I recently started a new hobby, drawing. I’ve found it to be a great creative outlet and an excellent stress buster! I started by drawing plant doodles for the Positivity Planner and I’ve continued as it’s having a positive impact on my mental well-being. Drawing is such a quick but simple way to reduce stress and it got me thinking about other fast ways we can reduce stress.
It’s okay to have a little bit of stress, small amounts of stress are our body’s way of focusing our energy towards a particular problem or opportunity. It uses all of our focus and resources to solve the problem and to help us move forward and carry on with our day.
However, when stress builds up and accumulates day after day, it can start to have a negative impact on our mental and physical well-being. Our bodies are built to manage small amounts of stress but we can’t handle large amounts of stress especially not on a daily and weekly basis.
When stress leaves us feeling overwhelmed, and lingers on our bodies and in our minds for too long, it can damage our health both emotionally and physically. To help you reset your stress levels, here are some simple 60-second stress busters.
Deep breathing exercises can instantly make you feel more relaxed. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body, because when you breathe deeply it sends a signal to your brain, telling it to relax and stay calm. Next time you feel stressed, take yourself away from the situation for 60 seconds and try some deep breathing exercises.
Stretching your body when you feel stressed allows your muscles to let go of where you’re carrying stress. It relieves the tension in your muscles and helps you to relax and sleep better. A good way to introduce stretching into your daily routine is by stretching your body for a minute or two every morning or every evening before you go to sleep.
Drink a glass of water
Stress can cause dehydration, and dehydration can cause stress. If you’re stressed then drink a glass of water, this will help to reduce your stress and any intense feelings you have. Water is soothing to our bodies and we will benefit from a glass of water when we’re feeling stressed.
A great way to reduce stress is by spending more time outside. People who live in greener spaces are more likely to have lower levels of stress. Try to get out of the house and into nature every day, even if it’s just for a minute to get some fresh air.
Thinking about the bigger picture
When we feel stressed about something, it’s all we can think about. We obsess over the little details and we avoid seeing the bigger picture. Ask yourself if the thing you’re stressed about is going to make a difference in five years’ time? Or is it actually manageable and won’t affect your life as much as you think at this moment?
Laughing is another great way to reduce stress. Laughing releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemical. Endorphins then give your body an overall sense of well-being. Laughter is said to be the best medicine, so next time you feel stressed spend a minute laughing, whether that’s by calling your friend or watching funny video clips.
Sharing the problem
When you’re feeling stressed, don’t bottle things up inside. Share your problem with someone who is a good listener. Choose someone who won’t judge, who is supportive, who you can confide in and who is happy to share your problem with you. Doing this will help reduce your stress levels, as you talk through solutions with someone who you trust.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that drawing is a new hobby which I’ve found to be a very therapeutic activity. Drawing is another form of journaling and it’s a great way to relieve stress, as it can calm your mind and distract you from any negative thoughts. Another alternative to drawing is colouring, there are many different adult colouring books available that help to reduce stress.
I hope these 60-second stress busters help to relieve your stress. Try to make these daily habits, such as stretching in the morning, spending time outside and laughing every single day.
Do you have any stress busters? Share them below!
Nice article Laura! As you suggest, I think some stress can be good, depending on how we frame it, as a growth mechanism. I’ve found meditation a really helpful tool for this.
Glad you enjoyed it!