Finding stress relief activities are pretty much a necessity if you want to remain healthy. Here are 5 simple stress relief activities that are easy, cheap, and available to just about anyone.
1. Exercise – research shows that regular exercise helps to reduce stress levels in our body. In addition to its other benefits of improving your general health, reducing your chances of developing chronic diseases, and giving you more confidence – working exercise into your regular daily routine for even less than a half hour for five days a week can help to keep your body relaxed.
2. Religion – a University of Toronto study showed that there are actual differences in the brains between those who are religious and those who are not. It showed that those who self-identified themselves as being religious showed less activity in the anterior cingulate cortext (ACC) of the brain when exposed to an anxiety producing event. The ACC is involved in controlling the emotions. The tests were performed on only a small number of students so there obviously needs to be a follow-up study. For those that are religious minded, however, keeping in touch with your religious beliefs is a good stress reduction activity.
3. Afternoon Siestas – people who don’t get enough sleep are very vulnerable to stress. Sleep is the time when your body is able to rest and rebuild itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, your health suffers and your levels of anxiety rises. Afternoon siestas have been shown to not only re-invigorate a person’s body and mind, but after the siesta they tend to be more relaxed. In many countries (Spain, South Asia, China, Taiwan), afternoon naps are normal. In this country, however, it’s unlikely that your boss will authorize you to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. However, if you have a work-at-home job, you may find that an afternoon siesta significantly lowers your levels of anxiety.
4. Herbal Teas – the most popular drinks in this country (coffee, teas, colas) tend to be heavily caffeine laden and are more likely to put you in a state of anxiety instead of calm. By contrast, drinking herbal teas is one of the few activities for stress relief that can impart a calming, relaxing mood to your body, relieving your stress significantly. Good examples of stress reliving teas are Lavender tea, Chamomile tea, and Passion flower tea.
5. Gardening – if you love plants and have the space, this is the perfect stress relief activity. It gets you outdoors into the fresh air, it’s an activity that is not too strenuous, and it gets you close to nature. But whether it’s gardening or some other activity, hobbies are a great way to let out our tensions of the day.
Stress relief activities that you enjoy don’t have to be serious. You can find plenty of fun stress relief activities, such as games, that are enjoyable and let you deal with your competitive urges as well. The important thing is to not take life so seriously by giving in to the stresses of everyday life.