Most of us lead hectic and full on lives, with little time for relaxation and rejuvenation. But that stress can really take its toll on our wellbeing, both physically and mentally, and the time comes where we have to face it head on, or it can become consuming. Learning techniques to deal with stress is part of growing as a person, and we all cope differently. If you, or someone you love, are struggling with stress at the moment, one or two of these techniques is bound to help.
Exercise is one of the best ways to bust stress, and a team sport is a fun and consistent way to get involved. Many people have the best intentions to up their exercise, and so join the gym or buy some running gear, but without other people, it’s easy to lose that incentive. Joining a sports club, whether it’s boxing, five-a-side football, or even a yoga class, makes it far more likely that you’ll keep going back, and you’ll stay active, have fun, and make new friends in the process - all great for beating stress.
Learn to breathe deeply
You might feel a bit silly when you start, but pretty soon you’ll realise that breathing deeply is the best way to ground yourself in a stressful situation, and all the tension starts to leave your body - there’s a reason that yoga and meditation are so popular. Start by sitting up straight, closing your eyes, and pulling as much air into your lungs as you can slowly, before releasing it all slowly with a “whoosh” sound. Keep this going for a few breaths before you reenter the situation with a clearer mind. There are free meditation videos with instructors on YouTube which are great for anything from work stress to insomnia, so definitely check them out.
Visit the spa
Sometimes we just need to take a day out to reconnect with ourselves, clear our heads, and relax. A day in the spa every now and then might seem like a luxury, but if it’s the best way for you to relax and unwind, it seems like a worthwhile investment. Kicking back in the steam room or sauna is a great way to encourage your muscles to relax, but if you’re feeling particularly tense then a deep tissue massage might be the right way to go - you’ll come out feeling like a whole new person.
Consider your food and drink
Eating a lot of fatty or processed foods, drinking a lot of sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine, can all contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. Even though the obvious thing to do when feeling stressed is to reach for the comfort food, try to reach for fresh fruit and veg, lean meat, and oily fish, as well as lots of good old H2O, and you’ll feel a whole lot better for it.
Stress-busting is very much down to the individual, but it’s far better to try to deal with it than to bottle it up.