Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by the things around you that you think you are a time bomb, waiting to explode at any time? That’s perfectly normal as stress is part of our everyday life, and there’s no way to avoid it. Some cope with stress better than the others, but you won’t be able to avoid stressful situations altogether. That being said, managing stress is the key to succeed at a professional and personal level. Luckily, there are easy and fun ways to cope with stress levels that you can put into practice at any time. Here are some of them.
1) Cuddle An Animal
Our animal friends are not just cute but also incredibly helpful. Animals can respond to human emotion and, according to studies, petting them can increase of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol. And if you don’t have a pet, don’t worry: sites like Borrow My Doggy or Borrow Pets have got you covered.
2) Eat Some Chocolate
How can you say no to this method? Chocolate is not only delicious, but an excellent way to say goodbye to stress. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidant that ultimately reduces blood pressure, equalling stress.
3) Do Some Some Colouring
Colouring is not just for kids anymore! This activity helps us regulate the amygdala, the part of our brains that controls our fight or flight control, and maintain us in a state of worry and hyper-vigilance when is active. By focusing on a calm and harmless activity such as colouring, we can turn that response down and allow our brains to have some rest.
4) Play A Game
Video games have a bit of bad reputation: they isolate us and make us antisocial. However, research has demonstrated that, in some cases, video games can provide players with a fun outlet for developing emotional awareness and coping skills.
5) Listen To Your Favourite Playlist
It’s not a secret that music helps you relax. You feel much better when you plug your headphone and play your favourite songs. Listening to music, especially slow, quiet classical music, can have a soothing effect in our minds and bodies such as slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
6) Do A Puzzle
Focus your mind on a simple but rewarding task. When we work towards solving puzzles, our brains go from a “beta”, or wakeful state, to an “Alpha” state. The former is similar to the state we’re while dreaming. This shift in consciousness brings benefits, including the ability to make deeper connections, improve our mindset and, of course, relieve stress.
7) Watch A Comedy
There’s no better remedy than laughter! Quite literally, as laughter increases blood flow to the heart which helps you calm down and relax. Also, when you smile, you are letting your brain know you’re feeling happy and, consequently, it releases dopamine and you will feel much better.
8) Go Outside
Nature has provides some of the best ways to cope with stress. Those who live in an environment with open green spaces are likely to present lower cortisol levels, the hormone that produces stress. Moreover, exposure to the sunshine increases your vitamin D levels, which not only improves muscle function but also mood. So put your sunglasses on and enjoy the summer heat while you can!