Have you ever thought about stress killing someone?
If you haven’t, let me tell you, stress kills! It plays a key role in a lot of the chronic diseases that many people have to deal with such as heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, anxiety, and many other conditions that are rampant today with all of our hustle and bustle.
So, what’s one to do? You make plans to try to ensure that your life is less stressful. Maybe you’ve scheduled an appointment with a professional to start dealing with your anxiety, but that’s not for a month. You need to reduce your stress right now, but don’t know how.
I don’t want you to stress about not being able to reduce your stress! You’ve got enough stress already. What you need to do is read on for five inexpensive ways you can reduce stress today. Because you always want to be able to manage your stress before your stress manages you.
Light Some Candles
I love, love, love candles! The scented kind are great stress reducers. Shopping for the right candle is part of the fun. Go to your favorite store that sells scented candles and take a big deep breath! Savor the scent and look at the candle - is it attractive as well? Find the scents that make you feel happy and calm. And get a few so that the scents don’t get old to you.
Then, after the sun sets and you need to unwind, turn off all the lights and light some scented candles. Don’t forget the relaxing music either. Doing this will put your mind into a more peaceful and relaxed space.
Music Sets You Free!
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Music soothes the savage beast.” And it’s true, music can drive our emotions. Songs can take you back in time, calm you down or and amp you up. Use songs to your advantage and find the ones that soothe you and help you relax. Most music streaming services have entire playlists of relaxing music.
The next time you’re feeling stressed, go to that playlist, sit down, close your eyes and let the music take you away. Let it go deep down into your soul. Put them on repeat if you need to. You can also use music in conjunction with other stress management techniques to increase the impact of what you’re doing. You’ll start feeling better and your hard work will pay off.
Laugh Your Butt Off!
Scientists have studied the effect that laughter has on the body and has determined that laughter can reduce several of the physical effects of stress (like fatigue) on the body. So, put on a funny video and laugh it up! As a species, we developed laughter as a way to feel safe in an uncertain world.
Ever heard of laughter yoga? If not, you’re missing out! Per CNN health, the purpose of laughter yoga is to promote wellness, happiness and a ton of laughter. How does it work? As an article from Yoga Journal explains, a typical session includes simple yoga or breathing exercises in addition to bouts of laughter.
Fooling around and cracking jokes is also a great way to focus yourself and get those laughter benefits at the same time. Channeling your energy into a creative outlet is a fantastic stress reliever. If you’ve always had a secret (or not so secret) desire to be part of the world of comedy, consider writing a sketch comedy or standup routine if putting on a funny movie just isn’t cutting it.
Jot It Down!
If you’ve been a regular reader of the Making Time blog, then you know that I’m a big proponent of keeping some form of a journal. I believe that journal writing is a great outlet for reducing stress. If you are keeping a journal in conjunction with SMART goals that you’ve set for yourself, it can also serve as a way to log your progress in meeting those goals.
As I’ve said before, putting words out onto a page can be cathartic. In a sense, journaling is like being your own therapist. When you write things out, it helps you to see new possible solutions to problems. It will also help you organize your thoughts to help with your problem solving which lets you become less stressed.
So next time you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, take out your journal and write about it. That alone will help calm you down. When you keep a journal, it’s important to take some time to analyze what you’ve written to help you with future planning or seeing what people or events are triggering your stress. Keep it up and as you read your old journal entries over time, you’ll see how far you’ve come.
Work It Out!
We all know that there are lots of health benefits that you can be from working out. One major benefit is being able to blow off steam. Sometimes people feel stress because they have too much energy and don’t have healthy outlets in which to channel that energy. Exercise helps you to release that extra energy while also releasing endorphins that increase your happiness and decrease your stress.
Working out regularly improves your heart health and helps you maintain the strength and flexibility that many lose to aging. And if you’re working out to decrease your stress, don’t forget about your diet. Along with a lack of exercise, improper diet or nutrition can make your body feel stressed as well. If you haven’t worked out in a while, talk to your doctor and take it slow.
So, there you have it! Five simple, quick and easy ways that you can reduce your stress without breaking the bank.
Let’s talk! What’s a simple and easy thing that you do to reduce your stress? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In