Yoga, meditation and other well-known activities for stress relief are often recommended by experts for those people who need to deal with anxiety or other issues caused by intense work, emotional problems or family drama. Aside from these, however, there are other effective and lesser known activities for stress relief that you might find useful and comforting.
1. Spontaneous Lifestyle Changes
Since stress is often caused by repetitive actions, one of the simplest and most effective activities for stress relief is a spontaneous lifestyle change - even the smallest one may do wonders. Hop in your car and go get a coffee in a neighboring town - just like that. Visit a faraway place you haven’t seen since your childhood. Or maybe start a new positive random habit - such as buying a flower each day, waking up earlier to have some quality "me" time before the craziness of the day starts, or reading short stories.
2. Binaural Beats
Listening to music may be calming, but did you know there are specific sounds designed to actually induce a state of calm, focus and relaxation? Binaural beats are achieved by listening to stereo sounds designed to induce one frequency into one ear, and a slightly different one into the other. The result is an alteration of the normal brainwave pattern that can be used to encourage relaxation or sleep, help with meditation or improve learning abilities – all depending on the beat frequency used.
3. ASMR Videos
Watching and listening to ASMR videos is one of the newest and most intriguing activities for stress relief. ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is a popular term for describing the tingling, pleasurable sensation that some people experience when watching or listening to certain colors, movements or sounds - such as various textures, landscapes, gentle brush strokes, or even whispers and role-play scenarios.
4. Visualization Walks
A great way of releasing anxiety is by combining two of the best relaxation methods out there: walks and visualization. Simply take a walk in a tranquil, peaceful and natural place, such as a park, the riverside or a forest, and visualize just for a few minutes that that’s the only place that exists. You can also picture being surrounded by people you love, places you’ve enjoyed in the past or animals whose presence you may find soothing.
5. Comfort Cooking
Who says cooking has to be a chore? It can actually be one of the most relaxing pastimes you will experience, and some recipes will be a real pleasure to prepare. Take your time, find a good recipe and make a delicious meal. You may find the cooking experience to be even better than actually eating the food.
6. Complete Silence
People often forget about the power of silence. While we may be surrounded by TV channels, phone calls, traffic noises and just about anything else that could distract us, a few minutes of shutting all that out can do wonders for your mental and emotional health. Just turn off all electronics, shut the windows, and put a “keep out” sign on your bedroom door. You’ll be surprised of the results.
7. 3D Puzzles
3D puzzle games like Rubik’s cube or mahjong, as well as casual online games you can access on your computer or mobile device, can easily help distract and stimulate your mind, drawing it away from trivial worries and helping you relax, while also giving you a sense of accomplishment.
There are a lot of other less common activities for stress relief that you might enjoy, although each person is different and the real value of these pastimes should be found individually. What other useful and calming activities would you suggest?