Stress Relief Activities + Mental Techniques for Stress Release
Stress Relief Activities and Mental Techniques That Work
If you feel like your life has been the definition of stress lately, know that you are not alone. Stress is a serious factor in the U.S. that affects just about all of us in some way, at some point. Data from the American Institute of Stress cites the fear for our nation’s future as the single biggest cause of stress, followed by money, work, and political climate.
While most of us can’t alter the future of our nation in a significant way, there are several stress relief activities anyone can try at home to reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Table of Contents
1. Get moving.
Short bursts of movement and exercise are amazing if you are feeling jittery, or your heart is beating faster than normal. You can do 10 pushups, 20 jumping jacks or sit-ups, or run in place for a minute. No matter what you do, your heart rate will go up, activating good-mood hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
2 Use anti-stress devices.
Essential oils, massagers, fidget spinners, affirmation cards, or even photos of loved ones can help to find your center during stressful moments. Keep these items within arm’s reach, including when you’re on the go, to help you rebalance yourself and avoid hanging onto stress for longer than you need to.
3. Touch something.
Stepping out of your head and focusing on your senses is a powerful technique to relieve stress. Whether you sort your change jar, pop bubble wrap, or hug a plush toy, this stress relief activity will bring you back to the here and now.
4. Keep a journal.
Journaling is a powerful way to sort through your thoughts and move them from your mind to paper. Write down anything that’s causing you grief, – it’s a safer way to rant without offending anyone.You can also journal for gratitude, keeping a running list of things you’re grateful for or happy about. When you start feeling stressed, read your list to invite positivity back into your mind.
5. Give yourself a massage.
If you don’t have anyone around to release tension in your muscles, you can give yourself a massage. There are certain sensory receptors in our skin that send messages to our brain signalling that we can relax. Self-massage also makes you aware of where exactly in your body you are feeling tense, so you know to consciously relax these areas.
Put on your favorite playlist and get loose. Dancing to energetic music is not only a great exercise, but it also brings feelings of inspiration and engages the mind. Dancing can also bring up happy memories, taking your mind off your stress.
7. Give knitting a try.
If you like crafting, knitting may be exactly what you need whenever you feel overwhelmed. The repetitive action of clicking your needles can act calming and meditating.
8. Take a bath.
Spend some time sinking in a warm bubbly bath. By changing the temperature of your body, you slow down your senses, which acts as a reboot for an overprocessed computer.
9. Do some stretching.
You don’t need to be flexible to enjoy the benefits of stretching. Everybody knows about the role of yoga in stress reduction, so taking 10 minutes to do stretching and breathing exercises can feel incredibly soothing.
10. Keep your brain busy.
If you find yourself overthinking a situation, give yourself a specific task, such as solving a puzzle or organizing your shoes. If you give your mind a different task to focus on, you will instantly feel calmer.
11. Stress bake.
Baking can be a fun sensory experience that requires concentration, planning, and mindfulness. All of this makes baking a great activity for stress relief.
12. Have sex.
Sex is an amazing way to reduce stress and minimize stress hormones. It not only feels good but also helps you to release bodily tension and produce “happy hormones” dopamine and endorphins.
Giving your home a good wipe-down has multiple stress-relieving benefits. It is a project that requires some planning and keeps your hands and mind busy. It is also a form of physical activity and is likely to make you feel accomplished once you are done.
You don’t need to be good at art to just let your pen wander around the page or fill in an adult coloring book. Any activity that can get you out of your head will act as a stress reliever.
It may be difficult to focus on a book when you are stressed, but binging on an exciting TV series can act as a positive distraction. Whether you listen to a podcast or watch a kids’ series, it can help you step out of your life and place your attention elsewhere.
Outside of physical stress reduction activities and relaxation methods, you can engage in some mental stress relief techniques to look at your worries from a different angle.
Some things you can’t influence, no matter how hard you try. Identify these things, then turn your focus to yourself. Don’t allow yourself to stress over things you can’t control. Instead, start thinking about the things you can do to change your situation into a favorable one.
No one deserves to be treated poorly. You need to be your own advocate and stand up for yourself. This is an effective way to build confidence and allow you to take control of things that stress you.
For many, being assertive means learning to say “No” to people and projects that drain you. Learn to take back your time and avoid commitments without feeling guilty.
Stress has a tendency to just happen. It’s not something we want or plan, but it’s also not usually something we consciously try to avoid.
Try taking a proactive approach to banishing stress from your life. Identify what (or who) is stressing you, then set goals to distance yourself from these things (or people).
It’s Time to Tame Stress with Simple Stress Release Activities
If you find that your stress levels are getting out of control, don’t despair. While finding your best stress relief strategies may take some experimenting, one of these simple stress relief activities and mental techniques will surely bring you the peace of mind you deserve.