I’m guilty of getting caught up in the pressures that come along with living as a young, twenty-something human. So, I have compiled a list of the top 10 things I try to do in order to relieve some stress and I hope anyone reading this can benefit from this checklist as well.
1. Go for a walk.
Being in the fresh air helps you clear your mind and focus on lighter topics that do not consume your life. Sometimes I listen to music, but other times I like to just stroll through a nearby park and reflect back on my day one step at a time.
2. Talk about it.
There’s no better way than to release all the stress you’re feeling by getting it out in the open. If you keep it to yourself, then you tend to be even more stressed because that’s the only thing on your mind. If you feel like you cannot talk to a family member or close friend about the stress you’re experiencing, bear in mind you can always turn towards an online blog or help line to get you through it.
3. Go to bed earlier.
Your body needs rest and if it’s overworked it will under perform and add unnecessary stress to your day. Make a nice cup of hot, decaffeinated coffee or tea right before bed to relax you even more.
4. Dance it out.
When have you seen someone bust a move with a sad expression on his or her face? Oh, that’s right. Never. Even if you aren’t the best dancer, dance like no one is watching and feel the stress escape from your body one move at a time. I guarantee you will put a smile on your own face, while having fun at the same time.
5. Take a deep breath.
Sometimes taking a deep breath is all you need. Is the thing you’re stressing over really that worth it? Will it matter fifteen minutes from now? A year from now? On most occasions, the stress you’re experiencing doesn’t even measure up to someone else living in a third world country.
6. Focus on what you can control.
This is so much easier said than done. I have learned that if a particular situation is out of your control, there is simply nothing you can do or say to change the outcome. So, instead of stressing about things you cannot control, focus all of your energy on things you can control because they will benefit you in the long run.
7. Ask for a hug.
A family member, friend, coworker, even a complete stranger (well, maybe not) will be more than willing to comfort you through a hug. Sometimes that's all it takes to turn around your day.
8. Reminisce about good times.
Remember that mini vacation you took with a group of close friends? Or the time you spent the holiday with some long-distance relatives you haven't seen in years? It's nice to reflect back on the good times you've had when you're feeling stressed. It will remind you that it's just a bad day and not necessarily a bad life. 9 times out of 10 the good days will outweigh the bad days.
9. Look for opportunities in life’s challenges.
You spent an hour working on the wrong assignment. You miss the last train going to your final destination. Your boss hates the way you prioritize your workload. No matter what types of challenges stand in-between you and your day, I promise that something good always comes out of something bad. You just have to look for it.
10. Always smile.
Life's too short to be on edge and miserable every moment of everyday. They say that smiling in contagious, so spread that around in order for others to feed off your positive energy. Who knows, you may inspire someone else who is equally stressed as you, to do the same.