Updated: Jun 1
Here are ten different ways to beat stress:
Mindfulness and meditation help us to practice keeping our mind in the present, instead of imagining hypothetical future dangers. Once you get used to meditation, you will find it to be an enjoyable state of mind, and your mind will be less fascinated by danger and disaster.
Yoga and stretching stimulate our circulatory system and stretch muscles, flushing out stress hormones and lactic acid.
Wonder, admiration or laughter: whenever we are lost in wonder, admiration or laughter, our mental processes come to a standstill and we stop being afraid. Anything that is unique, beautiful or even just cute or funny surprises the mind and shakes it out of its familiar patterns. Your mind gets a fresh start and you feel better very quickly.
Adventures and challenges: when you go on an adventure or take on a challenge, you step out of your comfort zone into something unfamiliar and stretch your boundaries. You face the risk of getting lost, putting yourself in danger, or failing in your quest. You will probably experience discomfort, you may be afraid or get stressed for a short while, but at least the stress and fear are doing what they are designed to do. If it is an outdoor adventure there is the opportunity to stop and a admire the scenery, which is calming for the brain. Often there is an element of problem solving where you have to change your thinking and break through mental obstacles or old patterns of thinking. You come back with a new perception of yourself as someone who is more capable than you previously thought.
Sports involving contact (team sports, martial arts) or speed (skiing, cycling) use the body’s fight or flight reflexes in the way they were designed to work, so that the fear and stress hormones flow through the body instead of getting stuck.
Hobbies: cultivating hobbies gives your mind something interesting to focus on, and stops your attention from going down the road of worrying about future scenarios.
Making a plan and taking regular, small meaningful steps towards it gives you something positive and tangible to focus on.
Pets live in the present, and demand your attention. Interacting with your pets can keep your mind from wandering too far into the future.
Taking care of your pride and joy – your child, your pet, your car, your house.
Trust in a higher power helps us to put aside feelings of fear and helplessness.