Stress is a common emotion. The majority of us experience it at some point or another. From an evolutionary perspective, stress is actually really useful. It helps to alert us to potentially dangerous situations and can trigger our fight or flight response. But at the same time, many of us now experience stress without a justified cause. So, it’s important to acknowledge experiences of stress and to tackle them. Of course, if your stress feels unbearable, and seems to be set off without any logical cause, you may need to reach out to a doctor who could diagnose underlying mental health conditions, such as anxiety. They will then be able to guide you on a journey that helps to treat your condition – perhaps with medication, therapy or a combination of the two – and will help to ease your symptoms and provide you with a better quality of life. If you are battling depression, then it’s best to consult a doctor to get started with a treatment like TMS. But if your stress is low-level and simply situational or circumstantial, you may want to try out some of the following stress-busting activities!
Try Practicing Mindfulness
By now, the vast majority of us are familiar with mindfulness. It’s by no means a new practice (it has been around for centuries), but the past few years have seen it gain extreme popularity in the Western world, so you may know others who practice mindfulness, you may have read about it, or you may have even given it a try yourself. If you haven’t tried mindfulness yet, now is a good time to get started. Put simply, mindfulness is a practice that focuses on being aware of everything that’s going on around you, but allowing you to let it pass without judgement. This helps you to simply observe the world at peace. It can be great for your mindset and can help to alleviate feelings of stress. To get started, you don’t really need anything in particular. Just a comfortable place to sit without distraction. There are plenty of online tutorials and apps out there. These will help to teach you the basics and can guide you through the journey until you’re comfortable practicing mindfulness independently.
Engage With Arts and Crafts
Some arts and crafts projects are consuming and all-encompassing and can help you to take your mind off things. Some arts and crafts projects help you to relax and are something simple that you can do while you watch TV or simply look out of the window. Which you opt for is entirely up to you, but both can offer comfort during stressful times. There are so many options that you may need to go through a little process of trial and error until you find what’s right for you. But some popular options include knitting, macrame, collage, kits from vizuarts.com, water colours, oil painting and more.
Exercise may not be the first thing on your mind when you’re feeling stressed. But various studies have found that exercise can actually be effective in alleviating feelings of stress and managing stress. When you exercise, your body reduces production of the stress hormone cortisol. It is also more likely to release feel good hormones and chemicals, such as serotonin, helping to lift your mood. There are plenty of types of exercise out there, so find the best for you. Some people enjoy going for a jog or a run out in the fresh air. Some people prefer calming forms of exercise, such as yoga. Some feel released with dance. Experiment with different options until you find something that suits you. It’ll also help to keep you physically healthy, so it’s a win-win option all round!
Take a Bath
Most people find taking a warm bath relaxing. You can add different products to make the bath smell nice and then you can sink in, soak and relax. This is a simple pleasure, as long as you have a bathtub, and can really help to ease you up.
It’s important to keep an eye on your mental health, so always note experiences of stress and see if you can find a cause and a healthy way to deal with things. You’re never alone and there’s plenty of support out there – from medical support to family and friends, helplines, support groups and more. These are just a few calming ventures that can get the ball rolling and actively reduce your stress levels. Try them out and see if they work for you!