Written by: Kamini Wood, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
We must do what we can to relieve stress for our mental health and well-being. While small amounts of stress can motivate us to pursue our goals and improve our performance, ongoing or excessive stress can weaken our healthy coping mechanisms and seriously damage our health, emotional well-being, and relationships.
Here are a few stress-buster ideas to help you alleviate tension:
1. Keep a stress journal
A stress journal is a great way to keep track of situations that trigger stress and emotional responses. Make sure to keep the journal daily and note the time, date, and place of stressful episodes. This will help you to notice what causes your stress and to track patterns of your stress responses. In other words, journaling can help you understand how effective your behavior is in stressful situations, so you can develop better stress-coping mechanisms.
Laughter is much more than a mere response to humor. Research has confirmed that laughter releases neurotransmitters such as endorphins (hormones of happiness) that interact with the opiate receptors in the brain and have an analgesic effect very similar to antidepressant medicaments.
At the same time, laughter increases energy and reduces tension by lowering the levels of cortisol and epinephrine, the stress hormones. According to some studies, laughter produces brain wave frequencies very similar to those of mindfulness meditation, improving focus, resilience, and ability to relax.
3. Meditate regularly
A simple 10-minute mindfulness exercise can help regulate stress levels, decrease anxiety, and improve relaxation. Lie down or sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Breathe in, focus on filling your lungs with air, and slowly breathe out. This simple exercise will help quiet your brain, improve your mood, and help you relax.
4. Get enough sleep
It’s hard to overstate the importance of sleep. Make sure you get eight to ten hours of sleep each night. Research shows that well-rested people are more resilient and have a stronger immune system. Being well-rested improves your ability to cope with stress and improves your overall well-being. If you struggle to get the proper amount of sleep, try meditating, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath before going to bed.
5. Do some gardening
Connecting with nature has energizing and rejuvenating effects. Gardening is a perfect outdoor activity if you are self-isolating. Tending to your garden is a calming activity that will distract you from things that trigger stress.
It has been scientifically proven that spending time in nature helps reduce stress. Apart from getting your daily dose of sunshine and vitamin D, gardening allows you to take in nature’s beauty, giving you a break from anxiety-provoking thoughts.
Kamini Wood, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kamini Wood is the founder and CEO of Live Joy Your Way and the AuthenticMe® RiseUp program. An international best-selling author Kamini is driven to support people of all ages to heal their relationship with themselves and to stop outsourcing their self-worth. As a result, her clients become their own confident, resilient self-leader with healthier relationships. Kamini is a certified life coach, board-certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, holds specialty certifications in Calling in the One®, Conscious Uncoupling®, NewMoney Story®, and teen life coaching. Also trained in conscious parenting, Kamini aims to meet her clients where they are, supporting and guiding them on their journey to where they want to be, both personally and professionally. Her mission: create space for each person to see the unique gifts they bring to this world.