10 Psychologist Approved Techniques To Release Stress
There is no running away from stress. However, what you can do is control how you handle it. These techniques will help you release some stress and help you feel better.
With the fast-paced life majoirty of us live, it's easy for our stress to build up and overwhelm us. Whether it's us trying to meet deadlines, study more, take care of our family, finances, keeping up with our resolutions, the list of what can stress us out is endless.
Imagine any type of stress you have as a building block. The more you stack one on top of the other, the higher it gets. However, as humans, we can only endure so much before we break down. Once our stress tower is super high, the crash will be much harder. That is why trying these simple techniques will help release some stress, and it is a form of self-care.
1. Pause And Breath
When you start to feel yourself getting overwhelmed, and your stress is piling up, immediately make it a point to pause and breathe. It sounds so simple and silly. However, this easy calming technique will instantly relax you and clear your mind.
Our body gives us signs when we're too stressed. We begin to forget things, make silly mistakes, feel fatigued, get cranky, etc. It is essential to take a few seconds or take a bathroom break for a few minutes. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out five times.
This technique will relax your body, clear your mind, and you will feel a bit stress-free to carry on with your day. Pausing and just doing a breathing exersise is the quickest way to calm yourself and temportarily deal with any stress you may be having.
2. Make A List
Another easy and quick tip to release the stress that is easily looked over is making a list. List down all the things that may be stressing you out, big or small. Next, look over the list and add any little ways to fix each situation or do for each situation that is causing you stress.
Visually seeing your list of stress triggers and how to handle the situation can calm you down. You won't feel as overwhelemed just running the list through your mind over and over again. Also, seeing the list in front of you may make you realize that the list is much smaller than you kept thinking.
With this list, you can also write down things you are happy about, what is working out in your life, and not stressing you out. Visualizing this 'gratitude' list can also help you feel calmer because you will bring to light the positives.
3. Meditate Or Workout
Self-care is so essential for your mental and physical wellbeing. Taking the time for yourself to clear your mind and meditate or workout can help release some stress. It can also help you feel happier, healthier, and more productive.
You can sign up for some workout classes or yoga classes at a gym, which may be the extra push you need to make time for yourself. You could also check out online courses and do it from the comfort of your own home.
Allocating a time just to meditate or workout won't be easy, especially if you're a busy person; however, once you stay committed and make it a part of your routine, whether it’s for 15 minutes or 1 hour, you will feel the difference.
4. Surround Yourself With Support
It is vital to reach out for support to help release stress. Whether it's from friends, family, or even professional help in the form of therapy.
Talking and asking for help or advice can be challenging, especially if you're an independent person. But just like meditating or working out, you need to stay committed, especially with therapy.
Therapy can help you work through past traumas that can be causing more stress. It can also help with current issues that may not be falling into place, causing more stress. Asking your friends or family to help with something in your life that's overwhelming and stressing you out can also be very helpful, and it's okay to ask.
We so quickly tend to forget who we are when we're in a life rat race. All our extra passions get pushed to the side as we try to meet deadlines, study more, carpool, and do chores.
This is another form of self-care and something we should not feel guilty about taking the time to do. Reigniting an old passion or hobby we had and allocating time to do that even for 15 minutes once a week can release our stress.
Paint, go horse riding, bake, dance, whatever your hobby was, start it up again, and bring some fun back into our life. It will help you forget your problems and help release your stress so that you can bring your A-game to the rest of your responsibilities.
6. Unplug - No Screen Time
Can you do it? Can you switch off your phone for an hour, few hours, few days? It sounds weird, but unplugging and stepping away from all screens can help calm your mind and release some stress.
What was life before we had phones and laptops? Well, bringing that back for a few hours may be the jump start your mind needs as you destress, and no, it doesn't count when you go to sleep.
Switching off entirely and working out, meditating, hiking, going fishing, or even regular errands without a screen infront of you can calm you down. Switching off from social media and constant light in our faces can be just what we need. The more time you take off from your screens, the more at peace you will feel.
7. Are you sleeping enough?
I don't know about you, but it's insomina central for me at night when I’m stressed. I struggle with sleep a lot when I'm stressed and feeling overwhelemed. This leads me to feel worse the next day because I feel so drained, on top of feeling stressed.
Sleep is incredibly important; getting into bed, staring into darkness - switch off your phone and tv - and just feeling your body and mind relax and you doze off is important for both your physical and mental wellbeing.
If you find you're going through a stressful moment, it may take you a while for your brain to switch off, so try your best to get to bed a bit earlier. This will help you feel more at ease the next day and less stressed.
8. Healthy Foods
Zainab Dokrat (Spicy Fusion Kitchen)
I don't know if you can relate to this as well, but who also is a stress eater, because I know I am. When I'm stressing out about exams or deadlines, I like to snack, and I usually snack on very unhealthy foods.
Eating healthy, getting the right nutrients into your body, and not overindulging in unhealthy foods all the time can help release stress, making you feel better. Fatty, sodium-filled, and overly sugary foods can cause us to feel lethargic after eating them. This can make us feel worse and won't help our stress levels.
If we eat healthily and drink a lot of water, our body inwards will feel good. Eating healthy is known to help regulate your mood, which can lead to a decrease in stress. Especially if you're stressing about wanting to live a healthy lifestyle or have weight goals you would like to maintain.
Your mindset plays an important role when it comes to every part of your life. Thinking positive, self-talking, motivating yourself, letting go of things you cannot change, and actively trying to release your stress is very important mentally.
All these tips won't help if you don't want to release your stress and don't mentally try. Stress is a collection of overwhelming feelings we may have for anything and everything. The fear that we won't get something done in time, the anxiety we will make a mistake, and the fear of the unknown.
Trying our best to be positive and talk ourselves out of feeling stressed is very hard but very important. The more stressful energy you put out, the more stressed you will feel. Letting go of the stress is never easy. Once you're aware of how you feel, you can mentally talk to yourself to let a lot of what you cannot control go.
10. Social Life
One of the best ways to release stress is to have fun and maintain a healthy social life. Life get's so busy Monday to Friday that you need to make use of the weekend and have some fun.
Getting dressed up, going out, meeting up with friends, going for dinner, or the movies is just what you need sometimes. We tend to feel more stressed when we fall into a routine of work or studies, and we don't have fun or any social life.
Once your social battery is full and you have fun, you will feel less stressed and more productive. This is also a great way to get away from your daily responsibilites, have a lot of laughs, and just make the most of your days off.