Everybody experiences stress at some point during their life since stress is a natural response to challenges and threats. However, with research showing over 33% of people experience extreme, chronic levels of stress, the modern way of life is impacting us and our stress levels significantly.
Chronic stress doesn’t only impact us emotionally, but it causes physical damage too. When you experience long-term stress, your cortisol levels are heightened for so long that it can weaken the immune system, increase blood pressure, disturb the balance within the gut, and promote fatigue.
As London-based Life Coach, Lucy Seifert told The Nutricosmetic Company, “There is no one definition of stress, but broadly it can be defined as an individual’s struggle to cope with a situation. It is helpful to consider strategies that (a) in some cases can prevent or pre-empt a situation arising in the first place or that (b) help you manage or cope with stressful events when they do occur”.
So, in this article, we’re going to be sharing 7 simple ways that you soothe stress, so you can move forward restore the body and mind to a calm state of being.
1. Make Your Home A Stress-Free Sanctuary
Your home should be your sanctuary. It should be the place that you feel relaxed in, where you feel as if you can fully unwind and restore after a busy, potentially stressful day. So, the first step in creating a place that can be your stress-free haven is by doing some housework (which is actually therapeutic in its own right)!
Start by cleaning up, de-cluttering your wardrobe and removing trinkets you don’t like, adding plants around your house, putting fresh scents into your home, adding in photos and mementos that make you happy, and letting in natural light.
Mindfulness practices should be incorporated into your daily routine, even just for 10-30 minutes per day, as they calm the mind, center you, ground you, and improve your health. Mindfulness isn’t just meditation (although meditation is an excellent practice to do), you can also try breathwork, yoga, mindful coloring, reading, or self-massage.
Although practicing mindfulness alone is certainly useful, joining a group mindfulness practice can also bring enhanced benefits – being around people not only battles loneliness but practicing mindfulness with others can produce powerful effects that you may otherwise not experience alone.
3. Get Creative
Psychologist and art therapist Dr. Cathy Malchiodi’s research confirmed that creativity can boost mood, reduce depression, reduce stress levels, and decrease anxiety. There are so many ways to express your creative side, so try and see what works for you and brings you the most joy. For example, painting, dancing, writing, and practicing pottery are all great ways to get creative and release stress.
Trying something new is also a great way to get out of your head and let go a little, bringing you into a more childlike character and releasing all of the stresses that come with adult life (of which there are many!).
4. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Spending time with your family and friends can bring joy, laughter, and happiness, all powerful stress-attackers. Research has shown that laughter alone can reduce anxiety and depression levels, so it’s time to get social!
Whether you plan a dinner with your friends once a week, you hop on a call with your family in the evening a few times a week, or you schedule date nights one a month with your partner, make sure you are spending good quality time with your loved ones.
Additionally, the saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” really is true, so confide in your loved ones if you’re dealing with stress and you’ll not only feel like some of your stress is instantly eased, but you’re likely to get a few shoulders to lean on too.
5. Use Aromatherapy To Calm Your Senses
Aromatherapy is a type of holistic treatment using botanical extracts and essential oils to calm the mind, restore the body, and improve overall wellbeing. Essential oils, specifically essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot, and Ylang Ylang, have incredible stress-reducing benefits.
You can either add these essential oils to carrier oils and dab small drops onto your wrists or diffuse them using an oil specific diffuser to calm your mind and body. Just a quick reminder: essential oils should never be put directly onto the skin unless they are diluted with a carrier oil due to their potency.
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6. Sweat It Out
Exercise not only allows you to release some pent-up frustration (try kickboxing or karate if you’re feeling especially stressed), but it also releases endorphins, which are key to combating stress, so, get moving!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re practising pilates, swimming in the ocean, or intensely working out in the gym, get your sweat on and start reducing your stress levels. You should aim to exercise for at least one hour every day. Exercising in the morning can promote energy and provide stamina for the rest of your day, so maybe get moving as soon as possible after waking up!
7. Indulge In Some Self-Care
Sometimes, the best way to soothe stress is by indulging in some classic TLC! Self-care is different for everyone, so do what makes you feel really good, whether that’s taking yourself for a solo coffee date, getting a massage, or taking a hot bubble bath.
To keep stress from getting to you, schedule in time every single day for some self-care, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Self-care also entails being kind to yourself mentally.
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Learn to go with the flow
Don’t beat yourself up too much if you feel tired or stressed, release judgement of yourself, allow yourself to rest and relax, and don’t demand too much from yourself – you are only human after all.