Whether you’re at work, in school or at home doing chores, the pressure of the stuff you need to get done can take its toll on you. Your body gets tired, your mind gets tired and you might even feel emotionally burned out. But what other choice do you have other than to trudge on because you need to get everything done?
What you actually need are just a couple of minutes off to give your body a chance to recover from the stressful activity you’re doing. There are tons of things you can do to de-stress, ranging from clearing your mind to eating something to moving around.
14 stress busters to clear and recharge your mind
Here are some surefire ways you can use to get back on track without stretching your limits.
#1 Have a bite of dark chocolate. Now don’t go digging into the pantry for a Snickers bar. It’s said that in order to get the full de-stressing benefits of chocolate, you need a cocoa content of at least 70%. But that’s still good news since you’ll have the deliciously rich taste of chocolate in your mouth, and you’ll also get a natural caffeine boost!
#2 Stretch your back. When you’re slumped in front of the computer all day, you may not be able to pay much attention to the way you’re sitting. This only adds more weight to your lower back, and this strain combined with a ton of work will definitely wear your down.
To avoid this, have an hourly stretch to get your spine back in alignment. With your feet flat on the floor, just raise your arms up and reach as far up as you can to help soothe your back and limbs.
#3 Listen to your favorite song. There’s always going to be that one happy song that gets you in a good mood. Have it handy on your phone and give it a listen when you feel like your mind’s starting to get tired.
Sing along to it while you’re having your coffee break, and who knows, your happy song might lighten up the entire office! If you don’t have a happy song, I’d suggest “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede or “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.
#4 Sniff some lavender. You may already know that lavender is known for its relaxing effect. By getting a whiff of this pleasantly clean scent, you can tell your mind to relax and just calm down for a bit. Most of the time, stress is brought about by thinking too much of what will happen if you don’t get everything done. Get rid of those thoughts and focus on your tasks by smelling something with a lavender scent.
#5 Defocus your eyes. Again, the computer is often to blame for this. Staring into a screen can take its toll on your eyes. You may not notice it, but that slight creeping ache behind your eyes can lead to long-term oculomotor problems. Plus, it can lead to a splitting headache when ignored for too long. The solution? Look far off into a neutral area like a wall or a simple painting and then just stare. You’ll notice your eyes defocusing, and this in turn can also help clear your mind.
#6 Cuddle with your furry pal. Pets really are natural stress relievers. Just looking at how carefree and adorable they are can be enough to make you forget your problems! When you’re feeling bogged down by work, spend some time with your pet and tell him/her about it. Your buddy may not have any idea what you’re talking about, but simply spending time with a loving creature can already help reduce stress.
#7 Nibble on some nuts. Nuts are naturally filled with magnesium, which helps lower stress hormone levels. A handful of nuts or even a small packet of trail mix should be able to do the trick. For some people, munching on something crunchy helps keep their mind off their stressors. So instead of grabbing a cholesterol-filled bag of chips, go for some wholesome nuts!
#8 Play a level on a casual game. Game designers are ingenious in that they are able to formulate casual games that are fairly easy to play, but challenging enough to keep you focused. You may already know about the Candy Crush craze, so you have some idea of how addictive games like this are. But of course, don’t get carried away with playing your game and limit yourself to just one level for destressing purposes.
#9 Call a friend. Talking to someone close can help keep negative emotions at bay. When you call your friend, don’t take it as an opportunity to vent out all your frustrations. Instead, have a casual conversation and catch up on what both of you have been up to.
Plan to meet up to give you something to look forward to. Sometimes, all we really need is a reminder that someone cares enough to talk to us when we’re feeling down.
#10 Have a laugh. Laughter truly is one of the best and most effective medicines out there. You may notice that hanging out with the office funny guy helps keep the morale up. If there’s no one around to share antics with, you can always count on the internet!
There are tons of funny videos on YouTube as well as some entertaining posts from all over the web. Sit back and have a few hearty laughs and you’ll find that you’ll feel more refreshed and productive afterwards.
#11 Retouch your makeup. For the ladies, putting on makeup can be a form of meditation. You have to concentrate to get the perfect flick on your eyeliner or the perfectly defined Cupid’s bow with your lipstick. As they say, looking good can help you start feeling good, so why not indulge in this little ritual during your lunch period?
#12 Write down what you’re feeling. Stress can be likened to steam that builds up in your body. Unless you give it an outlet, it will build up and make you explode. But not literally, of course! One of the most effective outlets is writing down exactly what you feel.
Keep a journal or a file on your computer that you can use to jot down what you’re thinking. It doesn’t have to be of Pulitzer Prize quality. It’s just a little activity to help get some of the steam off.
#13 Exercise. Endorphins are on the rise whenever you get your sweat on. A long day at work can make you feel like you don’t even have the energy to walk to the bus stop. But on the contrary, gradually getting into a post-work hours fitness regimen can help increase your long term energy levels, thus making you feel like you can accomplish anything! [Read: 25 inspirational tips to get motivated and start working out]
After you’ve sweated out all the stressors in your body, you can take a shower and have a really deep, rejuvenating sleep.
#14 Take deep lower belly breaths. Stress is often responsible for an increase in your heart rate. This may even be a precursor to a panic attack. To counter the physiological effect of being stressed out, a deep breath that starts from your lower belly can help slow down your heart rate.
Take a deep breath from your nose and hold it in for five seconds. Then slowly release your breath in five counts through your mouth. Make sure you relax your shoulders as you do this. Repeat this a couple of times whenever you feel like your heart’s beating a little too fast.
Whenever you feel low on energy or burned out because of all the stress and fatigue you’re experiencing, just use any of these 14 easy stress busters. You’ll feel better instantly, and feel a lot more positive too!
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