Stress causes a physiological reaction similar to what would happen if we were under attack. Our blood pressure increases, our heart rate becomes more rapid and our focus narrows. The body is concentrating on survival. Fight or flight.
In practical terms, this stress reaction limits your options. It is hard to think of healthy activities to become less overwhelmed when you are overwhelmed. A good old catch 22. Hence, most people end-up on the couch zoned to TV so that they don’t have to think about how stressed they are.
Unfortunately, an evening of TV rarely makes you feel rejuvenated and empowered to tackle life’s challenges. It typically drains you even more.
With this in mind, I’ve done some brainstorming. Here are 25 healthy, revitalizing ways to relieve stress.
- Take a walk.
- Get a massage.
- Sing out loud to your favorite song.
- Read an inspirational book.
- Talk to a friend or loved one.
- Take a kick boxing class.
- Paint or draw.
- Plant a garden or tend to one you have.
- Try alternative therapies like reiki or acupuncture.
- Cuddle with your pet. (One of my favs.)
- Make a list of what is in your control.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Play a board game with your friends or family.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Write a letter to someone you love.
- Take a hot bubble bath.
- Read the funnies.
- Vent into a diary.
- Ask for what you need.
- Deep clean.
- Let yourself cry.
- Listen to a nature CD.
- Go bird watching.
- Practice yoga.
- Join a support group.
- Bake something yummy.
- Play a favorite sport: golf, tennis, …
- Take a nap.
- Make a list of what you are grateful for.
Most importantly, however you choose to relieve stress, it should increase your energy, expand your perspective and rejuvenate your resolve.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress?