Stress Relief Activities That Work
Let's face it, stress is a part of everyone's lives. Whether it is the stress of work life, stress of parenthood, or even stress from day to day regular activities - we've all got it, we are all learning how to deal with it, and we are all looking for solutions.
There are different triggers that can lead to stress, as well as different reactions when stressed out. Some of us get angry, while others simply shut down. There are even some people who get triggered by stress that they make themselves physically ill.
When stress is present, it can actually consume your body's ingredients like your vitamin B levels. Stress can lower the B Vitamin levels which will leave us feeling fatigued and depleted.
When you feel like you're going to succumb to stress, or maybe you're already there and that is why you went searching for this article, here is our recommendation for the best stress relief activities that everyone needs to do.
What are the Symptoms of Stress?
Stress will weigh on all parts of your life, including behaviors, emotions, thinking abilities, and even physical health.
People handle stress differently, and because of that, symptoms can vary.
Symptoms can be vague and even familiar to other medical conditions.
If you think you’re experiencing any symptoms of stress, speak to a doctor or your medical practitioner.
Emotional Symptoms of Stress:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, as if you are losing control or need to take control
- Having a hard time relaxing and quieting your mind
- Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), and feeling lonely, worthless, and depressed
- Avoiding others
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
- Frequent colds and infections
- Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ears, and cold or sweaty hands and feet
- Dry mouth and a hard time swallowing
- Clenched jaw and teeth grinding
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
- Constant worrying
- Racing thoughts
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
- Inability to focus
- Poor judgment
- Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
- Changes in appetite -- either not eating or eating too much
- Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
- More use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
- Having more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
Stress Relief Massage
Stress can hurt? Yep - a sudden onset or even prolonged periods of stress can cause pain and muscle tension. You may even get some tension headaches because of the muscle tension in the shoulders, neck, and head.
When stress levels are high, the body sends a signal to the nerves to go into "protection mode." Basically, our muscles tighten and increase tone when that happens.
Because of this muscle tightening, it can cause a build up of lactic acid in the muscles.
Getting a massage will not only provide emotion relief, but it can provide physical relief of stress as well.
Massage Therapy to Relieve Tired Eyes
Tired eyes happen from staring at our screens. This massage is perfect for anyone who looks at a computer, phone, or electronic device. It will bring circulation to the area and relief sinus pressure, eye strain, and headaches.
Close your eyes and place your thumbs under your eyebrows. Starting at the inside corner of each eye socket, press and gently move the thumbs in tiny circles, working slowly towards the outsides of your eyebrows and continuing this movement all around your eyes. End back at the bridge of your nose.
Repeat this several times. Spend a little extra time at the indentation of the inner eye socket, where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of the eyebrows - an especially tender point on many people.
Massage Therapy to Relieve Headaches and Ease Tension
Start by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears, and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure and rub the temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).
Using very firm pressure and a tiny circular motion, gradually move your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you inch along.
Massage Therapy to Relax Hands
Massaging the hands is great for the hands, but can also help relieve headaches too. The hands, like the feet, contain reflexology points that correspond to the entire body, including the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and sinuses.
Here are several moves that will relieve the strain from pounding the keyboard all day.
Stretch your hands and fingers out. Rub each finger from the base to the tip, gently pulling and twisting each finger as you go.
Next, rest your left hand, palm upward, on your lap. Squeeze the fleshy part of your palm between your right thumb and index finger, moving from your wrist to the base of your thumb.
Now squeeze that web between your left index finger and thumb several times, looking for any tender points.
Then rub the entire palm with your right thumb, applying firm pressure and using gliding strokes from the wrist to the base of each finger.
Repeat this process on your right hand.
Massage Therapy to Relieve Neck Tension
While you are sitting there at the computer, mold your hands over your shoulders. Exhale, letting your head drop back as you slowly squeeze your fingers towards your palms, gliding up the muscles of your back and shoulders towards your neck.
Now, rest your elbows on your desk, allowing your head to drop forward slightly. Massage your neck from your shoulders to the base of your skull using your fingertips to make small deep circles into the muscles on either side of your spine.
Place both hands on the back of your head, interlacing the fingers. Drop your head forward and allow the weight of your elbows to pull your head gently down, stretching the muscles of your neck and those that run down your back.
Stress Relief Yoga
Yoga is an insanely popular way to alleviate stress and get amazing exercise amongst all ages.
There are a lot of different types of yoga styles but most have the end game of syncing the mind and the body.
Breathwork and body awareness are the key ways it does this.
Some studies have examined yoga’s effect on mental health. Overall, it's been a huge win. Research has shown that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety (Source).
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
It may help lower cortisol levels, blood pressure and heart rate and increase gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that is lowered in mood disorders.
Stress Relief Breathing
Feeling a mild anxiety attack coming on? That's because your stress has activated your sympathetic nervous system which has signaled to your body to go into it's "fight or flight" mode.
While this is happening, stress hormones are sent out and you show physical signs of being stressed like quick breathing, faster heartbeat, and constricted blood vessels.
In these moments where triggers come quickly and tensions arise, try deep breathing exercises.
They can help to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and help engage your body's natural relaxation response.
Focus your awareness on your breath and really try to make them slower and deeper. Breath in through your nose.
Your heart rate will slow quickly and you'll feel at peace soon.
Stress Relief Exercise
Exercise can relieve mental stress. It's one of the most important things to do to get rid of stress.
Regular exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety as compared to people who don't (Source).
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
How it works? There's a few reasons:
- Sleep: Exercise has improve the quality of sleep. Sleep qualities can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety as mentioned above.
- Stress Hormones: Exercise can lower the body's cortisol - aka the stress hormone. It also releases :::cue jazz hands::: endorphins, which are natural mood boosters and pain killers.
- Mental Wellbeing: Confidence is a side effect of exercising regularly. It helps create competency and confidence within your own body.
Try walking, jogging, dancing, yoga, really anything that gets you up and moving!
Stress Relief for Students
Most students experience significant amounts of stress, and this stress can take a significant toll on health, happiness, and grades.
For example, a study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that teens report stress levels similar to that of adults.
Most colleges offer on-campus (and sometimes virtual) mental health services to students. You can usually find out more about a school's services by going online to its official website.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep has plenty of health benefits including reducing stress and improving your mood. What's more, students who sleep well are less likely to get sick, have better memory recall, and enjoy a clearer mind.
Eat nutritious foods and try to avoid eating on the go. That can cause indigestion.
In addition to keeping your body healthy, regular exercise releases endorphins and improves your overall cognitive abilities. Exercise can even help you fall asleep, thereby reducing stress. Keep in mind that exercise doesn't need to be strenuous — yoga, short walks, and stretching can all lead to immense mental health benefits and help relieve tension.
Drinking coffee and energy drinks to fuel your late-night study sessions will inevitably lead to a crash later on. These stimulants boost cortisol levels in the body, increasing the physical effects of stress.
Procrastination might feel good in the moment, but it often leads to stress. By managing your time wisely, you can avoid spending all night catching up on coursework. Additionally, habitual procrastination may be a sign of ADHD or anxiety.
Stress Relief at Work
While it may be common knowledge that work often causes stress, the ways to relieve that stress are less well known. Discover a few great ways to chill out here, as well as the importance of workplace stress management and practicing relaxation techniques.
Unwinding Techniques for Work
If you’re currently feeling stressed, anxious, or simply wish to feel a little calmer, carry on reading for plenty of ways you can unwind and relieve stress at work.
- Read a book for a few minutes.
- Make yourself a cup of tea.
- Focus on breathing.
- Run an errand away from your desk.
- Pour yourself a glass of water.
- Get off social media.
- Take a walk around the block.
- Listen to your favorite song.
- Meditate for a moment.
- Keep Stress Away at your desk.
- Practice desk yoga.
Stress Relief Supplements
Did you know that you could actually take all all-natural chill pill?
What I mean by this is, try this all natural supplement Stress Away. When the body undergoes physical or emotional stress, remember that those B-vitamins are depleted quickly.
Stress is a natural part of our lives, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you and affect your body’s wellness. Stress Away –Vitamin for Stress is a natural solution to the everyday stresses that can drain you of energy, overwork your immune system, and leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
It's blend of vitamin B for anxiety, vitamin C for stress, as well as a mix of essential vitamins and minerals make this supplement for anxiety and stress the perfect, all-natural way to help your body relieve.
Some supplements can interact with medications or have side effects, so you may want to consult with a doctor if you have a medical condition.
The Wrap Up
We're only human. Take stress and anxiety day by day. If these natural solutions don't work for you, speak to your doctor.
Do your best at reducing the stress you have in your life.
Focus on exercise, physical touch, music, and mindfulness and you'll notice improvement soon enough.