Stress is unavoidable, it seems. Although we are all used to hearing that stress is a killer which can take years off your life, it is more accurate to say that unmanaged stress is the real problem. If you are feeling more and more like stress has the better of you, try some of these stress-busting activities that can help you to manage the stress that life inevitably brings.
Active Meditation – For many people, the idea of meditation conjures images of sitting cross-legged with incense and chanting in the background. Indeed, this traditional approach to the ages-old practice of meditation is very effective for many people as a way to manage stress, but it is not for everyone. Instead, consider practicing an “active mediation.” This may be a repetitive but essentially mindless activity which occupies and focuses your mind while not requiring your active attention. For folks like John Kleinheinz Fort Worth, fishing is an effective form of active meditation. The recent craze in adult coloring books partly related to the stress-busting effect of almost mindless coloring is another form of active meditation.
Breathing Exercises – Deep breathing exercises are another common way to relieve stress. In some ways, they operate like an active meditation. Many people find that when they become focused on their breath and on control its depth and pace, anxiety falls away because there is no room in your mind for worry. Additionally, deep breathing can increase oxygen levels in the blood and brain and can contribute to a general feeling of well-being.
Exercise – When you hear people talk about being “in the zone” when they are exercising, this too is quite similar to engaging in an active mediation. The repetitive actions of running, climbing, walking or any other activity can help to relieve anxiety simply by keeping the mind busy in the background. And as is clearly demonstrated by research, physical activity leads to the release of endorphins which result in the famous “runner’s high” – a feeling of exhilaration and physical well-being.
Laugh – Like exercise, laughing can produce endorphins that will make you feel happier. Studies confirm that a good belly laugh is good for mental well-being – and the existence of “laughing clubs” (where people get together for the sole purpose of laughing) shows this knowledge is spreading. Added to this is that laughter is a social process, and laughing with other people is a great way to feel connected to the world around you. In addition to contributing to mental health, this “we-feeling” goes a long way towards reducing stress.
Listen to music – Another well-documented way to bust stress is by listing to your favorite music and maybe even singing along. Music therapy has been used to lower blood pressure, relax the body, and calm raging emotions.
These are just some of the many ways that you can learn to manage the stress in your life.