How do you feel at this very moment? Have you reached your limit? If so, you’re not alone. What’s happening in the world today is unprecedented and it’s causing a lot of worry, which is not good for your overall health. During this season, you must be good to yourself, which means taking care of your mind, body and spirit. This is precisely why it’s important to relieve stress and relax. Here’s how:
Laugh More Often
Mark Twain once said, “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” This is because laughter has the ability to disarm you and take your mind off of things for a period of time. Now is a good time to start laughing more often, especially since it can actually lower the cortisol levels in your body. It can also boost endorphins, which helps to improve your overall mood. Laughter is contagious, which means you can help someone else feel better. If you have a favorite comedian, now is the time to enjoy their talent.
Take Time to Meditate
Meditating is one of the best things you can do to relieve stress and it’s convenient because you don’t need any special equipment, just a quiet room. Meditating can actually change the neural pathways in your brain, which helps to mitigate stress. If you’ve never meditated before, don’t worry, it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
You can start meditating by sitting comfortably in a chair or on the floor. If you sit on the floor, be sure to use a cushion. Now close your eyes and breathe naturally. Focus on breathing and nothing else. If preferred, you can recite a mantra silently or out loud, such as “I am loved” or “I am at peace.” There are many ways to meditate and hundreds of free videos can be found online.
Get Your Body Moving
Even if you’re self-isolating, you should move your body. There’s a reason why some people are addicted to running and it’s often because of the “runner’s high.” The runner’s high is caused by a release of endorphins in the brain that make you feel good, while also decreasing stress. Fortunately, running isn’t the only type of movement that generates this feeling. You can also do yoga, push ups, jumping jacks, among other exercises that don’t require a lot of physical space. A few trips up and down a flight of stairs will also do the trick.
Listen to Upbeat Music
Music is something that everyone can use to relieve stress and feel more relaxed. In fact, it’s known to improve your heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. The great thing about technology these days is you can listen to just about any kind of music that you enjoy, from any location. You should try listening to sounds of nature, such as birds chirping, the wind or the ocean. When you want to lift your mood, it’s best to focus on music that’s upbeat. If you really want to feel good, start dancing and singing along with an upbeat song.
Reach Out to Others
We need each other. Even if you don’t mind being alone, there’s probably someone in your life that needs to hear from you. Relationships are important and talking to someone can actually help reduce stress. Sometimes hearing a different perspective can change how you feel about a situation. Similarly, you might be able to say something that encourages another person and helps to minimize their stress.
Focus on Gratitude
Why is there always so much talk about gratitude? It’s because taking time to give thanks for what you have, allows you to focus more on the good instead of the bad. This can reduce the amount of stress you feel, especially in light of current headlines. It’s important to spend a few minutes everyday thinking and talking about the things for which you’re thankful. It can be something simple, like having food to eat and a roof over your head. Perhaps you’re thankful for sunshine, being healthy or having someone to love. Either way, it’s good to reflect on why you’re thankful.
Sometimes stress is caused by trying to figure things out and overthinking the situation. While it’s important to be diligent and proactive in taking care of yourself and those around you, it’s also important to appreciate the moment. Although these are frightening times, don’t lose sight of what you have right now. You can make the most of these times by bringing light and love into your home. In addition to the tips provided, cooking a healthy meal or watching an uplifting movie together are great ways to enjoy time with loved ones.