Stress is deep rooted in our genes as a response to danger. It gets our heart racing, our blood pumping, and gives us that "I've got to get this done right now!" reaction. Although stress can help us if we need to run away from danger, stress in our daily lives in not helpful! Stress is unhealthy and can negatively affect our bodies and minds. If you find yourself stressed often, find a way to easily de-stress. Read on for 10 ways to de-stress when feeling overwhelmed.
1. Take a breath
You may hear this one often, but it's the quickest, simplest way to de-stress right away. Try breathing in through your nose for 5 seconds, breathing out for 5 seconds, then repeating again at 6 seconds all the way up to 10. By the end of this breathing exercise your stress levels will have dramatically decreased.2.Exercise
Get the stress out with sweat. Exercising releases natural endorphins and clears your head. Whether it is running or going to the rock climbing gym, find the exercise that you enjoy most and when your stress levels start to soar go put your sneakers on.3.Take a bath
Fill up the bath with warm water and some bubbles. Pick something lavender or peppermint based, as these scents help naturally de-stress the body. Turn the lights off and light a candle or two. Sit in the bath for 15 or 20 minutes, clear your mind, and relax. You'll have time to gather your thoughts and get a chance to take a minute to sit in silence.
4.Release stress through art
You probably find that you have a ton of built up energy when you are stressed out. Grab a pencil and start writing! Write for 3 minutes straight, whatever comes into your head. De-stressing through art such as writing, painting, playing guitar, or even crafting, is a way that you can put that energy into creating something beautiful.
5. Put down the caffeine
With a long to do list the first thing you may do is refill your coffee cup. The best thing for your body is to dump the whole pot of coffee down the drain. When stressed, your body already has enough energy running through it as is, and if you really want to clear your head that cup of coffee isn't the solution. Try some decaffeinated herbal tea or get a glass of water and squeeze some lemon in. Drink something to help you relax not something that will put you into double overdrive.
6. Take a walk
Go outside and get some fresh air. Giving yourself some space from whatever was stressing you out and clearing your head will reduce your stress levels drastically. If you live by a body of water, go sit on a bench that overlooks a river or lake and concentrate on what is going on around you rather than what you have to do later.
7. Smile, even if it's hard
You probably understand how thinking positive and happy thoughts can help you smile and feel better on the outside, but did you know it works both ways? The more you smile, the more your brain recognizes that familiar muscle movement and starts to automatically feel happier and less stressed. Give it a try.
8. Get physical
There are a number of benefits to sex, one being it lowers stress levels! Sometimes intentional physical contact is just what you need to de-stress. Long hugs, kissing, and sex are natural ways to release endorphins and get your body feeling less overwhelmed.
9. Get away from the screen
Turn off your computer, your TV, your Facebook app on your phone. All that stimulation isn't helping anything. You'll need a calm atmosphere to de-stress and all the screens in your life don't help much.
10. Talk with a friend
Sometimes the stress is too much for one person to carry. Call a friend and talk about what is going on, share some laughs, and to catch up! Invite a friend to go on a walk with you. You'll be surprised how great it feels after talking to a friend for just 20 minutes. Friendship is one of the greatest gifts we have.
This post was originally published on Laila Ali Lifestyle