The following natural stress relief tips help you take the edge off a stressful day and avoid burn out. They will help you unwind and respond to situations the way you would like, instead of reacting and stressing out.
Find ways to manage stress 1-13 here. See natural stress relief tips from our readers at the bottom of the page.
14. Smile, even if you have to force it. Keep that smile on your face for a full minute to lift your mood. This body mind strategy works because when the smile muscles are in position it sends the message to your mind that you feel happy. Better yet, find something you can truly smile about and share your smile with others.
15. Laugh. A few minutes of good old fashioned belly laughter releases muscle and mind tension. Watch a funny video, read the comics, or one of those goofy emails.
Laugh at yourself. Can you find some humor in your situation or how you are reacting to it? What if the same thing happened to someone else? Would it funnier then? Sometimes pretending it happened to someone else helps you see the funnier side of an event (if there is one).
16. Cry. Ever notice how much better you feel right after a good cry? That is because your body actually makes different kinds of tears. When you are angry or sad, those tears release stress chemicals from your body. Emotional tears are another way you are naturally designed to relieve stress.
17. Ask yourself what you feel grateful for in this situation. Dig deep. There is always something, even if it is that you are still breathing.
For example, instead of getting aggravated while stuck in traffic, use the time to say thank you for all the positives in your life. Find something positive in the situation-perhaps you are getting an extra few minutes to listen to a podcast or take a few deep breaths. Send a blessing or goodwill to your fellow travelers. You will be amazed at how centered and peaceful you feel.
18. Forgive yourself, others, your life. Let yourself and others off the hook for not meeting your expectations and for not being perfect. Catch yourself right away when you are feeling judgmental, angry, guilty or bitter and let it go. Can you see the other person's side? Can you explore the situation from a different perspective? Take a deep breath and breathe it out.
19. Capitalize on an excuse or alternative for releasing the pressure of stressful emotions. Need to laugh? Watch a comedy. Need to cry? A good 'chick flick' will bring on the tears. Feel like yelling? Coach your favorite football team from the couch. Blow off steam and stress hormones with exercise. Scrub your cupboards with furor. Dance to music with a strong beat and add some punching and kicking moves to your style.
20. Grab a pen and write furiously. Set a timer for twenty minutes and give yourself permission to let it all out. Do not censor your words or emotions, just write. Repeat this exercise for two more days if you still feel upset or stressed out. Then see if you feel any different or have a different perspective about the problem. Burn the papers when you are done and send your stressful feelings up in smoke with them.
21. Commit a random act of kindness. This simple stress strategy is a bad mood blaster that will leave you and the recipient of your acts of kindness smiling. Let that harried mother get in front of you in line. Throw the toy for your dog. You might even want to do something nice for someone you feel upset with. That will probably have you both feeling more open and relaxed.
22. Color. This favorite childhood past time is making a big comeback with adults as a natural stress reducer. Favorite pages include mandalas, animals, flowers, paisleys and irreverent images and quotes that make you laugh. Let your inner child out for some coloring play. Here are two favorites. Enjoy.
23. Spend time in nature. Feel the wind on your face. Listen to the birds sing. Look at all the different kinds of plants. Lean up against a tree and relax. Let your bare feet touch the earth. Take a walk in the rain. Feel the ocean waves wash your distress away. You will be amazed at how relaxed and centered you feel. Read more about this popular way to relieve stress in the stress relief tips and stories from our guest posters below.
24. Exercise. Movement helps your body burn up stress hormones and return to balance quicker. A walk is good, but it may not be enough to disengage your mind from stressful thinking. Strenuous exercise works quicker. Cleaning the house with vigor is a great exercise ad reduces stress in more ways than one.
25. If you experience stress headaches due to tiredness or staring at the computer too long, stand up and roll back your shoulders a few times. Drop your head toward your chest. Apply gentle pressure with your hands for two seconds on, two seconds off a few times if that feels good. Roll your head to the left and right a few times slowly and mindfully. Try this effective headache massage technique.
Visit the Stress Relief Guide for more acute and chronic natural stress relief tips and strategies.
And take a look at our contributors' natural stress relief tips below, too!
Do you have a tried and true way of relieving stress when work, holidays, finances, health issues, a traumatic event, and life in general get the best of you? What is your favorite way of coming back to center?
We would love to hear your about your stress relief strategy and a story about how and when it helped you. Feel free to talk about one (or more) of the 21 stress reduction tips shared here or your own ideas.
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Click below to see tips and stories shared by other visitors to this page...
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