If you want to learn simple yet effective ways to unwind after a busy day, look no further, our expert Kayla Francis has your back.
Did you know that approximately 110 million people lose their lives every year due to stress according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? That is 7 people every 2 seconds!
Popping a chill pill and relaxing can be so difficult to do in this hectic and fast-paced world that we live in. As an introvert, I find myself getting easily stimulated and stressed out after a long day. There are times when I’m so on edge that I forget to consciously breathe.
My unease was putting a strain on my happiness, and I didn’t want to be one of the 110 million people stressing themselves to death, literally. So, I set out to find natural and simple ways to unwind and win the battle against stress.
Simple Ways to Unwind 1: Work it Out & Burn it Off!
Whether it’s walking, swimming, dancing or cycling, a good workout will take your mind off your worries. Not only will your mind thank you for the break, but your body will also be happy, too.
Stress can really take a toll on you, decreasing your energy and making it difficult to think and focus.
Essentially, the endorphins released during a workout act as natural stress relievers.
It only takes five minutes of aerobic exercise to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. If that is all it takes, imagine how amazing you will feel after an hour’s worth of exercise.
When I was in college, I would go to the gym every weekend to mentally prepare myself for the next week.
Simple Ways to Unwind 2: Try Aromatherapy
Speaking of endorphins, if you are not in the mood to get active, endorphins can be released with the help of aromatherapy.
We take our senses for granted, but when it comes to aromatherapy the sense of smell and sense of touch are powerful.
You can add essential oils to your bath water, massage oil recipe, soaps, lotions, body butter, shampoo, conditioner and cleaning products. There are also essential oil candles, or you can drop essential oils in your diffuser.
The options are almost endless. I am a huge fan of Lavender oil and enjoy making essential oil blends for myself, family and friends.
Luckily, if you aren’t the DIY type you can always buy aromatherapy products online.
Simple Ways to Unwind 3: Meditate
Most of us struggle with sitting still and doing absolutely nothing. I hope to get to a point where I spend at least an hour meditating every day, but for now, 20 minutes seems to be enough.
What I can say is that meditation works.
There is no such thing as a perfect meditation session, but it does take practice to add it and keep it in your daily routine.
Listening to guided meditations or soothing music or simply concentrating on an object can help you focus on the present moment and release the tension.
Simple Ways to Unwind 4: Read More Books
Reading for pleasure isn’t that much of a common act anymore. I’ve recently returned to picking up a book and reading something that isn’t a text message or notification on my phone.
Personally, I prefer to have a physical book in my hand, but electronic books can be easily accessed on a mobile device for convenience.
When reading for pleasure, avoid reading anything that will make you more anxious like a school textbook or newspaper. I had to take a break from reading news articles and forums because what I was reading was upsetting me. So I turned to uplifting books instead.
Take care of your mind by nourishing it with good books.
Simple Ways to Unwind 5: Write or Talk it Out
You can vent to someone you absolutely trust like a family member, best friend, therapist or coach.
Holding things in doesn’t help, and only makes your situation worse. When I am able to let go and reveal everything without feeling judged, I immediately feel lighter.
You may also find it helpful to talk it out with someone who may be the cause of your stress. This person may not even realize that he or she is a trigger for you until you speak up. Of course, this works best with someone you feel comfortable and safe with.
If you have absolutely no one to confide in or rather not open up to anyone, consider dusting off your journal and writing your thoughts down.
I have a few journals that I use for different purposes and it seems to be just as beneficial as talking to another person.
Simple Ways to Unwind 6: Try Breathing Exercises
How often is it that you remember to breathe? Think about it; when’s the last time you took a moment to focus on exhaling and inhaling? You are probably not used to breathing mindfully because our bodies take care of that insanely important function without us having to think about it.
When we are stressed or having an anxiety attack, we tend to take short shallow breaths that don’t help with relaxation.
Practice mindful breathing by inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply.
I perform this short breathing exercise whenever I feel my heart rate start to increase:
Close my eyes and relax my body
Take a deep breath in through my nose for 10 seconds
Breathe out through my mouth for 10 seconds
Simple Ways to Unwind 7: Music
The type of music we listen to affects our mood, so when looking for some relaxation, it’s best to listen to music or sounds that relax us. Music with slower tempos can bring your heart rate and pulse down.
I know that music and certain sounds (birds chirping, rain pattering, waves crashing) instantly distract me from my outward problems.
In addition to listening to music, you can sing and dance your butt off. There are some songs where you just can’t help but dance.
If you are in the car and the commute makes you anxious, turn up the radio and sing it as you mean it.
Happiness is a choice. It’s funny how living stress and worry-free can be so simple, but a lot of ugly factors get in the way and sidetrack us from tranquility.
Not only does constant negative stress and overwhelm lead to moodiness and unhappiness, but it also triggers a line of other health problems. Now that you have some ways to unwind and de-stress, don’t let your worries overpower you and put you at risk of misery and illness.
photo source | adobe