What can you do right now to feel less stressed?
Health is not just about how many times a week you exercise or what you eat. Even though, they are very important factors. Health is also about your mental state of mind and all these factors above are connected.
We live busy lives, we’re ambitious and we’re constantly under pressure. It’s important to learn how to unwind and relax properly after a busy day of working or studying. Stress and anxiousness often build up and you might end up making harm for yourself and people around you.
Learn to ease stress and anxiousness. Are you fully present in the moment? Stop and breathe. Life is here and now. What can you do right now to feel less stressed?
“If the ocean can calm itself, so you can you. We are both salt water mixed with air.” Nayyirah Waheed
Here are some suggestions for unwinding
- Once you get home, disconnect from different devices and give your brain a break. We’re constantly surrounded by information and we’re not relaxing properly if we keep scrolling down different websites and social media channels. Challenge yourself: leave your phone in your bag or somewhere away from you and try to avoid using it. This is particularly important 1-2 hours before going to bed due to blue light that has negative effects on your sleep.
- Meditate and breathe. Empty your mind and practice meditation. Let your stress fade away by focusing on breathing. If you have no experience in meditating, there are several apps around that can help you to get started. One of my favorites is called Calm; it has different meditation programs and each session goes for about 9-12 minutes. It’s the perfect way to start the day before getting out of bed and the best way to end the day before going to sleep. You can do it anywhere, even on your desk during your work day. It’s worth trying!
- Go outdoors. Go for a walk or go jogging in nature and breathe in the fresh air. Listen to your favorite music, forget about your stressful thoughts and get some adrenaline going. It will make you feel better for sure!
- Have a hobby. Exercise. Do yoga. Stretch. Your hobby can be anything but any physical activity is recommended. Break the pattern, change something physically and your stress or anxiousness will ease. Exercising is not only for your fitness but also for your mind. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. They interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. They also trigger a positive feeling in the body.
- Cook something delicious. Cooking can be very relaxing: let the stress go away, make cooking fun and enjoy the nourishing food.
- Have a journal. Let your thoughts flow and start writing. Reflective writing helps you to structure your thoughts and suddenly a few things might make sense again. You can also write about gratitude: list things that you’re grateful for. This increases your happiness, too.
- Let a book tell you a story. Focus on reading instead of focusing on your thoughts. You’ll get fresh thoughts from reading.
- Spend time with your loved ones. Put your phone and work away. Get together with your family and friends. Share your love with them.
- Drink herbal teas. Have a non-caffeinated cup of tea, such as chamomile tea. It relaxes your mind and soul.
- Go to bed early. Sleep is one of the most important factors for your health. Try to go to bed early and get your 8 hours sleep in. If you are constantly sleep deprived, surely little things feel complicated and make you feel stressed.
Most importantly, find time to do things that you enjoy.
Love, Jonna x
Jonna Haataja is a wellness coach and personal trainer from Finland. She currently lives in Perth, Australia. She is passionate about healthy active lifestyle, nutritious food, exercise, yoga and helping others. Follow her on Instagram: @jonnahaataja.