8 New Ways to De-Stress That You Haven’t Heard a Million Times Already
You’ve heard all the typical stress-busting tips before: Slip into a bath, light a candle, or call a friend. And while all of these things are great strategies to use, sometimes when youreally want to forget about whatever’s got you feeling tense, it works best to try something new. To celebrate Stress Awareness Day (November 1), we decided to ask some experts for some fresh-feeling, haven’t-heard-it-a-billion-times-before stress-busting tips.
Turns out, breaking the stress cycle can be as easy as making a simple swap. For instance, instead of your usual elliptical-and-Netflix combo, take a five-minute dance break. Rather than taking a few deep breaths in your cube, getting some green will make them even more effective.
Here, experts and new research offer new and genius hacks to shake off the stress—if not for good, at least for the next half hour.
Dance it Out
When you that “OMG, I can’t handle this!” feeling washes over you, stop what you’re doing as soon as possible, and take a five-minute break. “When people are feeling a great deal of overwhelm, I like to empower them to think about what they can do that they think is fun,” saysApryl Schlueter, founder of The Cheerful Mind and author ofFinding Success in Balance. Some of her suggestions: watch a quick and funny YouTube clip, take a quick walk for fresh air, or—her favorite—dance. “I like to turn on upbeat music and start dancing. It always puts me in a better mood,” she says. Indeed, girls who grow up dancing have better mental health, including less stress, per research inJAMA. Bonus: they’re happier, too.
Change Your Perspective
Stress often pops up from a never-ending list of have-to’s. You “have to” finish that presentation for work. You “have to” help your friend move into her new apartment. You “have to” hit up another birthday party this weekend for a colleague. Rather than using that language, flip it to say “I want to,” suggestsSamantha Boardman, MD, positive psychiatrist and founder of Positive Prescription. This view is more motivating, and makes whatever you’re going to do more fun.
Stock a Self-Care Box
Piling things that bring on hygge vibes (a Danish term that basically means warm-fuzzies) into a self-care box can help you feel better fast, says Schlueter. Having one readily prepared means “you won’t have to waste a minute thinking about what you can do to find calm. If you’re in a high-stress situation, your ability to focus and make decisions is not as efficient, so preparing in advance is better,” she says. Stock the box with a book you love, photos of you and friends, watercolors or an adult coloring book, a candle, favorite tea, a face mask. You can even sign up for a subscription self-care box, like HavenTree.
MORE: 6 Real Ways Makeup and Skin Care Can Help Your Mental Health
Surround Yourself with Green
You know those times when you just can’t get out of your own head? You’re stressed because things didn’t go your way—and it’s probably all your fault, you think. Or you justknowsomething’s going to go wrong. And the tape replays in your head over and over. The antidote to banish all that negative self-talk? Time outside. People who took a 90-minute nature walk had less rumination and blunted brain areas linked to conditions like depression compared to those who strolled in an urban environment, finds 2015 research. Turns out, green, in all its restorative glory, has a way of turning your frown upside down—or, rather, negativity into positivity. If you don’t have that much time? Get outside anyway. You’ll feel better, promise.
Don’t Tune it Out
When stress bubbles up, it’s so important to listen to what it’s telling you. “Self-awareness is the key to making real change and progress toward a less stressful and more fulfilling life,” says Sschlueter. Rather than reacting to stress all the time, “reflect on what’s working and what can be improved,” she says. Now is better than ever to do this deep dive, too—it’s more difficult to get through when you’ve reached a breaking point of burnout. Ask:What real change can I make to lessen this stress next time?Perhaps it’s improving time management, staying more organized, or even removing that toxic friend from your life.
MORE: These Activities Can Help Boost Your Mood, Says Science
Snooze it Off
It’s no surprise that after a stressful day at work, you’re elbow-deep in the pint of Talenti. What’s more, 43 percent of women say they’ve dealt with stress by eating too much or unhealthy foods (or both), reports the American Psychological Association. One thing you can do tonight to ensure it doesn’t happen again tomorrow: snag shut-eye. A new study in theJournal of Applied Psychologyfound that clocking good snooze time helps buffer the must-eat-it-now pull of stress eating after having one ofthosedays at work. Rather than tucking in and binge-watching TV, throw on a luxurious eye mask and tuck into bed early.
Pay it Forward
When stress bubbles up, so often you want to deal with it on your own. But being alone won’t help lift you up—turning to others will, says Boardman. She recommends connecting with people, which will help boost your resilience when times get crazed. Even when things may feel out of control and the last thing you want to do is reach out, hold the elevator or the door for a stranger, say hi when you’re waiting in line, or help someone who looks like they’re struggling.
Try a New Meditation
You already know meditation and yoga are tops for reducing stress. That said, thinking abouthowto meditate can be stressful in itself.
Video: Ways To De-Stress & Relax ✩‧₊˚
Ten amazing movies based onpsychoanalysis
The Many Highs Of Opium (Perfume, That Is)
How to Keep Pet Rats Safe Around Other Pets
How to Cover Up Dark, Undereye Circles
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Marks A 40th Anniversary Special
The Best Makeup For Your EyeShape
What Colors Flatter Brunettes Best of All
How to Mentally Prepare for a Speech
How To Be Creative: Six Science Approved Steps
How to Do a Needle in Cheerleading
Mode Madness: The Madison Avenue Crawl for Fashion’s NightOut
How to Paint Fabric Shoes