You often feel tense, tired or under pressure.
Am I right?
Maybe there are just so many things that you want to do…
So you work yourself to the bone.
Or maybe you work so hard to be a good parent or a good friend, and so you put a lot of pressure on yourself.
There’s no denying it…
Life is stressful for all of us, and chaotic and even confusing.
But…here’s the good news!
Finding some ‘Zen’ in the midst of all the craziness is not as hard as it seems…if you know where to look.
Because I want to help you feel more relaxed, happy, healthy and energized, I’m going to share with you 31 little known ways to beat stress that really work!
Hopefully you’ll get some great new ideas that you haven’t tried before.
So here you go…
1. Do some laughing therapy – Yup! Laughing therapy is a real thing! That’s because laughing has such a powerful effect. Not only does it lighten our load mentally, it also releases endorphins in your body, making you feel happier.
It’s as simple as getting together with a small group of friends, and intentionally laughing out loud. Within seconds, the sounds of laughing around you will trigger a genuine laugh…and usually leads to you laughing hysterically! For an excellent example of laughing therapy, check out this hilarious video.
2. Talk less, listen more – When we talk, talk, talk, it’s easy to focus and dwell on our problems…plus it actually takes up a lot of energy! Simply listening to others helps us to take a step back, relax, reflect and gain new perspectives. It also helps us to be more mindful and knowledgeable.
3. Play with children and pets – Studies show that people who play with children and pets are significantly less stressed.
4. Burn incense, light candles and listen to Chinese massage music – This is my absolute favourite way to relax. Within seconds, you can create the most relaxing environment you can imagine. If you don’t believe me…try it! I’m pretty sure I’m going to get you hooked. To get you started, here’s an example of some extremely relaxing Chinese music.
5. Affirm yourself – Tell yourself that you are worth it, capable, important, valuable, beautiful, handsome, creative and smart. Often we feel stressed because we don’t feel like we are good enough, and as a result we push ourselves too far and try to prove ourselves to everyone (including ourselves).
6. Dress comfortably – Too often we put beauty before comfort. But there really is nothing like going about your day in some cosy tracky pants and a loose, comfy t.shirt.
7. Enjoy a tasty snack (slowly!) – Do you rush through your meals like a seagull? If so, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the pleasure of food. There are many moments that we need to rush, and eating should not be one of them.
If you’re rushing through your meals, then you know that you are pushing yourself that little bit too far.
8. Release more oxytocin – Oxytocin, also known as the cuddle hormone, helps to reduce the stress response in your body. It calms the blood vessels and restores your heart and is released through positive social interaction and caring for others.
So my advice is, cuddle or hug more! As often as you can. Read this article to learn about the real power of hugging, and how it will make you happier and healthier.
9. Stop over analysing – By over thinking things constantly, you’re putting your mind in overdrive. We make life more complicated than it needs to be. Let loose a little and give up the need to always feel in control.
10. Put that cup of coffee down! – I know this is a hard one for many of you, but did you know that caffeine literally puts your body in a state of stress?
11. Juggle! – Juggling is a surprisingly amazing stress reliever. When juggling, it’s almost impossible to think about anything else. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and is really not as hard as it looks. Trust me, if I can juggle then you can too. Here’s a quick 2 minute video of how to juggle!
12. Get a Hammock in your garden – We all need that one place where we can go to be alone and zone out from everything…you know…just relax. Well, try making that place a hammock in your back yard. Hammocks are super comfy and you can even pull them closed to be in your own little cocoon.
13. Consume more essential fatty acids and vitamin B and C – Essential fatty acids help your body deal with stress by producing certain hormones. Vitamin B supports the stress response and vitamin C feeds the adrenal tissues in your body (which gets damaged through stress).
For some great examples of foods that contain the above vitamins and nutrients, click on the links above.
14. Use visualization – Imagine things in your mind that make you feel happy and positive. Think about how they feel, smell, sound, look and taste. For an easy guide on how to practice visualization, check out this quick video.
15. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of nature – Most of us live such busy, chaotic lives and we lose touch of ourselves. Listening to the birds, ocean, rattling of trees and the wind swirling is a great way to reconnect, meditate and totally relax your mind.
16. Think positive thoughts – Our thoughts directly impact the way we feel. Choose to focus on the positives rather than dwelling on the ‘what if’s’ and worst case scenarios. When negative thoughts come into your mind, try to shift your mind immediately to something else. And try to find the positive in everyday situations – try to see the cup half full instead of half empty.
17. Alter your environment – Change the furniture around in your house or re-organize your bedroom for example. This will give you a ‘fresh’ feeling and maybe even a little excitement too. Feeling positive and excited often distracts us and makes us care less about our problems.
18. Celebrate your challenges – Celebrate your challenges because they make you stronger, more capable, wiser, more resilient and more confident. Appreciating your stressful circumstances will give you more peace of mind, rather than feeling like your whole world has turned upside down.
19. Eat less sugar and fatty foods – Sugar and fatty foods can stimulate high levels of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ in your bloodstream.
20. Read a self-improvement blog – Get some clarity and advice for the stressful challenges you are experiencing. Self-improvement blogs have loads of free advice and also often have personal, easy to relate to stories which can be quite comforting to read. Besides us, here’s a list of 20 great Self Improvement Blogs.
21. Participate in a forum – Here you can find like-minded people who experience similar challenges to you. In a forum, you can ask your questions, tell your story and gain support from others.
22. Walk with nature – When surrounded by nature, we are able to feel so peaceful and calm. There are no distractions, no people and no chaos, just you, your thoughts and a beautiful environment.
23. Get out the bubble wrap and start popping! – Seriously, this isn’t a joke. Popping bubble wrap really works. Sometimes, all it takes is doing something incredibly simple like ‘popping bubbles’ to free our minds from all the business and chaos.
24. Take a 2 minute vacation (in your head) – For 2 minutes, step away from whatever you are doing and imagine your favourite place. If you’re stuck for time, sometimes a simple 2 minute break from your chaotic life will do the job.
25. Say a prayer – Whether you are religious or not, saying a prayer can help you to voice your thoughts, feelings and desires and provide clarity.
26. Don’t check your email!! – If you check your emails constantly, it’s probably one of the reasons your mind is going crazy. Just remember…checking your emails 50 times a day won’t make you any more productive.
27. Celebrate small wins – The truth is, we have so many small wins everyday but we often overlook them. We’re usually too busy impatiently waiting for something bigger and better to come along. Appreciate all the little things each day – because one day you’ll look back and realize that they were the BIG things!
28. Put things into perspective – Is it really as bad as it seems? Are other people worse off than you? Really try to put things into perspective and appreciate your life as it is. Perhaps you will be able to relax by realizing that many of your problems are only superficial.
29. Write a poem – Sometimes the best way to de-stress in to just completely ‘zone out’. Writing a poem is a really effective way to do that. You become so focused on the task that there’s no room to think about ‘this’ or ‘that’, or whatever problems you may have. Here’s a list of 18 other things that can help you to zone out and also express yourself.
30. Put up a bird feeder in your garden and watch the birds – Sometimes just paying attention to small, cute or beautiful things around us is the perfect remedy for our complicated and stressful lives.
31. Buy someone a gift – Showing love and care will release oxytocin (AKA the cuddle hormone) and will make you feel great inside. Receiving gifts is actually one of the 5 Love Languages! So it’s no wonder why it has such a big impact on how we feel.
If you haven’t heard of the 5 Love Languages before, make sure you check out the link above.
Well, there you go…31 little known ways to relax and beat stress.
The truth is, we all get caught up in life’s giant web of chaos.
We work so hard trying to make ends meet. We work so hard trying to bring about new opportunities in our life. And we work so hard trying to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
But even still…it doesn’t mean that you have to feel like you’re going to explode every day!
You deserve to feel peaceful, happy, healthy and relaxed…you deserve to enjoy life.
So, I challenge you…now that you have a huge list of new ways to relax, put them into practice!
From today onward, make an effort to do things every day that give you a sense of ‘Zen’ in the midst of your crazy and intense life.