Thankfully, right after tax season is a magical little day called Stress Awareness Day where you can feel free to take a load off and release all of that built-up stress! So sit back, put your feet up, and browse through some of the best ways to truly relax and de-stress after a long day.
10 Ways to Reduce Stress
After a long day, if you have a lot on your mind, practicing intentional mindfulness and starting with a few minutes of meditation can greatly improve mindset and resolve stress. There are several apps available for your phone that make practicing meditation incredibly easy! Just five minutes a day can go a long way to improve stress.
This site has amazing starter tips for meditation and ways to improve your mindfulness overall. Check it out!
2. Deep Breathing
If you’re not inclined to try out meditation, a minute of deep, focused breaths can also improve stress and create a more positive mindset! Just a few times a day, try breathing deeply through your nose, hold for a second, and then let your breath gently out through your mouth. Repeat for a minute or so and you’ll notice results almost immediately.
If you have a fitness tracking watch like the Fitbit or Apple watch, these often come with "Breathe" apps or settings that can guide you through this helpful tool and lead you to a less stressful life.
One of the most effective ways to keep stress at bay is to exercise! When you exercise, the body releases endorphins that trigger a happy response and, over the long run, keeps the stress hormone cortisol low.
Not only that, but regular exercise can help you get more restful sleep and boost your confidence, both of which can reduce stress as well.
4. Stretching or Yoga
Tension and stress often manifest in your muscles as well. Taking the time to attend a yoga class or even just stretch out on your own helps to relieve that built up tension and can relieve stress overall.
Being mindful of breathing and remaining mindful of your body helps to reduce stress and anxiety while raising fitness levels as well. Hatha yoga is a slower, gentle form of yoga that is especially known for helping with stress and promoting relaxation. Videos are plentiful on Google and YouTube if you don’t want to head to the gym, so give yoga a try one night!
One of your most powerful senses is the sense of smell! It has the power to transport you to a long-lost memory or a better place, so, while not a proven "cure" for stress, aromatherapy can be a very useful tool. Essential oil diffusers are a popular option that are readily found, but some Essential Oils can cause respiratory problems in animals, so if you have plenty of furry babies around, try lighting a candle!
Some of the most soothing smells are Lavender, Rose, Vetiver, Frankinscense, and Sandalwood.
6. Write it Out
Keeping a diary can help you to process through stressful feelings or circumstances. The physical act of writing actually helps the brain to work out thoughts and solutions while promoting positive, healthy reactions to the stressor.
Journaling is also a way to promote positive self-talk and encouragement to yourself. After coping with negative emotions, try listing positive things that have happened, as a focus on gratitude can help keep mood up and stress down.
I’m sure you’ve heard that “laughter is the best medicine,” but there is actually legitimate clout behind that phrase!
A bout of laughter not only physically relaxes your muscles for up to 45 minutes afterward, but it also releases endorphins into your system! This makes both your mind and body feel relaxed and happy in the moment and for a while after the laughter stops. So if you’re feeling stressed out, put on a funny show or grab your funniest friends for a feel-good solution to overwhelming stress.
Hanging out with friends and family can increase your sense of connection and belonging to a group of other people. This connection and spending more time with family and friends can help the production and release of oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.
This has been referred to as the “tend and befriend” response, the exact opposite of the “fight or flight” response.
9. Drink Less Caffeine
While small to moderate amounts of caffeine can boost your mood, quite a few studies have found that too much caffeine or prolonged exposure to caffeine increases the cortisol in your body. And cortisol is the stress hormone which leads to higher levels of stress and anxiety in many people.
10. Drink Some Relax Tea!
Scientists have studied the effects of tea on stress, and have found that it’s not just a placebo effect. Based on a report done by The Cut, Chamomile tea is actually an aid for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and stress that has been proven to be quite effective.
Research suggests that the act of making and drinking tea before bed can be calming in and of itself, but the tea was also tested against a placebo, where participants drinking the chamomile tea experienced greater relief of stress and anxiety than the participants on the placebo.
For best stress relief results, drink a tea with no caffeine and holistic, all-natural ingredients like the Relax Tea on our website. Made with chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, orange peel, and valerian root, this blend is perfect to settle down with after a long day.
So whether tax season has you on edge, or your boss is stressing you out, remember to take a deep breath, have a good laugh, and reach for a cup of soothing tea. You'll be well on your way to bettering your emotional and mental health overall!