5 Ways to De-Stress
About a quarter of Canadians report that daily life is moderately to extremely stressful. Chronic stress can lead to many negative health effects, including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, sleep problems, weight gain, memory impairment, headaches, and heart disease. With so many significant internal and external causes of stress in our life including work, school, relationships, and financial pressures, finding ways to de-stress has never been more important. Below we get into five different ways you can work to de-stress.
1. Deep Breathing Exercises
A simply and popular way to reduce stress, deep breathing exercises are practiced the world over. They require only a few minutes of your time. Begin by finding a place to sit quietly for a few minutes. Focus all of your attention on the present moment and focus on the sensation of deeply, slowly inhaling and exhaling. Free your mind of all distractions. If any thoughts enter your mind, just observe them without judgement and let them pass. Close your eyes and repeat for at least five minutes.
2. Meditation or Hypnosis
Practiced for millennia, meditation is a great way to remove stress. Find a place where there is little distraction, close your eyes and focus entirely on the moment. Shutting everything out for a few minutes, begin to carefully allow thoughts to enter your mind. While calmly breathing, focus on what is bothering you and take the time to carefully consider what it means. There are dozens of different meditation practices that you can pursue, such as repeating a mantra.
3. Mindfulness Exercises
Mindful exercises are any form of exercise where mindfulness is a crucial part. For example, consider meditated walking. While walking, focus all of your attention on the moment. Use statements like “at the moment, I see …” to better help narrow your focus to the here and now. Another kind of useful meditative exercise includes yoga. Centred around moving your body and improving your flexibility, yoga may be exactly what you are looking for.
Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress. Along with decreasing base rates of anxiety and depression, exercise can fill your body full of endorphins and keep you feeling satisfied as you work towards your own health goals. A fantastic way to reduce stress, many people can’t live without their daily workout.
5. Focused Attention Tasks
A great way to reduce stress is to do tasks where you have a focus. Some people prefer puzzles. Other people prefer things like adult colouring books. In the end, focusing on a task gives us something to do while our minds work on what is causing our stress.
You may also find it helpful to speak with a therapist to get down to the core of what is causing you stress and develop more constructive ways to respond to stress triggers.