Today is National Stress Awareness Day, so it is a day worth talking about the issue that affects millions around the world. If left untreated, frequent stress (that isn’t isolated or down to an overly busy few hours at the office) can seriously take its toll on our mental health. And whether it’s concern over work, our finances or any other aspect of our lives, none of us are immune to feeling stressed. If you’re always feeling under intense emotional or mental pressure, this can have serious repercussions on your health and general wellbeing. Thankfully, much research has shown that using specific (and very simple) activities or techniques can effectively combat these feelings and lower stress levels. Read about six of our favourites below:
This is all about using colouring as a relaxation tool. Through colouring, you can focus your mind on one small task at a time, whether that is shading an area, or losing yourself in the finer details. While this is by no means a cure for stress or anxiety, it can be another weapon to add to your arsenal, calming and centring your mind. There is an array of adult colouring books now available, solely designed for this purpose.
If you’ve been meaning to take up a creative pursuit, there’s never been a better time; studies have shown that crafting lowers stress levels and increases happiness. From patchwork to knitting or flower arranging, these crafts enable you to focus on the task at hand, tuning out the world around you and creating something you can be proud off.
A recent report found that reading has an enormous impact on stress – and in a very positive way. Forty-one percent of people consider it a better way to relax than hanging out with friends, and 38% cited it as their number one stress remedy. As if you needed another excuse to open your favourite book this rainy Sunday.
Take A Break
Numerous studies have shown that stepping away from your desk at lunchtime is a sure fire way to reduce stress, yet so many of us don’t do this. Taking a 20-minute walk outside will make you feel happier as the endorphins get released into your body, and a happier worker can concentrate more, getting less irritated with other people (and technology!), according to The Huffington Post.
Did you know that the majority of us are breathing incorrectly? We spend our day taking a series of short, shallow breaths instead of breathing deeply as we should. Just shifting your attention from whatever is going on to the act of taking a single purposeful breath can make a meaningful contribution to managing stress. Not only will paying regular attention to your breath (focus on taking full, deep breaths) give you a good reading on your mental and emotional but state, you’ll also tap into an easy and efficient way to manage stress and anxiety.
Finally, find something that really fulfils you
What is it that brings you happiness? Doing the little or big things that cause the natural endorphins to kick in is one of the best ways to combat stress. Whether this is yoga, a lavender bath or simply a long walk on the beach, try to find something which makes you happy, incorporate this into your daily routine and keep it there.