It is normal to get stressed every now and then as it is the way our body gets ready to face danger. While initially it was a defense mechanism that prepared us to fight or outrun our predators, it currently is just an annoying feeling that can cripple our daily life if we aren’t able to properly manage it.
There isn’t a permanent solution for stress, but decreasing its levels isn’t that hard to do and doesn’t require much preparation. The current world expects us to be able to cope with our stress so we better learn the best methods to decrease it.
- Do physical activities. Taking a walk on a peaceful street, a park or any place with a beautiful view such as a beach or a mountain will keep your body busy and your mind focused on what is around you right now. Feel the breeze, watch the trees’ leaves move with the wind, look at the sky or the sunset. You can take out your smartphone and take some nice pictures with you as this will help you later.
Practicing a non-competitive sport with a friend can help you a lot too, ask someone to go with you to the gym and work out the stress together. The reason why physical activities reduce our stress levels is because exercise increases dopamine levels in the brain and this hormone makes us feel better.
- Do relaxing activities. If you don’t have enough time to do physical activities you can still do some relaxation techniques. Taking paced breaths can help a lot, put your hand on your belly, and slowly breathe using your nose and feel how your belly raises your hand, hold your breath for a couple of second then let the air out slowly through your mouth.
Another simple relaxation technique you can use is to close your eyes and think of things and people that make you happy. You can also take your mind somewhere else using your imagination. Imagine that you’re in a place that makes you happy or somewhere you have always wanted to visit.
If you don’t have a strong imagination then that’s ok, remember the pictures you took from your previous trek? You can use your smartphone or your digital camera to look at pictures and videos of places, people or events that made you happy before.
- Listen to some music. Nowadays it is really easy to discover new music for free, and it has been scientifically proven that music can improve your mood. According to a study made by the Journal of Positive Psychology, upbeat music improved the mood and happiness of those who listened to it. Listening to ambient sounds can help a lot too and there are many options to choose from.
To be able to decrease your stress levels you should look for ways to keep your mind busy with what you are enjoying at the moment. So use these tips to get your stress levels on the low side.