We all have moments of stress in our week when things don’t go to plan, we feel overwhelmed or for any number of other reasons. Even when the source of the stress might be ongoing there are a few easy ways to de-stress in the moment and today I wanted to share my top 7 with you. I’d love to hear your advice on easy ways to de-stress as well!
1. Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains the amino-acid theanine which is known to promote relaxation and counter the over-stimulation that can happen from caffeine, so it makes perfect sense that it can help with de-stressing too. So when you start to feel overwhelmed take a minute and brew yourself a delicious cup of green tea then slowly sip at it, it will leave you feeling soothed and relaxed, helping to wash away the stress that had been building.
2. Take Deep Breaths
This is an obvious one, but that doesn’t mean we always remember it! When you start to feel stressed stop and make sure you are taking long, deep breaths. When we get stressed we tend to take fast, shallow breaths which then reduces our oxygen levels and leaves us feeling even worse. Doing some breathing exercises not only helps boost your oxygen levels but convinces your body that you are in fact relaxed which in turn does actually relax you! You don’t need to do anything fancy, just breath in slowly, hold your breath then exhale slowly as well. I like to count to 8 for each of those steps, and I find focussing on the counting helps to de-stress me too! It’s simple, but it works.
3. Go For a Walk
Going for a walk can help clear our minds and increase endorphins, which in turn de-stresses us pretty effectively. If you can, try and take the walk outside to get some fresh air and get amongst nature, but even a walk around your office or home will help. This is particularly useful if the thing that is causing you stress is work-related, as it gives you the chance to step away from it and helps avoid causing further problems. Try and avoid taking your phone with you, it only needs to be a short walk so being away from technology for that time will make it doubly helpful.
4. Listen to Music
Certain types of music can be particularly soothing and relaxing, particularly anything with a slow tempo. It has been shown to also slow your heart-rate and breath, inducing a state of calm and decreasing the amount of stress hormones in your body. Classical music is excellent for this, but the key point is really to just choose music that makes you happy as it will have a flow-on effect on your state of mind if you’re listening to something you love!
Meditation has been shown to be excellent for de-stressing as it can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate and facilitate deeper breathing. Even doing it for a few minutes a day is an excellent starting point and there are lots of apps out there these days that offer great guided mediations. If that’s not your thing then it’s as simple as finding yourself a comfortable place to sit, relaxing your body and mind, closing your eyes and focusing inwards. Okay, so maybe it’s easier said than done, but even if you struggle with your mind wandering (I know I do a lot of the time) the process itself is still an effective de-stressing measure.
Unsurprisingly, having a laugh is an excellent way to de-stress! It releases built up tension, increases your oxygen intake, increases your endorphins and leaves you feeling so much happier. It doesn’t matter what it is that you use to make you laugh – a video, podcast, chat with a friend, whatever works for you – just have a good ol’ belly laugh and you’ll be much better for it!
7. Have a Bath
At the end of a long, stressful day and excellent way to unwind and relax is with a hot bath. It relaxes both your mind and your muscles, and if you combine it with some gorgeous candles and homemade bath salts or oat bags then you’ll be left feeling like you visited a fancy day-spa. Lavender scented products are your best bet for relaxation, so if you’re making your own bath products then keep a supply of lavender on hand for those times you need to de-stress!