In considering what to do to beat stress, you must consider how bad stress is for your health. Yes, a little stress is normal and may actually be a kick in the ass to get you motivated. However, too much can be harmful to every part of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Your heart, digestion, cognitive ability, sex drive, career, and your relationships are all at risk with every bout of overwhelming pressure you allow. These 6 powerful stress busters of course aren’t the only ways to curb it but will certainly get you started!
Powerful Stress Busters #1: Wander Outdoors
Spending time in green spaces has been shown to help reduce stress in a big way. Humans have a connection to nature that needs to be fulfilled on a regular basis. I understand that some women may not enjoy camping and long periods of time outdoors. That said, there are plenty of ways to get into nature that aren’t as invasive. I enjoy simply sitting out with my feet in the grass while I drink my coffee in the morning.
Truthfully, our bodies, minds, and spirits crave to be among the energy of the planet. The trees, birds, air, water, and all things nature are a part of us. A good old-fashioned wander in the forest can be life-changing if stress has taken over. There’s actually a name for this in Japan. It’s called shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing”. If you are sensitive to the sun, insects, allergens, or other things, make sure to protect yourself. You can also limit your time in these places to shorter periods.
Powerful Stress Busters #2: The Siesta
The word Siesta is Spanish for “afternoon nap”. You may wonder where this practice came from. Historically, the siesta has been common in the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. However, the practice has spread to other parts of the world. Naps are usually something that people partake in because they’re not getting enough sleep. Some evidence shows that siestas are a very “Spanish” thing because Spain gets so little sleep compared to the world average. This is said to be because of Spain’s timezone.
Regardless of where you live, a fifteen or twenty minute nap in the afternoon has been shown to help boost cognitive skills as well as reduce stress. I know I feel refreshed and more alert after a short snooze.
Powerful Stress Busters #3 Quit Smoking
For those who do smoke, curbing stress may be harder than for non-smokers. Interestingly, smokers believe that smoking is relaxing, but it actually affects the body in the opposite way. Though a nicotine rush can temporarily create a sense of peace, it stimulates your body systems. Nicotine, after all, is a stimulant, or an “upper”, as opposed to a relaxant (a “downer”).
Of course, quitting smoking isn’t easy and can even create stress. This is why you need to be strategic about your approach; cut down gradually, or consider an alternative like vaping or E-cigarettes. Vaping starter kits can help you make the transition and eventually lower nicotine intact over a period of time.
Powerful Stress Busters #4: Color
Adult coloring books have hit the market hard over the past couple of years and for a good reason. Many creative people have found the relaxing time spent coloring a huge benefit. It’s actually not something new, art has offered safe spaces for hypersensitive and troubled people for a long time. The key is to allow yourself downtime and the freedom to explore creativity away from a “work” or “have to” situation. There are loads of great books out there for adult coloring, and even a bunch of free online options if you want to color digitally or simply print them off.
Powerful Stress Busters #5 Drink Less Caffeine
I can almost hear some of your Darth Vader-esque “NOOOOOO”s from here. It’s not exactly the most fun thing to hear if you’re a fan of coffee , soda, or tea. Rest assured you’re not reading the words of an adversary of coffee; quite the contrary. But the unpleasant truth is that too much caffeine hypes up your system, which contributes to stress and anxiety. All that caffeine coursing through your system increases your heart rate and can also derail your concentration and interfere with sleep.
I’m not suggesting that you have to quit it altogether, just think about cutting down a bit. Think about how you might replace a cup or two with something good for you. Nutritious smoothies are better for relaxation and give you loads of antioxidants and vitamins you need.
Powerful Stress Busters #6: Read
It’s unfortunate that even those who do enjoy reading often find themselves struggling to make time for it. Studies have shown that reading reduces stress faster and to stronger degrees than other forms of entertainment. One reason that a lot of people don’t read is that leisure time is allotted to movies, TV, or video games. This is the society we live in.
Reading fiction is probably the obvious contender for the most relaxing form of reading, as non-fiction can get your cognitive gears going into overdrive much faster. That said, non-fiction can often be life-changing and create change in your life that helps you to overcome harmful choices and activities.