With back to school season happening and the start of a new year of routines and schedules, it’s easy for stress to creep in and wreck havoc in your life.
Stress has a negative impact on everything from your digestion and metabolism to your ability to concentrate and make decisions, and of course typically has a big influence on sleep and eating patterns as well.
Do yourself a favour and spend some time finding some methods of distressing that work best for you and that you’re able to employ regularly when you find your stress levels increasing.
Here are 5 free ways to eliminate stress:
- Go for a walk – Not only does going for a walk get you moving and give you some exercise, but the combination of exercise and fresh air are great for reducing stress and clearing your head. Taking the time to remove yourself from your source of stress can often be a great way to reduce your stress, but also can help you solve the problem or look at things from a different angle such that it is more efficient when you return. For example, if it is your job that is stressing you out because you have a deadline to meet for a client proposal, and are having a hard finding the words to write what you need to say, taking 20 minutes away from your desk may leave you with a clear head and allow your thoughts to flow more freely when you return.
- Journal – In stressful times, it’s easy to keep everything inside and lose sight of the bigger picture, or worse yet lose sight of the end result at all. Take some time each day to journal and write. Whether it is somewhat of a vent, in which you release all your feelings and anxieties from the day, or more of a gratitude journal, where you seek to find the positive and uplifting side of everything, journaling is a great way to break yourself out of that stressful cycle.
- Practice meditation – Meditation is a great way to clear your head of everything that is going on and leading to your stress and to have a fresh mind for your challenges and goals ahead. Sometimes we make things more stressful than they need to be by overthinking things, or running the same thing through our mind over and over. Removing it from your mind is a great way to remind yourself of how important (or unimportant) the problem is and to come back with a more efficient means of solving it.
- Drink calming tea – There are several herbs, including chamomile, and ginseng which act as natural relaxants for the body. When you are stressed out and have activated your sympathetic nervous system, it is hard for it to shut off if you don’t remove yourself from the situation or give it some other method of shutting down. Calming teas and natural herbs are one of these methods, while things such as sugar and caffeine have the opposite affect, activating and stimulating your sympathetic system further!
- Take a break – It may seem obvious, but sometimes we get stressed out because we get too involved in what we are doing to pop our head up and take a break. It results in tension and built up anxiety, further perpetuating our stress and essentially stirring the pot until it boils over. If you are in the middle of a particularly stressful time, be conscious of giving yourself some breathing room and try to take a break and step away from it every once in a while. It’s important to keep things in perspective and not get in too deep!