Stress isn’t always bad. Picture this; you are on a hike somewhere alone and you come across a prominent danger. Immediately what do you? You will either a) Run or b) fight. Hence, the “Flight or Fight” scenario!
What happened here is that your mind kicked into stress in order to aid you to make a move, panic, stay calm, relax, defuse the situation or get defeated. That is what we refer to as the Physical Stress
And then there is the stress that happens when we lose control over something or are not able to overcome a situation or something does not go the way we want. You lose a job, a loved one, break up, inferiority complex, and all the possible bad things that can naturally happen to us. That is what we call the Psychological Stress.
This type of stress is what we go through and deal with more often. Especially when we are reminded of the situation over and over again. We are human and it is okay to understand that we have no control over most of the things that happen to us.
Throughout this article, I have put together 6 of the common activities that can provide us with the technique to be able to handle and release stress when we are feeling it.
I hope by the end of this post, you will be able to acquire and understand how these common activities can be very beneficial to us. I encourage you to leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you have additional activities that can help others in their fight with stress.
Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. (Credit to Wikipedia)
Oh, I’m not asking you to lock yourself away for hours sitting down with your legs crossed and mind closed. No! In fact, when was the last time you spent at least 5 minutes doing absolutely…Nothing! Think about it!
Nothing as in NOTHING! When you turned off your phone’s notifications and switched off the TV and Radio found a quiet place and absolutely did nothing. Not even thinking about what happened last night or the weekend before or that fun time where you and your friends killed it and not even planning for the future or what you will be doing the next day.
Our mind is the most valuable and precious resource we have as a human being through which we experience every moment of life. We rely upon it to be happy, kind, thoughtful, generous, love and care. We depend on it for creativity, focusing and analyzing and to perform at our very best at anything we do. And yet, we don’t take care of it. By Andy Puddicome
He defines meditation as “Familiarizing yourself with the present moment.”
We concern ourselves too much with materials, such as our house, cars, clothes, shoes, the style of our hair and dress for the night out and so on. The mind circles around on all these things and lead us stressing out.
More time is spent on these leaving us a little amount of time to think about the present moment.
Being Mindful of the present moment allows us to take control of how we respond to the current situation we are in.
Take a few minutes where you stop all you are doing and then just focus on the present moment and experience a greater sense of focus, calm and clarity.
Remember that we have no control over what happens to us but we have the control over how we react to it. Take control of your reactions and release the stress.
Numerous people engage in exercises for health-related issues. Going to the gym on a regular basis and involving yourself in a variety of exercises as we all know builds the body, but we sometimes forget the health-related benefits that are associated with it.
Testosterone boost is one of the major benefits for men and for women, it increases the ghrelin and leptin levels. However, you do not need a gym membership for these type of exercises I’m going to talk about. Yes! No gym membership is required since that can actually be stress inducing.
I’m sure you have heard of “TAI CHI“. Yes! That same tai chi we see in foreign movies but this time, without all the flying and disappearing techniques they show on Television.
Fun fact, when I was a kid, I used to watch a lot of these movies thinking that someday I’m going to grow a long white beard and then carry a stick that I can hit on the ground twice and levitate to where ever I needed to go. Unfortunately, I found out that I needed a green screen to do that…Sad!
Tai Chi is taught as a series of movement coupled to Breathing and Mental concentration.
According to Peter Wayne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the research director at Harvard’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. “[Tai chi] is a mind-body exercise that integrates slow, gentle movements, breathing and a variety of cognitive components, including focused attention, imagery, and multi-tasking.
From that, we can deduce that the practice of Tai chi can help an individual master attention and mindfulness that will provide a technique in taking control of their immediate surroundings and situation.
Now with the help of the internet, you can take a few minutes out of your time to practice a few movements on YouTube. We use YouTube for “how to’s” so why not use it to master a technique to help you control your stress.
The other exercise I want to add is Yoga. Yoga also has a great number of benefits, both Physical and Mental. When it comes to Physical benefits, we are looking at increased flexibility, muscle relaxation, improved respiratory circulation, increased metabolism and weight loss.
The Mental Benefits of yoga as Dr. Nevins puts it “Practicing Yoga regularly creates mental clarity and calmness and also increases awareness. It also relieves chronic stress patterns, relaxes the mind, focuses attention and heightens concentration,”
Practicing Yoga poses can add a massive benefit for you to prevent stress.
As the saying goes, Prevention is better than cure.
Engage yourself in any of these exercises and be a step ahead of the fight against stress.
Talking about Breathing may seem counterintuitive here as we do it “without” knowing or requiring any work just like blinking and digestion. These activities occur due to the autonomic nervous system.
Although some aspects of breathing can be regulated, resulting in how we feel either short of breath when tired or just simply taking a big sigh…haaaa!
The world we find ourselves in now is full of distractions. Oh, that’s the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, Jack Sparrow is a smart pirate…Oh, my! Just got distracted. Just like that, our mind is taken off of what we are doing and we harbor the new found attraction for a few minutes and then get back to the previous one.
Bringing your attention to breathing can change your mood, provide you energy, release stress and even relieve pain. All these distractions put a toll on the amount of oxygen we breathe in. We tend to take a short breath when anxious and stressed preventing us from breathing in a good amount of oxygen.
Taking deep breaths increases blood flow and proper respiratory function. When stressed, we are caught breathing from the chest and that makes us lose energy and burn out leaving us with headaches and pains.
Practice deep breaths for at least a minute. Breathe in and hold for 10 seconds and breath out all that you inhaled. Repeat this exercise for a minute and you will immediately feel the benefits.
I do this before bed when going to sleep and as a result, I get relaxed and calmer and have a clear mind that eases me right to sleep. Go ahead and try it and let us know all about it in the comments below.
Really? Screaming? How? I’m sure you are wondering why Screaming is in these activities. Before wonder of and start screaming at people, let me elaborate what I’m referring to.
There are 2 types of screaming. Anger Scream and Therapeutic Screaming. When you hold up all that impatience and anger from being annoyed by someone or something. You get frustrated and you are likely to go off when you reach the limit. You will scream at someone out of all that pent-up anger. People might say you need anger management but in reality, you are just done with all that annoyance and frustration.
Therapeutic Screaming, on the other hand, is where your screams are regulated and managed. You find an open space and just let it all out. All that anger, emotion, stress and frustration will need to be le out, so finding a proper place to verbally letting out your frustration is a great exercise.
Places like an open railroad, of course, make sure the train is gone and there are no passengers present or you might end up in the asylum. You can also do so in your car with all the windows rolled up in the parking lot. The easiest place to do is usually into your pillow at home.
Please do not scream at the workplace or in a restaurant or at any public place with people around. That looks scary! Unless you have a camera and making a YouTube video!
Try it and let me know how it turns up. I tend to scream in my pillow to see how soundproof it is just for fun but I never thought of it as a stress relief until I started researching this topic.
What is this? Crying, really, first screaming and now crying? Yes! Please don’t cry now but after this, it is okay to cry when you are done reading this. Get your tissues ready.
Crying is really known to have a great number of benefits. From cleaning the eyes, killing bacteria…oh yeah, improving vision, and to relieving stress. Tears contain an enzyme called lysozyme which can also be found in semen and milk and is known to kill about 95% of bacteria by destroying the cell walls of the bacteria.
For stress relief, we can all agree that when we hold up all the frustration and emotions, they become too much to handle and then all that is left for us to do sometimes is just crying it all out. Crying reliefs all the stuffed feelings leading us to stress and we become free even when we know the problem is still there. We cried so now we are free to solve the problem.
Once again, please do not cry out loud in the workplace, unless it is a day where crying is allowed. Find a safe and secure place to free yourself from the embarrassment that comes after people seeing you cry.
Sometimes crying also speaks more than words. For example when watching the Notebook, or when an animal dies in a movie or when you are surprised in a great way beyond your imagination and you have no idea what to say. Then it is okay to cry in front of people.
It is okay to cry sometimes. You may be strong but crying does not mean you are weak. It just proves that strong people like you are also human. Okay, you can cry now! Hope you have your tissues ready.
We all know that we get tired. Maybe you have a lot of responsibilities and you need to manage everyone and everything in your surroundings. You work too hard and for long hours and come home and have to take care of the household. You have a lot on your plate that is wearing you out.
Take a day off. Take some time off. Take a moment and catch your breath. You are not a machine programmed to work all day. Even machines get serviced every now and then. So why are you not servicing your body with the rest it needs?
All you are doing is stressing yourself and your loved ones out. Know that it is okay to take some time and get connected with the loved ones around you.
Take a vacation sometime and just relax and release all the stress and feel free.
Take a day out of the week and just relax and forget all about the things you have going on and feel free. You deserve it!
We made to the end together. Congratulations. Now you can battle or prevent stressing out with these exercises. And if you have an additional technique you want to add, please feel free to let us know all about in the comment. We talked about Breathing exercises, Meditation, Crying, Screaming, Resting and Exercising to help us relieve stress.
I hope you enjoyed the read and got a few tricks up your sleeve in the battle with stress. Thank you for your time and please feel free to let me know your opinion about this article as well.