But just as stress has increased, so has our understanding of it. Knowledge is power and all the evidence points out to an obvious conclusion: constant state of stress is really not good for us. Stress can lead to clear physiological problems. Our bodies shouldn’t have to suffer from constant hormonal attacks and mood swings caused by stress.
Now, the good news is that you can challenge stress head on. Here are some creative ways you can combat daily stress. If you try these, your body and mind will thank you.
Start breathing correctly
When it comes to lowering stress and anxiety, the most common advice tends to be to take a deep breath. This might seem frustrating advice, but it’s a rather good one. You can lower stress just by breathing correctly.
For a quick change in stress levels, take a seat in a relatively quiet environment. Sit straight and place your hand on your stomach. Close your eyes and inhale through the nose. Inhale slowly as deeply as possible. Inhale through the nose, but exhale through the mouth. When exhaling, let out a long, deep breath. Just after a couple of minutes, you’ll start feeling calmer.
Start drawing or colouring
Art is a powerful stress reliever. Drawing or colouring also won’t take a lot of time and even just a few minutes with this hobby, you’ll start noticing huge benefits. Get a small adult colouring book and some colouring pencils and take five minutes during your most hectic moments to calm your brain. You can find adult colouring books online from Waterstones and other such book retailers. Check OZCodes.com.au for cheaper options, and start showing your artistic side more.
Go pet a furry friend
If you’re not allergic to animals and you don’t own a pet, find somewhere to hang out with furry friends. Animals have been shown to relieve stress – just a few minutes petting a furry friend will release a dose of feel-good hormones and lower your stress. Check with friends and family or volunteer at the local animal shelter for instant stress-relief.
Snack on stress relieving food
Most of us turn to food when life becomes stressful. The big problem is that we don’t pick good snacks in these situations, but instead, opt to eat sugary and salty snacks. When we eat a lot of chocolate and crisps, we end up feeling worse and this makes us feel more stressed.
The solution is to pick stress-relieving snacks instead. You should create a quick oatmeal snack instead. Combine Greek yoghurt, oatmeal, banana and some honey and leave overnight in the fridge – the next day you have a superb snack to eat when the going gets tough. Other great snacks for stress include avocado, hummus, black beans, mozzarella and broccoli. So, don’t underestimate the role of nutrition in how good you feel physically and mentally.
Blow some balloons or bubbles
Bubbles and balloons don’t just make kids happy, but they’ll also help you feel more relaxed. You should buy yourself a soap bubble dispenser or get some balloons to blow for an immediate and creative stress relieving activity. If you got kids, this can be a good way to bond after a long day at work and the nursery!
Spend time with friends on the phone
Friends are a great stress reliever. While you might be too busy to meet friends every day, you should still talk to them on the phone. Schedule a quick 10-minute call with a friend every day – just make sure you actually talk and not just text. This will help you feel more relaxed, have a laugh and think something other than stressful thoughts.
Watch a funny YouTube video
Laughing will combat stress because it releases more feel-good hormones in your body. When going gets tough, the best way to feel better is by doing something that makes you laugh. This might seem a difficult thing to do when you’re not feeling good, but it’s actually easy to trick your brain to laugh. Just go to YouTube and click on a video you find funny. You could even create a playlist of videos that always make you laugh – it can be an animal clip or a quick joke by a big comedian.
Play a game
Video and board games are not just a waste of time. Playing games is a great way to get your mind off bad things, have a laugh and spend time with loved ones – or alone if you prefer it. When you’ve had a hard day at work, a quick game on the mobile might be a good idea while you’re sitting in traffic.
When life seems just a bit too stressful, try the above creative ideas and notice how the daily stresses just melt away.