We could all do with less stress in our life. If you have made reducing it one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 it means you have recognized how stress impacts on the quality of your life and well-being. It’s one of the harder resolutions to stick to because there are so many external factors you can’t control. Focus on yourself, tackle small issues and you will certainly make progress. Here’s how to be less stressed in 2019:
1. Take 5-minute Breaks
Allow yourself a 5-minute break a day, no matter how busy your schedule is and be sure to set a reminder, so you won't forget. Look out of the window or take a turn around the block for some fresh air, get out your knitting or use a coloring book for a 5-minute de-stress and relaxation exercise.
When we exercise our brains get a rush of endorphins, which are "feel-good transmitters" often referred to as "runner's high". These endorphins allow us to feel an inner calm and euphoria that offers stress relief after exercising vigorously. A brisk walk at lunchtime, digging in the garden or playing football with your kids in the backyard are things that can fit into any busy schedule and don't require a gym membership.
3. Play Some Music
Listening to music - and dancing a little to it - not only relaxes us, it makes us a more interesting and fun person. So what if dancing to Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" raises some eyebrows among your friends and colleagues? Classical music has especially shown in research to reduce feelings of anger, stress and anxiety in grown-ups, children and even unborn babies still kicking in the womb.
4. Purring with Pets
Adopt a cat or volunteer as a dog-walker at a shelter and you'll soon see how chilling with pooches and purring with cats can totally de-stress you in a short space of time. Our little four-legged friends activate a hormone called oxytocin in our brains, which has been linked to stress reduction.
5. A Few Minutes of Meditation Keeps the Shrink Away
Meditation is a sure-fire way to relieve stress. Quieting the mind the mind with meditation is easy and enjoyable to do. A little dancing, chanting or walking mixed with sitting quietly for a while thinking about absolutely nothing is one of the most versatile and enjoyable anti-stress devices known to man.
6. Have a Good Laugh
The power of laughter should not be underestimated as a therapeutic technique. Having a giggle has been proven to have a positive effect on physical health, fatigue, stress response, even our relationships with others. It also exercises a great deal of muscles, helping you to burn off fat!
7. Have a Massage Instead of a Doughnut
While comfort food is a temporary fix that lasts for a few minutes, getting a massage is a proven method to reduce stress and instill a feeling of comfort and well-being that lasts far longer than a sugar rush.
8. Try Restorative Yoga
Trouble finding that inner stillness and calm again? Restorative yoga will help you find it again! In studies participants who practiced this form of yoga saw positive changes for their quality of life as well as their mental health.
9. Try Art Therapy
Creating things - even if it's growing a runner bean sapling in a small pot - is a great way to relax. Various studies have shown that art therapy, where patients use art to explore and express their emotions, improve their self-esteem, deal with trauma or bereavement, and reduce anxiety, also reduces stress. If there is no art provider near you, consider developing a few creativity-boosting habits.
10. Get Laid!
And if you cannot find a willing partner to have sex with, masturbation is an age-old, proven method to de-stress and reduce anxiety.
Are you a stress bunny with a resolution? Try not to imagine you can wipe stress away with a few big strokes. Take small steps because each step counts.