5 Ways to Melt Stress
Mindfulness is being aware of what your mind is thinking and how your thoughts are affecting your life. For example, next time you are feeling upset, take the time to reflect. Ask yourself questions such as why am I feeling this way? How have my emotions influenced my actions? What can I do to avoid feeling this way in the future? Taking this extra time to help yourself understand your thoughts will lead to a more mindful life. It is important to remember that mindfulness is a quality that everybody has but is a skill that people can work on to better themselves and ease their mind.
2. Spend Time Outdoors
Being outside reduces stress in many different ways. Just being in the sunshine is good for the body. Serotonin is a hormone in the human brain that does many things but most importantly makes you feel good. It's nicknamed the sunshine hormone. Serotonin is naturally made in the brain during the daytime to help you feel more awake and less in the night time when other hormones make you feel ready to sleep. Therefore, being in the sun will trigger your body to increase your serotonin levels and make you feel better. There are also other sensations your body experiences when you’re outside that help you to relax. Birds chirping, a little breeze or the smell of blooming flowers can all be therapeutic distractions. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, go for a walk outside and try to focus on what nature has to offer.
3. Spend Time With Animals
Spending time with pets has been found to have many health benefits such as lowering stress hormones and blood pressure. It is human nature to love and want to be loved. Having a pet is amazing because they love you unconditionally, and offer you support in times of stress. Even after your most stressful day of work, you know you have your adorable dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, lizard or even fish to come home to! Pets are amazing listeners, so don't hesitate to tell them what's on your mind. Take time to take care of them, play with them, and cuddle with them. There's nothing quite like looking into their eyes and stroking their coats to settle a busy mind.
Exercise does not have to mean going for a run or working out at the gym. Anything that gets your body moving can count as exercise and make you feel better. Things like going for a walk, yoga, stretching, or chores like weeding the garden and cleaning the house are all great ways of getting exercise. For someone not used to making time for exercise, it is very difficult to get into the habit of it at the beginning but in the long run you will thank yourself for it. Exercise directly reduces stress hormones and increases mood elevating hormones. It is also a great brain distraction and gives you something else to focus on, besides your stressors. When exercising, plug in your headphones and listen to your favorite music as a way to enjoy your exercise more!
5. Carve Out Time for Self Care
It's so important to take time to ensure that you are giving yourself the love and attention you deserve. There is nothing wrong with pampering yourself a little everyday. Make yourself a delicious cup of tea, lather on a face mask, take a bath with some epsom salts, put some new scents in a diffuser or use a new kind of lotion. Lavender, chamomile, and vanilla are all examples of calming scents.