Everyone experiences stress at some point in his or her life. Occasional stress can be a good thing, but if allowed to get out of control it can have a damaging effect on the mind and body. In case you didn’t know, April is National Stress Awareness Month, and April 16th happens to be Stress Awareness Day, so in honor of this much needed day we’ve put together a list of how to de-stress and relax during the workweek. Cue the relaxing spa music.
It’s no joke, laughing causes immediate stress relief (no pun intended). According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing has both short-term and long-term benefits. Laughing enhances the amount of oxygen in the body, and ultimately stimulates your body’s organs and releases mood-boosting endorphins to de-stress. It also increases your heart and blood pressure slightly that leads to a relaxed feeling afterwards. So with that, take a short break and watch a funny YouTube video or Google pictures of adorable animals—something to help you smile and de-stress.
Yes, you can de-stress by healthy eating. There’s nothing worse than having a mountain of work to do while feeling those hunger pangs strike. That only results in unnecessary stress and the inevitable overeating. Instead, keep healthy snacks nearby that you can enjoy to stay relaxed and focused on the task at hand. Take a short break, a deep breath, and enjoy your snack. Nuts, avocados or a hardboiled egg are smart choices that won’t lead to inadequate nutrition and will keep you full.
As you know, it’s so important to keep moving throughout your day! Not only will this help keep you fit, but also help you de-stress in a big way. Adjust your desk and stand for thirty minutes every hour, stretch, and talk to coworkers instead of emailing them. Movement has the power to boost creativity and endorphins, leading to a stress-free, relaxed work day. If you have time, go for a short walk around the block. Walking helps clear your head and take your mind off of whatever is causing you stress.
When tension and panic start to rise, ever realize that you’re holding your breath? Deep breathing exercises are one of the most powerful ways to de-stress, and it only takes a second. Deep breaths increase the amount of oxygen in the body and stimulate a relaxed feeling, leading to reduced tension and stress.
This may come as a shock, but reading is actually linked to reduced stress. According to the Telegraph, psychologists believe reading causes you to concentrate and focus on a literary world instead of the present one that’s causing you stress. Silently reading for as little as 6 minutes can help you de-stress by 68 percent!
How do you de-stress during the week? Share in the comments below!