An Essential Oil Diffuser For A Calming Atmosphere
Oil diffusers are not cure-alls, but aromatherapy is thought to help improve physical and emotional health. Our favorite oil diffuser from Airomé Serenity is easy to use and can run continuously for eight hours. To experiment with different scents, snag a multipack of essential oils, like one from Artnaturals, which includes lavender, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, frankincense, sweet orange, lemongrass, and eucalyptus.
A Jigsaw Puzzle For A Hands
The best thing about a puzzle is that it makes you feel like youre being productive and making progress on something, while finding joy as you add each individual piece. Plus, you can make it as short- or long-term of a project as you wantas long as you start it on an otherwise seldom-used table or use a portable surface specifically for the hobby. Snag a jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger, which offers an enormous variety of vibrant, scenic puzzles with a wide range of pieces, to work on whenever you want to loosen up.
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How To Relieve Stress With Art Therapy
One of the most significant aspects of art therapy is the ability to help the client relax. You do not have to be an artist to do this, so many people feel comforted that there is no pressure on their creative flow. Art therapy allows the client to get their mind off whatever may be bothering them, even if its just for a brief period. Creating art helps many people slow down, allowing them to relax, de-stress, and tap into their creativity.
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Herbal Tea Helps Promote Feelings Of Warmth And Calmness
Sometimes it’s the feeling that food or drinks induce, not their nutrients, that helps reduce stress. Drinking a warm cup of tea is one way to help make yourself feel calmer, says Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, an online nutrition coach and owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Kentucky.
Past research has suggested that holding and sipping a warm beverage increases feelings of interpersonal warmth and friendliness. There’s a soothing effect of sipping a warm drink, regardless of the flavor but certain herbs, like lavender and chamomile, have been shown to have a relaxing effect on their own, Meyerowitz says.
Figueroa agrees herbal tea is great for winding down but says green tea is perfectly fine when you need a small jolt of caffeine because its full of flavonoids, which studies show support brain health. They can help protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, suppress neuroinflammation, and promote memory, learning, and cognitive function, according to previous research.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a cup of brewed green tea contains between 25 and 29 milligrams of caffeine versus black brewed coffees 95 to 165 mg per cup. Therefore, green tea can also be a preferable choice compared with coffee if youre looking to chill out.
What Are The Pros
Imagery can provide relaxation, insight, and wisdom. It can help you to relieve physical tension and psychological stress at the same time, distracting you from what may be stressing you, and getting you into a more positive frame of mind.
Guided imagery is a free stress-relieving therapy and, with practice, can be done just about anywhere.
In this way, it can also be useful in disrupting patterns of rumination and can help you to build resources in your life that increase your resilience toward stress by engaging an upward spiral of positivity.
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Coloring And Coloring Books
While many adults may look at coloring as a childish thing, there are actually many mental health benefits that come with coloring. Using a coloring book can help your brain finally slow down. Coloring has been seen to play a role with your amygdala, also known as the brains fear center. Coloring helps people practice mindfulness and is especially helpful for those who feel constantly stressed or nervous all of the time.
Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
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How To Use Stress Medicine
It’s important to remember that you should never take any anxiety drugs alone, and you should try to avoid them if possible.
Medications are not evil – certainly not as evil as many people will tell you. But mental health medications have downsides. It’s more than just side effects. Medications can actually harm your ability to cope with stress in the future, because of:
- Physiological Dependence That’s when the body requires the medicine because it’s adapted to the effects. Your brain starts to depend on it, to the point where your natural stress coping ability gets even worse. If you stop taking the medication, you’ll suffer from intense side effects. You have to wean off it slowly, and you have to take it every day even if you’re not feeling anxious that day.
- Psychological Dependence Perhaps more troubling is psychological dependence. This is when you depend so much on the medicine that you don’t do anything else to cure your anxiety. When you stop taking the medication and experience some stress, you’re going to want to go immediately back to medication, and this type of behavior can make it much harder to cope with anxiety.
It’s important to keep that in mind. You need to make sure that you’re only choosing a medicine as a last resort because of these risks, and even if you do choose a stress medicine and feel better, make sure that you’re still learning proper coping strategies so that your anxiety doesn’t come back when you stop taking the medicine.
Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
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Spend Time With Your Pet
Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood.
When you cuddle or touch your pet, your body releases oxytocin a hormone thats linked to positive mood .
Plus, studies show that pet owners especially those who have dogs tend to have greater life satisfaction, better self-esteem, reduced levels of loneliness and anxiety, and more positive moods .
Having a pet may also help relieve stress by giving you purpose, keeping you active, and providing companionship.
Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, being chronically stressed takes a toll on your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, several evidence-based strategies can help you reduce stress and improve your overall psychological well-being.
Exercise, mindfulness, spending time with a pet, minimizing screen time, and getting outside more often are all effective methods.
Point Your Brain At A Problem
If the stress is more mental than physical and you feel your mind looping around itself, give yourself a discrete task, such as organizing your shoes or doing a word puzzle. When youre stressed, your brain may be saying, weve got a problem to solve so it keeps spinning. Thats a good time to engage your mind, says Kissen. If you give it a task to focus on, youll feel calmer and be better able to deal with whats actually stressing you out.
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Immerse Yourself In Sensory Details
As you imagine your scene, try to involve all of your senses. What does it look like? How does it feel? What special scents are involved? Do you hear the roar of a fire, the splash of a waterfall, or the sounds of chipper birds? Make your vision so real you can even taste it!
Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
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An App For Guided Meditation
Meditation is a helpful skill to learn if you often experience racing thoughts or restlessness. Not sure where to start? The Headspace app, our favorite meditation app, offers a library of themed courses, daily meditations, sleep sounds, and bedtime exercises to get you into the practiceand it’s free to try.
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purpose it enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. But lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties like anxiety and depression, or increased physical health problems.
A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness, says Dr. Borland. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
1. Eat and drink to optimize your health
Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment, but actually may add to stress in the long run. Caffeine also can compound the effects of stress. While consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help combat stress.
2. Exercise regularly
In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever. Consider noncompetitive aerobic exercise, strengthening with weights or movement activities like yoga or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude.
3. Stop using tobacco and nicotine products
4. Study and practice relaxation techniques
5. Reduce triggers of stress
6. Examine your values and live by them
7. Assert yourself
8. Set realistic goals and expectations
9. Sell yourself to yourself
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A Set Of Fidget Toys For Restless Hands
If bouts of nervousness tend to occur during times when youre supposed to sit still, like in a Zoom meeting, a fidget toy may help. This variety pack comes with 22 sensory toys, like mesh balls, stretchy strings, a Rubik’s-like cube, and more. Keep one in your bag, at your desk, by your bed, or anywhere else youd want to reach for it.
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
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Tip : Find Sensory Inspiration
Having trouble identifying sensory techniques that work for you? Look for inspiration around you, from your sights as you go about your day to memories from your past.
Memories. Think back to what you did as a child to calm down. If you had a blanket or stuffed toy, you might benefit from tactile stimulation. Try tying a textured scarf around your neck before an appointment or keeping a piece of soft suede in your pocket.
Watch others. Observing how others deal with stress can give you valuable insight. Baseball players often pop gum before going up to bat. Singers often chat up the crowd before performing. Ask people you know how they stay focused under pressure.
Parents. Think back to what your parents did to blow off steam. Did your mother feel more relaxed after a long walk? Did your father work in the yard after a hard day?
The power of imagination. Once drawing upon your sensory toolbox becomes habit, try simply imagining vivid sensations when stress strikes. The memory of your babys face will have the same calming or energizing effects on your brain as seeing her photo. When you can recall a strong sensation, youll never be without a quick stress relief tool.
Take a break from technology
Taking a short hiatus from the television, computer, and cell phone will give you insight on what your senses respond to best.
Why Does Art Help Mental Health
The main goal of art therapy is to help the person struggling to finally be able to relax enough to get in touch with their emotions. By creating art and doing something as simple as coloring, stress levels are seen to drop exponentially in patients. Helping the patient finally relax allows them to focus their mind on other things such as processing emotions, focusing on themselves, and working on emotional release.
Dont worry art therapy does not require anyone to be a good artist. Instead, the client can just put their thoughts on paper by creating whatever comes to mind, many times without speaking. This form of therapy helps many people who struggle to put their feelings and problems into words. Art therapy is widespread among children, too, as many of them prefer to draw as a form of communication and understanding.
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Stress And Anxiety Relief: 10 Strategies That Can Help
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life. Sometimes they can even be a good thing. They can inspire you to take action and do your best when it really matters.
The problem is when feelings of stress and anxiety get out of control. Then these feelings cannot only impair your performancethey can also make you sick. Chronic stress can have a number of serious health consequences including decreased immunity, decreased longevity, and a higher risk for anxiety disorders.
Stress is a response to a potential threat, while anxiety is the reaction to that stress. Unfortunately, both are incredibly common among U.S. adults and evidence suggests that recent world events have made the problem worse for many people. Nearly 8 in 10 adults report increased stress levels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While you cant avoid all of the stress in your life, there are stress and anxiety relief strategies that can help you cope more effectively. This article discusses some self-help techniques that can help you get a handle on stress and anxiety. It also covers when to consider talking to a professional.
Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Stress
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you cant just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touchor through movement. Since everyone is different, youll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for youbut the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.
Social interaction is your bodys most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension. Although you cant always have a pal to lean on in the middle of a stressful situation, maintaining a network of close relationships is vital for your mental health. Between sensory-based stress relief and good listeners, youll have your bases covered.
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