Developing your own stress relief ‘tool kit’ can enhance your wellbeing and prolong your life! By practising these evidence-based tips, we invite you to take back your life.
Note toxic thoughts. Your brain sometimes feeds you with negative thoughts to protect you from potential danger. Having those thoughts is completely normal, but they can become harmful to us when we start engaging and believing in them. Try to recognise that they are just thoughts and that they’re not always true.
Find a creative outlet. Some researchers believe 98% of our thoughts are similar as the ones we had the day before. We can challenge recurring negative thoughts and break the cycle of automatic thinking by engaging in a new activity. If you’re stuck for creative outlet ideas, try colouring mandalas or buying a ‘paint by numbers’ kit to get started.
Practise mindfulness. Taking downtime to let your thoughts wander can help you to identify and stop thoughts that worsen stress. Meditation phone apps and mindfulness training can help slow things down. Smiling Mind (This app is also kid friendly!), Headspace & Calm are all excellent phone apps to introduce you to mindfulness.
Cut down on sugar. What we choose to eat helps manage the physical response caused by stress. The stress hormone (cortisol) thrives off sugary diets. Aside from having a balanced diet, reducing your sugar intake can help ease the physical symptoms of stress.
Exercise it out. Burn that stress energy by doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise in the morning or in the evening. The exercise we do when we’re stressed helps calm the stress hormones in the body and brain, making us feel as if we’ve escaped danger. This can also help you improve sleep.
Grab some fresh air. Being outside can lower your stress level, blood pressure and heart rate. Immersing yourself in the backyard, the park or beach for at least 20 minutes, even without exercise, can help us feel relaxed.
Don’t justify procrastination. When an activity brings us stress or anxiety, we sometimes put it off to avoid that unpleasant feeling. This only gives us temporary relief. As soon as the deadline comes around we feel an even greater deal of stress to complete the activity. The trick to overcoming this is to break down the task into small goals. This makes a task seem less scary and stressful.
Sometimes when we’re stressed, we forget to make time to de-stress. Try writing down stress relief strategies that work for you and come back to them when you need them.
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stress reduction. If you feel you could benefit from further support, contact the friendly team at OnBundock on 07 4724 0861.