Stress is a natural part of life that you can’t always avoid. So, while you can’t prevent stress from happening, you can learn how to manage it in a healthy way. Don’t let stress harm your well-being, and don’t try to deal with it by forming unhealthy habits. Use these 10 simple ways to manage stress in a healthy, effective way:
1. Go to your happy place.
You can go on a short trip in your head to relax. Go to your happy place and imagine the details. Maybe you are relaxing on the beach and feeling the hot sand between your fingers while enjoying the sound of the waves hitting the shore. Guided imagery can be about listening to a recording where someone guides you through a relaxing, peaceful scene, but you can also do it on your own. Just close your eyes and imagine your happy place. Help yourself feel like you’re actually there by imagining everything that your senses would experience if you were really there.
2. Meditate or do yoga.
Meditation is one of the simple ways to manage stress because it makes you focus on the present. So, you can’t worry about the past or the future. There are a lot of different ways to meditate so find the one that works best for you. You could repeat a mantra or listen to a guided meditation. The important thing is that you focus on your breathing and being present in the moment. You can also do this while you practice yoga. It combines meditation with light exercise, so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
3. Relax your muscles.
You can also try progressive muscle relaxation. Take a few deep breaths and start tightening and relaxing your muscle groups, one by one. Start with your forehead and end with your toes. This should make your entire body relax so you won’t be stressed out anymore.
Don’t underestimate the power of breathing techniques. They take just a few minutes and calm you down. The best part is that you can do them anytime anywhere because no one will notice it. Just breathe in and out a couple of times and feel the air spread through your body.
5. Go for a walk or exercise.
Exercise is a very effective way to get stress relief. Simply going for a walk puts you into a different surroundings which can significantly help. Physical activity is the best way to fight stress and helps you in more ways than one. Join the gym, go on regular walks, take dancing classes and exercise outside. The more you move your body the less likely it will be that stress will take over it.
6. Practice your hobby.
What do you genuinely enjoy doing? Maybe you like knitting, reading, bowling, or painting. Whatever it is that brings you joy, use it as a stress reliever. If you don’t have a hobby, find one, and make sure that you find the time for it too. Don’t be afraid of trying new things to discover what you enjoy the most.
7. Create art.
You don’t have to be an artist to get creative. Feel like a kid again and create artwork even if you’re not that great at painting or drawing. You’re doing this for yourself and no one is going to grade or judge your work, so take a shot at it. If you really don’t want to paint or draw, at least try an adult coloring book to relax.
8. Use aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is also one of the simple ways to manage stress. It can help you focus on the present and feel more relaxed and energized. Depending on what you like, you can use diffusers, candles, or body products. When you’re feeling stressed out, consider drawing a bubble bath, lighting some candles around it, and using your favorite body products. You’ll feel better in no time.
9. Engage in positive self-talk.
How you talk to yourself has a huge impact on how you feel. Being overly critical of yourself, having self-doubt, and thinking about catastrophic predictions are just going to make you stress out over things that you don’t even have to think about. Don’t stress yourself out. Engage in positive self-talk instead. When you’re having a conversation with yourself, make sure that it’s compassionate and optimistic.
10. Practice gratitude.
What are you thankful for? Practicing gratitude is a great way to remember all the things that you have. These are your resources for managing stress, so think about them, and be thankful for them to combat stress.