In an ideal world, human beings would live and work like human beings… not robots. But we don’t live in an ideal world, do we? Our modern-day lifestyle seems like it was designed by someone who had a grudge against humanity! We are constantly overworked, and at the same time, we need to take care of our families, health, finances, social life, and much more. All of this while following the same daily routine over and over again. Sometimes, life seems like the movie, The Truman Show (if you haven’t seen it, we recommend you do!).
Stress is the most logical outcome of the type of life we all live. You really can’t blame yourself for feeling this way, and you certainly aren’t alone! There are a lot of great suggestions online to bring stress relief, but many of them require a little time and preparation, and sometimes that’s a problem. Today, we wanted to share simple and quick tips that you can try now—no prep needed and no need to book a slot in your calendar!—to feel better.
1) Do the Wonder Woman pose
Not everyone believes in the benefits of power posing for stress relief, but in our experience, it really does help! Stand in front of the mirror, your legs shoulder-width apart, put your hands on your hips, and tell yourself “I can do this”. Don’t you feel a little more like Wonder Woman, ready to take on the world? This pose can actually increase testosterone levels (connected with dominance) and decrease cortisol (the well-known stress hormone) in your body. Best of all, it costs nothing and only take a couple of minutes.
2) Light a candle
It might seem a little “out there”, but hear me out. When you get a whiff of your favourite food, don’t you suddenly feel excited and ecstatic? There is something about good smells that just makes us feel better. It’s a good idea to keep some scented aromatherapy candles around. Make sure these are infused with essential oils. Whenever you feel stressed, just light one up and bask in its healing scent! Researchers have shown that aromatherapy (using candles and essential oils) can reduce stress and anxiety.
3) Write it down
Has it ever happened to you that the thing you were stressed about was actually not that big of a deal, but you only realized this later? Yeah, our brain likes to do that. It makes a matter seem much worse than it is due to its pesky tendency to overthink. If you find yourself in this situation, just take a piece of paper and a pen, and write down what’s bothering you. I have done this on a number of occasions and you know what? Most times, I find that the problem seemed big only in my head. Once it’s written down, it seems much more manageable, which makes you feel better. Even when the problem is a big one, it helps to get it out of your head and onto the page, somehow.
4) Chew gum
Not only does it taste nice and exercises your mouth, but it also bring stress relief. I know this doesn’t seem true, but researchers have shown in a study that people who chew gum regularly have lower stress and a higher sense of well-being. Who are we to question a scientific study, right? So, just keep a few (sugar-free) gums in your bag and whip them out when you need to relax.
5) Call your best friend
Or your mother, father, sister, brother, or whoever you are the closest to (emotionally)! Sometimes, just hearing the voice of your loved one is enough to take away all your stress. I am sure we have all experienced this and continue to do so in our day-to-day life. Whether you’re at work and a project you’re working on is overwhelming you, or you’ve just heard bad news and want to pour your heart out, just call someone who loves you and talk to them. It’s the best way to feel lighter.
6) Try a quick breathing exercise
Did you know that stress can trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response? When this happens, your brain floods your system with the stress hormone, and you may experience a faster heartbeat, contracted muscles, faster breathing, and constricted blood vessels. We have all been there, haven’t we? This is where breathing exercises come in. Just a minute of deep breathing can deactivate the flight or flight response and its symptoms.
7) Play with your pet
If you don’t have a pet, you might not get it, but pets are little bundles of joy. For some reason, playing with your pet makes you forget about all your woes, and you can just exist in the present moment, enjoying every bit of it. When your cat walks up to your face and paws your cheek, or when your dog wags its tail in excitement as you get ready to throw the ball, your heart literally melts! Ok, not literally, but you get the point!
8) Plug in your headphones
We all know what effect music has on us. When you’re at a party and your favourite dance music starts playing, your feet start to act of their own will. Before you know it, your whole body starts to move to the rhythm of the song. So, the next time you want to drive stress out, plug in your headphones and listen to some great rock, pop, dance, or any other type of music that gets you going. I find Rasputin by Boney M to be particularly effective!
9) Take a walk
It is amazing what a little walk outside can do to your brain. Has it ever happened to you that you were stuck in a rut, you stepped out for a bit… and when you returned, you became an idea machine all of a sudden? Yeah, research shows that taking a stroll outside can relieve stress, lift your mood, and even enhance creativity! So, you would be helping yourself on many levels if you could just detach from what you’re doing and head out for like 5 minutes.
10) Drink some green tea
Ok, for this, you might need to go to your kitchen, but it’s totally worth it! And it hardly takes 2 minutes. Green tea contains a compound called theanine. It has a calming effect on your nervous system, and can therefore help you feel relaxed during a stressful situation. If one cup doesn’t do it, you can drink 2-3 cups! The great thing about green tea is that it doesn’t contain nearly as much caffeine as black tea. So you won’t have to worry about losing your sleep.
11) Eat a healthy snack
Some foods seem to have been tailor-made to help us deal with stress. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, dark chocolate, oatmeal, yoghurt, blueberries, cashews, and an endless list of other food items can bring stress relief. Keep these healthy snacks on hand so you can munch on them when needed, but make sure to slowly savor them. We all are guilty of stress-eating sometimes, when we just stuff our faces mindlessly (and gain a few pounds in the process). Eating can be relaxing when done mindfully (and in moderation), so just focus on what you’re touching and tasting!
12) Take a few drops of CBD hemp oil
We obviously had to recommend CBD oil as a wellness solution! CBD tinctures in particular are designed to be taken sublingually. That allows the tissues in your mouth to absorb the CBD, which then rapidly diffuses straight into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestive process. What this means is that you get much needed stress relief, fast. So next time you take CBD hemp oil, don’t forget to hold it under your tongue for at least a minute before swallowing it!