 19 tips that we’ve given you, we have high confidence that you’ll be able to adopt at least one of these. Whether it’s reading before going to sleep, or taking hikes instead of screaming, you’ll find an excellent way to cope.
Remember, stress can come and go at any time. However, chronic stress usually has a beginning somewhere. Tackling the root of the problem is also highly advised in these situations.
We live by the rule “prevention over a solution,” and that is especially true with chronic stress. Look after yourself.
Daniela McVicker is an associate editor for Topwritersreview and chief editor at StudyClerk. After obtaining a degree in social psychology from Durham University, Daniela launched her career as a freelance writer for reputable publications in England and abroad. She is a member of several professional writers’ associations.
For more than a decade, she has been writing on topics related to self-improvement, entrepreneurship, and education. With her academic background, professional writing experience, and her successful entrepreneurial pursuits, Daniela shares advice, and strategies that come from real-life experience and speak to readers in a personal way.
Her articles regularly reach thousands of views and she is considered a fervent proponent of writing as an essential skill for professionals. Among some of her most insightful and popular articles, there are titles such as “The Daily Choices That Dictate Success”, “How to Survive a Career Transition”, “Career Counseling Should Be Mandatory for Students”.
When she’s not writing, Daniela spends her time reading, traveling, and speaking to students and professional groups about career success and life satisfaction. She currently lives in Durham with her husband and two children.