Stress is a part of life. We all experience it in different ways and it can be caused by numerous things. However, when stress becomes overwhelming, it can start to impact our mental health. That’s why it is important to find stress relievers that help to improve your mental health.
In order to manage stress, it’s important to understand what could be causing this stress. Everyone has different stressors in their life, and we are all more susceptible to stress when there are underlying issues going on such as:
You are not getting enough sleep: Studies have shown that when you do not get enough sleep at night, you are more likely to feel stressed. Also, if you’re stressed, you may have trouble falling asleep or wake up more frequently during the night.
You do not have a solid network of support: Research has shown that poor social support is linked to depression and feelings of loneliness.
You are experiencing a major life change: A major life change can be anything from moving to having a baby or losing a loved one, all of which can cause incredible stress.
You are not keeping up with your physical health: Research shows that regular exercise can help reduce stress.
Once you understand what may be triggering you, you can experiment with different stress-relieving strategies. If you are looking for some “me time” to decompress and focus on your mental health, we have created a list of some great stress-relieving tips you can try.
Try meditation: Meditation restores the body to a relaxed state, calming your mind and body by quieting the stress-induced thoughts that are running through your brain. There are many ways to practice meditation: you can repeat a mantra in your mind, focus on your breathing, or count.
Relax with aromatherapy: Aromatherapy, or the therapeutic use of essential oils, has real benefits when it comes to stress relief. Essential oils can help you feel more relaxed and boost your mood. Incorporate aromatherapy into your self-care routine by using oil diffusers, lighting candles, or taking a bath with essential oils.
Express gratitude: Gratitude is a grounding emotion and can help balance out stress. To practice gratitude regularly, write down three things you are grateful for every morning. Expressing gratitude releases dopamine and serotonin in our brains, hormones that make us feel happier and therefore less stressed.
Move your body: This does not mean you need to go to the gym and complete a straining workout for an hour. You can take a walk while listening to music or your favorite podcast, do a 20-minute yoga workout, or even just stretch for 10 minutes. Any physical movement that makes your body feel good will in turn make you feel better mentally, releasing endorphins that boost your mood.
Grab a coloring book: Coloring books are not just for children! Coloring can be a great stress-relieving exercise. Research has shown that coloring a geometric design, like a mandala, reduces anxiety and can reduce stress levels because it imitates a meditative state. When your brain is focused on a very simple task, like coloring, it’s given the opportunity to reach a relaxed state.
Try out some of these different stress-relief strategies to see what works best for you. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so taking time for yourself is both needed and encouraged!
About the author
Jessica is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University, now based in New York. Jessica loves to read, is passionate about fitness and nutrition, and is always looking for new restaurants with the best pasta dishes. On the weekends, you can find her playing with her dog Wilson, at the beach with a good book, or doing pilates.