21 Stress-Busting Tips

Stress is defined as ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.’ Not very desirable sounding is it? Yet who reading this can recognise that feeling very well? Who has felt such emotions in the past month, week or day? Who is dealing with it right now? I suspect many, too many. 

Forth With Life conducted a survey of 2000 people in the UK just last year regarding stress and the results made for some pretty grim reading…

These are some worrying results if we look at the impact stress has on our minds and our bodies. It can take a massive toll on our sleep keeping us awake nights on end. Some effects on our mind include restlessness, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, sadness and depression, irritability and anger. The lack of motivation and drive it inflicts can hinder work performance. It could even lead us to turn to drink or drugs, make us under or overeat and trample on our social lives and exercise regimes. 

The good news? There are proven ways to conquer it! Having thoroughly researched the world wide web and gone through numerous studies we’ve compiled a list of fixes for the dreaded stress that most of us experience almost daily.

1.Hang out with your pet, or a friends pet if you don’t have one! Animals are increasingly being recognised as a form of therapy due to their amazing calming qualities so find a furry friend and get petting.

2. Practice relaxation techniques. All the way from fingers to toes—tense and then release each muscle group in the body (lower arm, upper arm, chest, back and abdominals, etc.). Once the body is relaxed, the mind will be soon to follow.

3. Try some light yoga. The combination of deep breathing techniques and poses makes this activity work to reduce stress, too.

4. Exercise. Needn’t explain why, we all know we should do more of this and that the benefits are infinite, including stress-busting.

5. Healthy eating. Like the above, we all know that this is a must even if we’re guilty of not committing to it… Maybe knowing it even tackles stress will give us that push.

6. Meditate. The “mental silence” that goes along with meditation may have positive effects on stress (especially work-related stress).

7. Breathe deep. Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety . Studies suggest deep breathing can also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure.

8. Listen to music. Nothing calms the soul more than music, whether it to be your all-time favourite or even exploring new sounds, both will work wonders.

9. Read a book. Reading for leisure has many benefits when it comes to reducing stress. Start this new hobby by grabbing that one book you’ve been dying to read and curl up in your comfiest chair.

10. Bake, bake, bake! Baking is very therapeutic and if you’re going to treat yourself to a sweet treat putting in the effort to make it yourself will make it even more rewarding.

11. Have a good cry. Recent studies have shown crying is good for releasing the stress within. That’s not to say you should sit there and remember bad things until the tears flow but instead watch a sad film and cry over something else.

12. Find more hobbies. Above are a couple of suggested ones but there’s plenty more things to do out there too, just getting in to something new will have a relieving effect as it will take your mind off that which is causing the stress. Research some classes in your area and find one you love.

13. Volunteer or do some charity work. Doing good things equal good feelings. It’s as simple as that!

14. See the bigger picture. Today’s pain and stress is always temporary and will pass. Look to your goals you want to achieve in the future and feel grateful for the good things yet to come that you want to experience in your life.

15. Or, if you’re single, hug it out instead. Hugging may actually reduce blood pressure and stress levels in adults

16. Put a pen to paper. Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects. A gratitude journal can really help us put things in perspective, so pick a time every day to write down a few things that make you happy.

17. Or pencils to paper. Art is proven to have a vast calming effect thus the term art therapy.

18. Take a nap. Napping has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which aids in stress relief.

19. Read specific stress books. There is a huge selection of books dedicated to stress out there catered to specific types and specific needs.

20. Watch a film. Films transport you to another world and therefore away from this one! Watch one of your all-time classics or head to the cinema and check out a new one.

Why not save this blog to your favorites so you can return to it when you feel stress beginning to take over and practice one or, if you’re really stressed, a couple of these tips at a time to conquer it?