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21 Aug

10 Forgotten Stress Relief Tips

There are plenty of excellent stress guides out there. Some will offer spiritual tips, while others will give you practical advice. Still others offer nutrition and fitness ideas to mitigate stress. Stress comes in many forms – relationships, work, health, hormones, momentary dilemmas, and more – and there are just as many ways to tackle it. Here’s a list of helpful stress soothers that are so simple, they’re often forgotten. They’re not ground-breaking by any means, but they work! So, while these won’t resolve major conflicts or heal a tired body, they will give you a quick mental lift. And sometimes, that’s all you really need.

10. Disconnect.

Being connected 24/7 isn’t really necessary. One of the simplest ways to restore a little serenity in the midst of a hectic week is to turn off the phone. Unplug your land line after dinner, too. You’d be surprised how simply turning off the ringer can bring instant calm.

phone

9. Lose the alarm.

Try going to bed an hour earlier during stressful days (write down your worries first so you don’t toss and turn). You probably won’t need your alarm if you do this – you may even develop this into a healthy new habit! The alarm clock can be very stressful. A lot of us wake up and calculate how many more hours of sleep we have, or we wake up a bit too early and dread the sound we know is coming. So lose the alarm. If you have to use one, get the kind that plays soothing nature sounds or music.

8. Prank it out.

Laughter is an instant cure for stress. We all know this, but we often fail to take advantage of it. There’s no limit to how much fun you can have, and people don’t have enough! No one’s watching and waiting to criticize you for laughing too much (honest). So buy some water balloons. Short sheet the beds. Play a prank on the kids. Inject some innocent immaturity into your family life. It’s healthy.

7. A little dab will do.

Buy some spearmint oil. Whenever you’re feeling a little stressed, dab some on your temples and the back of your neck. No, this won’t alleviate the “joy” of that half-hour on the phone with automated customer service, but it’s a cheap, easy treat that feels and smells wonderful. We’re allowed to find little ways to feel good – and there’s no limit! If you would rather not be minty fresh, at least keep a candle in your favorite scent on hand for some effective aromatherapy. It smells better than coffee!

espressoguy

6. Keep quiet.

Though it’s generally healthy to get your feelings out, sometimes you’ll actually feel better if you just keep quiet. I’m not talking about giving the “silent treatment” when you’re angry. That’s not healthy. But sometimes, if something is bothering you, it’s wise not to react. Wait and act later if necessary. Often, quelling a knee-jerk reaction will actually boost your confidence and give you greater relief than if you’d immediately vented. Keep quiet or speak up? It does require trial and error – you’ll find the right balance. One helpful tip is to ask yourself if reacting in the moment will be of greater benefit than acting later.

5. Out and about? Be friendly.

Some days, it seems as if everyone has woken up on the wrong side of bed. To make it even worse, you’ve just been nabbed with a parking ticket and now the line at the bank is a mile long. Rather than add to everyone’s stress by commiserating, be friendly and cheerful. This will reduce others’ anxiety, but that’s not really the main purpose: you get the most benefit of all.

4. Alleviate someone else’s stress.

This is related to tip 5. If you notice a waitor seems despondent, leave a big tip. Bag your own groceries for the frazzled clerk. Make eye contact with everyone you meet as your run your errands. Alleviating the stress of others is the best way to alleviate your own.

3. Push the wall.

File this under “stupidly effective”. Here’s a nifty little body trick to release some pent-up stress: stand about three feet from a wall (you will have to adjust for your individual height). Reaching out with both arms, lean at an angle into the wall and press with all your might (your body should form a triangle with the wall and the floor). Keep your feet locked on the floor so your Achilles tendons get a really good stretch. The further you stretch and harder you press, the more tension you’ll release from your hamstrings. And did you know hamstrings are one of the first muscle groups to store tension?

agiftedone

2. Keep a humor journal.

Even though I’m a writer, I’m lousy about keeping a regular diary or journal. One thing I have committed to, however, is keeping a big, fat humor journal. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years, so it’s chock-full of laughs. From disastrous roommates to silly pranks to unforgettable quotes of friends to the “this will be funny someday but definitely not right now” incidents, my humor journal is my life’s record of all the best (and worst) bits. Anytime I’m feeling stressed, I read a few classics from my journal and can’t help but feel better. It’s gotten to the point where my friends will ask “is that going in the book?” whenever something funny comes out. When one of us is stressed, we’ll quip “well, at least it’s gonna be good for the book” and we instantly feel better.

An alternative is to keep a happy journal: anytime you have a good moment, even if it’s a great meal or a beautiful sunset, write it down. We think we’ll remember the happiest moments of our daily lives, but we often forget. Can you even remember what you had for dinner last week? Keep a record of the good stuff for days when you need a lift!

1. What’s your favorite easy stress-busting tip?

Tell us your simple, effective stress relief tricks!

Further Reading:

10 Great Ways to Boost Your Serotonin!

10 Best Steps to Relieve Stress

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I love your idea of rubbing the temples with spearment oil. I usually rub lavendar on my kids’ temples before they go to sleep, but now I can do that for the middle of the day as well! It’s important to know that not only will stress kill you, but it will make you age far beyond your years. Just look at any president before he takes office and then a mere 4 years later. They look 20 years older! Just imagine what is going on on the inside when you age on the outside. All organs of the body are effected. Exercise and guided relaxing meditation are my top ways of relieving stress. People are usually surprised to find out I’m 41 years old as I look like I’m in my late 20s. I’ve learned to use exercise and meditation whenever I feel a stressful situation. And I believe in meditation so much that I started a business around it, and am giving the world free downloadable meditation sessions. http://www.hypno-freedom.com

    Rebecca wrote on August 21st, 2007
  2. Lift weights. Hard to get angry when you let out all the aggression on the metal. Oh… and its healthy too!

    Moe wrote on August 21st, 2007
  3. Humor is always the best way to combat stress and anxiety, even if your co-workers cannot grasp the concept.

    john wrote on August 21st, 2007
  4. I drive. No better stress relief than the open road.

    Bradford wrote on August 21st, 2007
  5. Great tips, everyone! :) Keep ‘em coming!

    Sara wrote on August 21st, 2007
  6. An hour of sparring followed but an hour massage.

    Brian wrote on August 21st, 2007
  7. In my excitement I posted this under Iron man watch post. So please ignore that one…

    A nice mug of 10 minute steeped camomille tea to be sipped in bed…..
    read for ten minutes……remove book and turn-of light 6 hours later ;-)

    Tatsujin wrote on August 22nd, 2007
  8. A beach hike followed by a massage is a winner, too! ;)

    Tat, chamomile is the best…I like to add in a little mint.

    Sara wrote on August 22nd, 2007
  9. I like to take a nice hot shower, away from everyone and drenched in my favorite smelling soap to relieve my stress and just escape for a while

    Tiffany wrote on February 16th, 2009
  10. Awesome suggestions.

    I think it has to be simple. Being a Martial Arts Instructor mine is simple. Just keep your body moving! So when the ad breaks come on, get up, thats right, get up and wiggle that little tushie.

    Wiggle it, wiggle it!!

    Sama wrote on May 8th, 2009
  11. Very simple but works for me best.
    Just take a nice hot relaxing shower :)

    Michel wrote on April 28th, 2011
  12. I really like your suggestions as they deviate from the same old, same old advice for relieving stress. There are lots of things people can do to get their stress under control – it’s fun to read what other people do. Thanks for posting.

    Jennifer wrote on May 11th, 2011
  13. Stress certainly often experienced by every person, generally due to the greater needs and obligations that must be met. No young person can minimize the stress, let alone eliminate it. an easy and practical tips, very simple yet full of inspirational .. Thank you, awaited the latest articles

    Pipy wrote on October 21st, 2011
  14. My method of releasing stress is imagining gathering all the people who have caused me extreme pain (Almost all of the 300+ 7th graders,a few 8th graders and some staff members and gunning them down/blowing them up with an AC-130

    stressedbullied7thgradekid wrote on June 7th, 2012
  15. Hit the heavy bag. Stress in primal times was often preparing for a fight. So go get in a fight- preferably with something that doesn’t hit back.

    ThatGuy wrote on June 13th, 2012
  16. Watch comedy movies. It works like a charm

    Srinivas Kari wrote on August 24th, 2012
  17. Dance like nobody is watching…no, really, dance around like a complete idiot! I love being able to laugh at myself in times of sadness or stress.

    Jackie wrote on February 23rd, 2013
  18. Can someone remove “stressedbullied7thgradekid” s post….kind of disturbing…I hope you get some help kiddo! Don’t let the haters get you down!

    Cj wrote on February 24th, 2013
  19. I concur with CJ about the aforementioned poster (7thgradebullied). I was bullied once, kid. It gets better. Way, way better.

    JD wrote on June 4th, 2013
  20. Re stressedbullied7thgradekid post. Yes, it’s disturbing But it’s a really good sign that he’s coming here. Thanks for not deleting it. And yes, stressedbullied7thgradekid, middle school is hell. And life gets better. So much better.

    Claudia wrote on December 12th, 2013

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