With the school year in full swing, it's easy to get swept up in all of the chaos and pressure that life can bring. You may find yourself overwhelmed, overworked, and overscheduled. But before you pull all your hair out from dealing with all of this stress, keep reading. Here are 7 stress busters you can instantly do to help get you back to a healthier and happier place.
While this may seem difficult for many of us to do, put your phone down. Power off your computer, tablet, or any tempting device that feeds information into your overactive mind. Take a full 10 to 15 minutes to free yourself from texts, social feeds, app notifications, and emails that constantly compete for your attention. Take the time to be still with yourself and your own thoughts. Put aside your worries. Think about 1 or 2 things in your life that are going in your favor or that you can feel truly grateful for. You can probably see where I'm going. Think positively.
It's something you're doing right this second. Your body already has a built-in mechanism for stress relief! The key is simply to focus on your breathing. Deep breathing helps you feel in tune with the rest of your body. It quiets the mind, and washes away anxiety. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, close your eyes, inhale through your nose to fill your abdomen with air and stretch out your lungs. Exhale through your mouth slowly. Repeat the cycle and let the worries of your day melt away.
While we're on the topic of deep breathing, why not fill your nostrils with something pleasant? The area of your brain that processes orders is located near the area that processes emotions. It makes total sense that certain aromas can quickly change your mood. Reach for a scented candle or your favorite lotion and inhale deeply. Scents like vanilla, lavender, and cucumber can quickly help to put you at ease.
When it comes to stress relief, exercising is a no-brainer. Take a sprint, jog or a brisk walk to get that heart pumping oxygen-rich blood through your body. Studies have shown that even 5 minutes of aerobic activity can have anti-anxietal effects on the body. Exercise releases endorphins - those natural "feel good" chemicals in your brain that instantly improve your mood. If possible, get outside and get some fresh air. Soak in a bit of sunshine (with sunscreen of course) and enjoy the greenery. There's nothing like getting a dose of nature to help you feel more tranquil and elevate your overall well-being.
Close the door, turn on your favorite upbeat song and let loose! Turn up the bass and let the rhythm resonate through your body. Dance because nobody is watching! Sing like you're the reigning karaoke champion! Let all those inhibitions go out the window. Nothing elevates your mood and sends you back to your happy place faster than your favorite songs.
The sheer act of laughter not only lightens your mood, but it decreases stress levels in your body. A genuine laugh triggers your brain to suppress stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, while inducing feel-good endorphins at the same time. Laughter is a healthy distraction from negative emotions that weigh us down. So tune into your favorite comedian, YouTube channel, or sitcom and let the giggles in.
Sometimes life's stresses can be too difficult to handle on your own. If you find yourself on the verge of a breakdown, help is out there. Whether it's a parent, a school counselor, a coach, or a trusted friend - there are people who genuinely care about you and can give you proper the guidance to get you through. Just know that you're not alone. It's helpful to have a short list of people that you can count on to get you through the most stressful times.