In our modern world where we measure productivity down to the minute and everything happens faster, stress is an unavoidable by-product. We’re constantly being barraged with news, information and media narratives without much time to stop and take stock. Developing techniques to manage stress is essential to get the most out of our personal and professional lives. Here are 5 powerful ways you can manage and overcome the stresses of our modern lives.
Particularly if you take your exercise routine outside or into nature, getting in your 30 minutes of heart-rate elevating exercise each day can make a marked impact on your stress levels. You’ll not only be doing your body and your health a favor, but you’ll also be getting a strong dopamine hormone response from the physical activity. Exercise should be one of the first things you look at when you’re trying to manage stress.
Take Up Meditation
The idea of meditation isn’t for everyone, but for those that practice it, they find peace and calm, which is a great way of letting go of the stresses of the day and life in general. While it might be more short term, meditation in its many different forms is a practice as old as time. Start simple with breathing exercises and working to free your mind of thoughts for a few minutes and find a meditation technique that works for you. Meditation can be as simple as finding a quiet space with no distractions or interruptions and sitting quietly for a while. Try a beginner technique like mindfulness.
Focus on Your Breathing
Part of meditation is focused on breathing, but this is something you can do any time of the day. Paying particular attention to proper breathing techniques can make a big difference to your general stress levels because it is a good way of grounding yourself. Most proper breathing techniques will insist on teaching you to breathe through your nose because breathing through your mouth means you might be over breathing. If you often wake up with a dry mouth or find yourself breathing through your mouth, you should do some focused breathing whenever you can and get out of the habit.
Find a Creative Outlet
Creativity in any form is great for stress. This doesn’t mean you need to become an artist or be particularly good at it. Creativity could be building a puzzle or doing a paint-by-numbers artwork. You could take up cooking or baking too. Using your hands and focusing on a creative task can free your mind of the worries that might be floating around in your head. If you struggle with creative tasks, just taking up a leisure activity can be stress-relieving too. Try heading out on a weekend for a camping trip or read a good book in the garden.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
The power of physical touch from the ones we love is often understated. Just spending time with someone you love, whether your partner or family and getting a nice big open armed hug is a wonderful way of letting go of stress. Even if you spend a lot of time around your partner and family, just asking for a hug at the end of a long, stressful day can have an incredibly positive effect on your stress levels. Try it next time you’re feeling stressed!
Being able to manage stress and finding good and easy ways to compartmentalize it and let go of the pressures we face every day is incredibly important. The many benefits of living with less stress in your life are immeasurable.