The human population has never had more work load, a tougher educational system or more information overload than in the past 100 years. This has taken its toll by creating stress and anxiety. Although everyone has different ways of dealing with stress, here are the top 10 most effective, healthy and productive ways to relieve stress.
#1. Express Yourself and Let It Out
Express yourself and if something or someone is bothering you, don’t keep it bottled inside. If you want to cry or need to confront someone over an issue, just do it. Emotions were created to be expressed, not suppressed. If they were bad for your health, evolution wouldn’t have kept them safe in our mind for millions of years.
#2. Get a Hobby
Sometimes all you need in life is a hobby or passion that you can put all of your pent up mental energy into. A hobby will keep you busy, take your mind off your troubles and give you a sense of achievement. People with healthy hobbies like gardening, painting or reading are less likely to be stressed.
#3. Get a Pet
It’s a medical fact that having a pet as your companion will decrease stress. Even a simple eye contact with your furry little fellow can increase your oxytocin levels and melt your heart (due to the Kinderschema effect) Petting cats and hugging a purring cat has been scientifically associated with lesser risk of a heart attack. Lesser by one third, actually!
#4. Unplug: Switch-Off Your Cell-Phone and WiFi
When you come home from work, stop stressing about it. Your work hours are over. Just switch off your phone and Wifi so that you can relax. If your phone stays on, you’ll constantly be getting E-mails and social media notifications. This certainly doesn’t help with anxiety, and doesn’t allow your brain to slip into the relaxation phase.
#5. Meditate and Do Breathing Exercises
Meditating and breathing exercises (Pranayama yoga) also helps with decreasing stress. This is a technique practiced by Buddhist monks and Indian yogis. In fact, according to brainwave analyses the happiest man on earth is also a Buddhist monk who practices the same technique.
#6. Do Some Cardio or Yoga
Exercising relieves stress by producing endorphins that help get rid of pain and stress hormones
#7. Sign Up for Some Volunteer Work
Joining some volunteer work will help you make new friends, and get a sense of achievement and fulfillment. When you feel that other people need you and you’re part of a community then you’ll be less likely to be stressed and depressed.
#8. Pamper Yourself
Sometimes we spend so much time taking care of those we love that we forget to take care of our own selves. So take a break from your family duties, go out for some retail therapy or splurge some cash on that exotic sea salt spa, massage or aromatherapy!
#9. Take a Vacation
Go for a vacation! Connect with nature and for heaven’s sake leave your laptop at home. Sometimes lack of sun exposure decreases your vitamin-D and serotonin levels leading to stress. If you don’t want to go too far from the concrete jungle, just stay in a luxury hotel suite nearby. Trust us, the change of routine works wonders!
#10. Organize Your Life
Organize your life. Make to-do lists and stick to them. Often stress is caused by habitual procrastination and lack of order in life. Declutter your home and work-space and only keep the stuff you really need. A cleaner, simpler atmosphere where you don’t have to go on treasure hunts to locate your socks every morning, will help a lot!