Stress is a sensation that can soak into your body and impact your physical and mental wellbeing. We often try to adjust to day-to-day that moves at a continually quicker pace while taking on life's daily problems. When you are not allowing yourself to release this stress, it can build up over time and take a serious toll on your wellbeing. The below activities help alleviate stress through connecting with the outside world and taking the focus off of your internal dialogue.
These activities are meant to help you feel and experience the world rather than mentally process everything.
Whether planting a single pot or building a raised garden bed, the opportunity to grow and harvest new life is incredibly fulfilling. Often when we are stressed, we lack a feeling of accomplishment. We see tasks piling up and not enough time to complete them. Growing plants is a soothing activity that takes us away from our typical day to day and gives us the chance to focus on something a little more slow-paced. Additionally, getting your hands into soil gives you the chance to connect with your earth and ground you.
When was the last time you engaged your body with a good stretch? The majority of us sit behind a desk at work, workout when we can, and don't give our bodies the attention they need. We use medicine for our back pain and our stiff neck, but skip over five minutes it could take to do stretches that alleviate this pain. Pain in the body will always impact mental peace. Start with one to two times a day and expand upon it as you make it a routine.
You do not have to be good at art to benefit from the process of creating. Getting paint onto a canvas or sculpting something out of clay is about the process. Engaging your hands and letting your mind go free. You may not be the next Picasso, and that's ok, the point here is to put your focus somewhere completely different from your day-to-day. Find your creativity and let yourself do something for enjoyment rather than the result.
As the adage goes, "laughter is the best medicine." Whether it be escaping into a comedy special, a youtube video, or a funny book, being able to step away from your stress and engage humor can be incredibly therapeutic. It acts as a little reminder to not take yourself or life too seriously. Some of the physical benefits of laughter range from an increase in oxygen intake, increased levels of endorphins, lowering your blood pressure, and muscle relaxation. While it may seem like an obvious solution to stress, I find that we, as busy humans do not always take the time to prioritize laughter when it could be a great solution.
Many of us had a physical education class in school, but once we moved on into the working world abandoned sports for working out in the gym. The sense of play is often lost when working out in a gym. It is essential to have fun no matter what your age. Instead of hitting the gym, consider shooting hoops, a round of tennis, archery, rollerblading, or whatever sport that gives you a sense of fun. Exercise is a known way to reduce stress, but why not have a good time while you are doing it?
Stress is not good for any of us to hold onto for our physical and mental health. We all want to live happy lives, and part of this is finding the activities that help reduce our stress levels.
Do you have a different activity that works for you? Please share in the comments below and help to build onto our list to benefit others while dealing with stress.