Stress has become such a common part of modern life that it is sometimes difficult to imagine what life would be like without it. Whether the cause is work, personal relationships, unhealthy lifestyles or poor sleep patterns, excessive stress is harmful to physical and mental well-being. These simple and effective activities will help you to release mental tension, giving you a fresh outlook and experience of daily life.
Engage in Mindless Activities
Once your working day has ended, spending time alone, avoiding activities that require any mental exertion is a great way to decompress. Try to keep the rest of the evening as free from chores and duties as possible and leave what you can for the morning. Engaging in simple, low-stress activities like watching an uplifting movie, listening to classical music, playing with your pet or just sitting outside and looking at the stars will help you to release all of the charged emotions and strains of the day.
Curtailing time spent in the digital world and instead switching to acquiring information from print media and books can lower stress levels in many ways. Digesting information accessed on a digital screen comes with many distractions that vie for your limited attention, as well as overwhelm your senses. Going completely analog for a few hours every day can also benefit your physical health by reducing eye strain and the muscular tension that results from sitting frozen in a certain position for large portions of every day.
Spend time in nature
Few practices compare in benefiting mind and body to time spent in nature. This idea is so well-known in Japan that it has its own term. Shrinrin-yoku means forest bathing and refers to any amount of time spent immersed in nature and consciously connecting with natural surroundings. It is an exercise in mindfulness that confers a great sense of inner peace and tranquility and is an activity not limited to forest wildernesses but one that can be practiced in any natural environment such as a park or even a beach.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal can be a very therapeutic way to manage the stresses and strains of daily living, and can help to get the day started on the right footing if done first thing in the morning. Getting everything down on paper whether good or bad stops the mind constantly mulling over the same stressful emotions and puts an end to the recurrent negative thoughts and emotions that run around, unfettered in our heads.
A large number of adults don’t read at all and those that do often tend to favor reading non-fiction exclusively. But there is a great mental benefit to be derived in letting your own cares drift away by getting lost in a fictional world created by an engaging storyteller. Unfortunately, non-fiction books don’t offer the same benefits and produce the opposite result.
Take a Bath
Taking a long bath with classical or tranquil music playing in the background can go some way towards relaxing jangled nerves. Making this a daily routine would not be quite as beneficial to the environment as it would be to you, so alternating it with therapies such as head and foot massages is a very effective way of letting go of all the worries of the day, allowing you to unwind and recharge.
One of the main reasons for the fact that stress is particularly hard to manage is because it usually builds up and becomes debilitating before it is addressed. But by using a few simple stress reduction practices daily, it is likely that it will never be necessary to address any significant build-up of stress at all.