Life can be stressful. Dealing with challenges can take a toll on your mental well-being and leave you stressed and drained of energy. While it is impossible and quite frankly impractical to try and control all your circumstances, you have the choice of your response to them.
It would help if you always remembered that stress and anxiety are ubiquitous for most people. Approximately seventy percent of people complain of stress and anxiety daily.
Stress can become overwhelming. Chronic stress takes a toll on your mental and physical well-being. Having effective methods to relieve your stress and calm your mind and body goes a long way in keeping you healthy, happy, and fulfilled.
Note that stress relief methods that work for you might not work for another person (all people are unique). Therefore, everyone should have a stress relief method for when they are at home.
It is also important to note that whatever works for you at home may not work when you are at work or in the community. It would help if you had a handful of stress-relieving tools at your disposal so that you can pick a tool that is fit for every situation you may be in.
When thinking of stress and stress relief methods, you will definitely have to consider making up:
- Short term stress relief strategies
- Long term stress relief methods
- Quick acting relaxation techniques
Short-term stress relief methods help you deal with an immediate problem. The latter helps you keep your cool and avoid panicking.
Long-term stress relief methods work in tandem to have you live a calm, relaxed, and stress-free life. Quick-acting strategies offer immediate relief from your daily stressors, giving you a window of calm to allow you to pick up on the short-term strategies.
Short Term Stress Relief Strategies
Even though you are looking for strategies to relieve stress at home, you can apply short-term strategies anywhere to cut down your immediate stress. These stress-relieving techniques include:
1. Guided Imagery
When you are in a stressful position, one of your basic instincts is usually to be at a different place. Guided imagery provides you with that escape.
While practicing guided imagery, you can go to your ‘happy place’ in your mind, be it the beach or a farm with mooing cows. The main goal is to have your mind not actively focus on your stressful trigger and instead allow you to find peace and rationally deal with the stressful situation.
While performing guided imagery, you may opt to use a recording and have someone’s voice guide you through. On the other hand, you may be in a position to escape to your happy place without any assistance quickly.
You can shut your eyes and carefully take yourself through your peaceful place. Peaceful here does not mean your happy place has to be a place that is calm and tranquil; it might be a place with chaos and strife. The basis of guided imagery is personalized as long as it brings a state of calmness to mind.
You should then allow yourself to feel and experience this spot if you were there. Smell the grass, pat your cow, walk on the beach, feel the sand and the water. After three to five minutes, open your eyes and slowly allow yourself to return to your current situation.
Meditation is not only valuable for the short term. Meditating can also help you become a more calm and mindful person in the long run. When you practice meditation, you learn not to react to situations but to check your emotions actively. There is no one method to go about meditation. The skill is unique for everyone.
While meditating, you might decide to chant a mantra in your mind as you try to control your breathing. Alternatively, you might decide to practice mindfulness and practice being in the moment.
3. Go For a Walk
While walking is a form of exercise, taking a short walk is an efficient stress reliever. Taking a walk gets you out of your head, allowing you to enjoy the scenery, the cool breeze, or the warm sun. Sometimes, taking a short walk can be the remedy that you need to get a new perspective on things. In some cases, long calming walks offer immediate relief from the stressful environment you are in.
You may decide to walk around the block (when it is safe) or even around your compound. Walking rejuvenates your body and freshens your mind.
4. Progressively Relax Your Muscle Groups
Often when stressed, you may subconsciously have constriction of muscles due to tension. Relaxing all the muscles in your body progressively through all your muscle groups from your forehead to your toes allows you to recognize the tension in your muscles.
Start with a couple of deep breaths and try to relax all your muscles, group by group. Tighten and relax each muscle group systematically, and in this way, you will feel a wave of relaxation washing down your body.
Quick Acting Relaxation Techniques
While within the comfort of your home, there are several techniques to help you relax quickly.
Try a Hot Bath
After a long and strenuous day, one of the well known therapies is a hot bath. A bath cleanses your mind and body and can wash your pain and stress away. While soaking in a bath, your skin releases endorphins as a response to the soothing effect of the water. Additionally, while submerged in hot water, blood flow to your skin is improved, which is therapeutic. You will often feel yourself unwind and relax much more while in a bath.
You may decide to add bathing salts and fragrances to improve your experience.
How About a Hug From a Loved One?
Physical touch might go a long way to relieve your stress. A hug from a loved one often has your body producing oxytocin, commonly called the cuddle hormone, which often reduces blood pressure and the vasoconstrictor hormone nor-epinephrine levels, and produces a sense of relaxation.
Never refrain from asking a loved one for a hug. It is one of the simplest available ways of stress relief and relaxation techniques. Similar benefits can be accrued by cuddling with a pet.
Your sense of smell is compelling. Aromatherapy utilizes essential oils (volatile oils from plants). When you inhale these oils or apply them to your skin, the essential oils lead to relaxation and a calm state of mind.
Through your sense of smile, essential oils get to specific areas in your brain and have your brain responding by producing feel-good hormones like serotonin. Aromatherapy not only relieves your stress but also has other health benefits.
How About Your Creative Side?
When you were a child, you might have used art to express yourself or work through your feelings. However, you might feel that you have fallen out of touch with your creative side. It’s never too late to reignite your creative spark.
You might not be the best painter, and your drawings might not rank among the various Mona Lisa’s. Consider using an adult coloring book.
Remember that you are tapping into your creative side to relieve your stress. You should not be concerned much about the quality of your work but more about the intense feeling of relief you get by creating something.
Listen and Enjoy Music
While not everyone may enjoy immersing themselves in a world of symphony and lyrics, relaxing music can do a lot to alleviate your stress. Calm music has positive effects on your mind and body and lowers your cortisol levels and blood pressure.
When the music makes you move, you can also dance and sing along. Dancing leads to the production of endorphins and dopamine, and you will feel refreshed and calm.
Talk it Out
You have probably heard it already; a problem shared is a problem half solved. Having good relationships with friends and family is essential for all healthy and fulfilling lifestyles. When under extensive pressure, a reassuring voice can put your things in perspective.
In some instances, calling a friend or a loved one is not an option. In such a scenario, you may calmly talk to yourself. You should not be concerned that it seems a little crazy; you need to reassure yourself that all things will be okay and that the task at hand, though challenging, is not impossible.
Dealing With Stress in the Long-Term
Habits and lifestyle choices can effectively boost your resilience in stressful situations and eventually improve your well-being. Creating a lifestyle that enables you to ward off stress and deal with your challenges in a healthier manner goes a long way in making your life much more pleasant.
Exercise is highly beneficial, not only to keep physically fit but also to combat stress. Physically stressing your body helps to relieve mental stress. Therefore, regular exercising has even more significant benefits.
Regular exercise helps:
- Beat stress and anxiety by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol
- Improve your quality of sleep
- Boost your overall confidence
Walking, jogging, and other exercises involving repetitive motions of your large muscle groups are particularly stress relieving.
Several supplements have been shown to help combat stress and anxiety. Some of the most common supplements include:
- Lemon balm from the mint family has anti-anxiety effects
- Ashwagandha, a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine is used to treat stress and anxiety
- Green tea improves serotonin levels and may help to combat stress
- Kava kava, a psychoactive member of the pepper family, has proven helpful in treating mild anxiety and stress
- Valerian root has valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels and lowers anxiety and stress
Slow Down on The Caffeine
The stimulant found in tea, coffee, and energy drinks, caffeine, can increase stress and anxiety in high doses. Different individuals have different tolerance levels for caffeine, but consider reducing your intake once you notice that caffeine makes you anxious or jumpy.
Even though studies show that coffee is good in moderate quantities, coffee might not be for you. You may also find that a hot mug of chocolate helps you to relax and unwind.
Practice Saying No
While it may be impossible to control all stressors, some stressors are within your control. You should actively take control of your life and avoid situations that cause you grief and stress. The latter is known as self-love.
Learning to say “no” often is essential, especially if you often find yourself having taken up more responsibility than you can handle. Juggling numerous responsibilities may leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed. However, being pickier about what you add to your load can help you reduce your stress burden.
Do Not Procrastinate
Staying ahead of your workload is vital in keeping stress at bay. While procrastination makes you react to situations, actively staying on top of your workload makes you proactive.
Procrastination often causes stress and anxiety because you will always be struggling to catch up and stay afloat. If you find yourself susceptible to procrastination, a to-do list with realistic deadlines may help you become more organized and reduce your stress and anxiety. Multitasking can be stressful, so be sure to allocate all your tasks sufficient time.
Go For Yoga
Yoga is a popular method to relieve stress for all age groups. While styles may differ, yoga serves to connect your mind and body, and it does so by increasing your breath and body awareness.
Studies have shown that yoga enhances mood and can even treat anxiety and depression. Yoga’s effect on your nervous system and how you respond to stress help deal with anxiety. Yoga may lower cortisol levels and help you lead a much more purposeful life.
Have Time for Leisure
Whereas you may feel that your life is too busy for leisure activities, they are very practical stress relievers and can help you think clearer when it comes time to focus on your more important tasks.
Scheduling a little leisure time for yourself will leave you refreshed and help you perform better. Whether art, gardening, music, and even indoor games, activity is key to living a happy life.
Often, you may be blinded by all the daily tasks life brings your way that you forget what you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude allows you to be alive to the fact that even though you are not perfect, you still have things to be thankful for.
Gratitude also allows you to identify all the resources to combat stress, which can be very empowering. Making a daily decision to be grateful for something allows you to be more mindful of your life, and in this way, you can cope with stress.
Whereas finding what works for you may necessitate a bit of trial and error, it is only by practicing that you will find out what is suitable for you. Continuously identifying tools to help you keep your stress manageable will help you achieve an overall state of well-being.