Annually, the day after Tax Day (April 16) is Stress Awareness Day.
Stress can be caused in many different ways, and it can be physical, emotional, and/or mental, and fortunately, there are ways to help you destress.
If you’re looking for (new) ways to destress, maybe try these:
1. Go for a walk.
Among its many benefits, some of which you can find here, when you walk in fresh air, it can be really calming and can feel really pleasant. You may find this to be especially true if you walk in places like parks or other places with greenery.
2. Find something that makes you laugh.
Whether it’s your favorite TV show, a book, or a friend (if they’re available), laughing can be a great way to de-stress. As mentioned in Harvard Medical School’s online post1, “laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones”.
If you find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, imagine what makes you happy, whether it’s a person, place, thing, or situation. It could be someone you enjoy spending time with, your ideal vacation spot, your favorite place in your house, a time you received a compliment, or someone appreciating you and your work / effort after you’ve completed a goal. It could be something that happened or something that you hope will happen.
A practice of breathing and mindfulness while sitting quietly can really help you reduce stress. You can use resources like 5 Minute Meditation, guide yourself, or find resources to help you. You can meditate alone or in the company of others and can meditate for as long as you need to.
5. Forget your phone for a while.
Unless you are traveling or have another reason that requires you to have your phone on you, go someplace without your phone. If you have a locker in school, leave your phone in your locker. If you can go to class and leave your phone in your dorm room, then leave your phone there. If only one person in the group has a phone on them, then consider leaving yours behind. You don’t always need your phone, and you and the people next to you don’t have to all be on the phone simultaneously anyways.
You may find that you will get less distracted from the next email, phone call, text, or notification you get. It can help you reduce the urge to pick it up and check it every two to five minutes.
6. Practice gratitude.
You may find your happiness increasing when you express your gratitude. Not only do you make someone else feel better, but you also help yourself feel better in the process, and more happiness = less stress!
What can you be grateful for? Here are some ideas!
What do you do to de-stress?
Cover Photo: Photo by Sharon Wright on Unsplash