There are two kinds of stress—the good kind, and the toxic kind. The former is the one where you’re physically tired and yet, you are mentally awake and motivated to keep going. It’s the kind that lets you breathe a sigh of relief and fulfilment at the end of the day. The latter, however, is the kind that’s dangerous for your mental and physical health. It drains you, gives you headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and creeps in unhealthy thoughts. And while we all go through both at some point in our busy days, it’s important to take a step back, breathe for a while, and listen to your body when it needs to rest.
We all handle stress in different ways, but here are some tried-and-tested tips on how to reset and distress.
- Discover the wonders of aromatherapy.
You know how you walk into a store or a salon and you get a relaxing whiff of scented oils? It could either be from scented candles, a diffuser, essential oils, incense sticks, or even simple room sprays, but the soothing aroma has been proven to help relieve stress and invite calm thoughts. Some of the best scents for stress relief are lavender, lemon, ylang ylang, sage, and jasmine.
- Find a workout you love.
Take is from Elle Woods, “Exercise gives us endorphins, and endorphins make us happy.” It doesn’t need to be a hardcore gym session, unless the way you de-stress is by throwing a few punches or killing it at circuit training. Yoga, pilates, and running are some of the most recommended workouts for alleviating stress and fatigue.
- Surround your home or workspace with plants.
Plants are not just good for the garden, they’re also good for your health. Jasmine, for example, helps improve sleep quality because of its sweet fragrance. The same goes for Lavender, which also aids stress and anxiety. Rosemary, on the other hand, improves air quality and memory function, while an Areca Palm lowers anxiety levels and blood pressure.
- Learn the art of meditation.
According to Mayoclinic.org, “Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.”
Many people swear by the calming powers of meditation. You can do this at home. Just find a quiet corner, sit down, and focus on your breathing, as well as clearing your mind.
- Practice gratitude.
Make this an everyday habit: the moment you open your eyes in the morning, think of all the things you are grateful for. “I am grateful for my family”, “I am grateful for my life”, “I am grateful for another day.” It helps to form a thankful mindset and lets you appreciate all the things you have.
- Step away from the screen.
Most of us take breaks from our computers, but use that break to check our phones and browse through social media. Learn to detach for a while. Take a walk, grab a cup of coffee, read a few pages from a book. Try not to be too dependent on technology and learn to enjoy the world outside of it.
Again, these are just some tips that work for us and for a lot of people. The thing to remember is to find what makes your soul happy. Stress is good, but too much is toxic. Create a habit that not only makes yourself feel good, but also allows you to take that much-needed rest. You deserve it.
Words by Kyla Paler