Stress is pretty much unavoidable. Between traffic, busy schedules, and the many responsibilities that come along with the various roles each of us play from parent, spouse, business-owner or employee, it’s no wonder that we often find ourselves dealing with high levels of tension, either mentally, emotionally, or physically. As natural as it is to feel this stress, if we allow it to become a constant in our lives, it can lead to a variety of negative effects including headaches, digestive trouble, elevated blood pressure, pain in muscles and joints, problems with sleep, fatigue, and mood disturbances. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re doomed to suffer if you experience stress in your day-to-day life. Investing time in soothing and balancing practices can help you release the build-up of stress from your body and your mind. There are tons of way to let stress go, and different people will find that some methods are more effective for them than others. If you find yourself struggling with stress on the regular, try out some of these simple stress-relieving practices to feel a greater sense of ease and peace in your daily life!
De-stress in the Kitchen
Cooking can be a wonderful way to relieve stress because it can help you focus your attention on something positive and nourishing. Many of the things that you do to prep a meal, snack, or treat involves some sort of repetitive process like chopping, stirring, or washing produce. These actions have a simple rhythm to them that can be soothing and almost meditative. Baking, in particular, is a great kitchen activity for releasing tension because the unique sensations of working with dough and batters with your hands can get you out of your head and back into your body very quickly. Not sure what to make? Try your hand at some delicious paleo baked goods, like our Cacao Magic Bread, or a fresh nut butter, like our Cacao Magic Almond Butter.
Just Say "Om"
Developing a steady meditation practice is one of the very best things you can do to let go of stress in your life. It cultivates a deep inner peace and the ability to let distressing thoughts go instead of circling them obsessively. There are tons of different types of meditation practices, but even taking just a few minutes a day to sit quietly and focus on your breath can have dramatically positive impacts.
Spend Time with Friends
There are some people that always just leave you feeling refreshed and more positive and those are the people you want to spend time with when you start to feel the pressures of life building. Whether you choose to talk about what is troubling you, or you prefer to focus on what’s going on in their life, spending time with a grounded friend can help you get perspective on the issues that you’re struggling with.
Get Out in Nature
Another thing that can help you get perspective is getting out of the hustle and in to nature. There’s something about the simplicity and beauty of the natural world that reminds us that our ultimate purpose in life is to simply be the best us we can be. All of the added stresses and strains of modern life feel far away when you’re out on a long hike or floating in the ocean’s waves, and that little bit of space can help make stressful situations seem much more manageable.
Have a Dance Party
This may sound like a silly suggestion, but I dare you to try it. Next time you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, step away from the source of the stress for a few minutes, turn on your favorite beats, and rock out. It may not feel entirely natural at first, but if you allow yourself to connect with the music and really let your body express any pent up feelings through your movements, you just might find that you can completely turn your mood around in just a matter of minutes!
I love to do this when I am stuck in traffic. I keep a sachet in the car and when I find myself in a never-ending gridlock, I put the lavender-filled pouch right up to my face and inhale deeply. It always helps me settle in, find a sense of calm, and be more patient with my circumstances.
Drink a Kombucha
“Kombucha?!” Yes, kombucha. It contains a variety of healing ingredients that help ease stress reactions in the body. Sip it, savor it, and feel the “ahhhhh”.
What are you favorite stress relief techniques! Share in the comments below or tweet them to @philosophiemama!