Top ways to relieve stress in 2016
best ways to reduce stress in 2016

The absolute best ways to relieve stress for 2016

Stress is something that far too many of us have to deal with in our lives. Some studies have shown that over half of Americans are concerned that they are too stressed – not that over half of Americans are stressed, but that over half of Americans are afraid that they might be too stressed and that it is taking a toll on their health. How stressed do you have to be before it occurs to you that your stress might be making you unhealthy?

We live in a world of stress. Our jobs cause us stress, our home lives are rushed and frantic, and even our entertainment and relaxation often make us more jittery. We stare at blue flashing screens all the time, especially before bed, which cause us to produce less melatonin and therefore get worse sleep. Our chronic sleep deprivation means that we get more exhausted, more stressed, and more strung-out. It is a vicious cycle that is almost impossible to break away from in our technological world.

Reducing stress is extremely important for your health, though. There are many health dangers associated with having high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. There are even more health benefits associated with activities such as meditation and yoga, which reduce stress and calm the mind. But if you don’t have time to sit for an hour in meditation every day, never fear: here is a list of the top 10 ways to reduce stress in your life without having to quit your job or find a guru.

1.  Color!

One of the biggest trends in 2016 is coloring books for adults. It has been shown that when adults color, stress is reduced. You can spend a few minutes coloring for a quick moment of zen, or you can make a daily coloring practice to reduce your anxiety in the long-term and boost your creativity.

mandala adult coloring book

If you are ready to lower your stress with adult coloring books, you can choose from our huge selection of anti stress coloring books and order today! Or if you can’t wait until your book arrives, we will send you a free PDF copy of one of our books for you to download and print out. Just sign up for our email newsletter and we’ll send it straight to your inbox!

2.     Exercise.

Exercising is an extremely effective way to reduce stress. It causes your body to produce endorphins, which lower your stress levels. It makes you healthier, which in turn makes you feel better. And of course, getting fit is a boost for your confidence, which can also make you feel less stressed.

Exercise, along with coloring and art, could be one of the top ways to reduce stress, because it actually allows you to deal with more stress, while eliminating stress.

3.     Do some breathing exercises.

Breathe deeply, fill your lungs as full as you can, hold it in for as long as you can stand it, and then exhale fully until it feels like your lungs are about to collapse. Repeat. While you do this, visualize clean, bright air coming in and dark, dirty air going out. Keep doing this until you are visualizing that your whole body is purified and the bright air has traveled through your blood all the way through every part of your body, even down to your fingers and toes.

4.     Try progressive relaxation.

There are several different ways to do progressive relaxation meditations. You can think about each body part in turn, you can wiggle each body part, or you can clench the muscles of each body part before you relax them. Whichever you choose, start at your toes, focusing on them, moving or tightening them if you want, and then relaxing them completely. Move up through your feet, your ankles, your calves and shins, your knees, thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen, and chest, through your hands and arms, and all the way up to your head. Notice the sensations you can feel in each part of your body, and allow them to relax.

5.     Laugh.

Laughter is one of the best stress-relieving activities you can do. Read some comics, watch a funny movie, have a conversation with your most hilarious friend, or just stand in your room by yourself and laugh like a crazy person.

6.     Dance.

Put on some upbeat music and dance. Music has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, and the exercise will release endorphins.

7.     Take an aromatherapy bath.

Certain scents, like lavender, have been shown to reduce stress and help you calm down. Soaking in a bath with epsom salts gives you extra magnesium (it absorbs through your skin), which is an important nutrient for managing stress.

8.    Hug someone!

When you hug someone, your cortisol levels lower and your oxytocin levels spike. This makes you feel good, it improves your self-confidence, and it lowers your stress significantly.

9.     Write in a journal.

Studies have shown that writing down your thoughts and feelings can be extremely helpful in reducing stress. Gratitude journals, where you write down things you are grateful for, are associated with significantly higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress. Free-writing, where you write whatever comes into your head as fast as you can until you fill up three pages, is great for dumping all your feelings and clearing your head.

You may even surprise yourself with some of your insights and some of the things you didn’t realize you were feeling. Morning pages are a great exercise – take some time every morning to free write and you will start to see patterns forming in your life, and answers to problems you have been working on for a while.

10.     Meditation and Yoga.

Like coloring, meditation is an ideal solution to get rid of stress. In fact, coloring can be a form of meditation to clear the mind and relax the amygdala. Coloring is just a way that you can meditate without difficulty. Regular meditation is very potent at relieving stress, and is typically done by simply clearing the mind (though it is easier said than done). Meditation and Yoga not only calms your mind, but they also allow your muscles to relax, which helps your body enter into a parasympathetic state.

11. Get a Massage.

Getting a massage helps relax all of your muscles. This, like meditation and even yoga, helps your nervous system wind down and enter a parasympathetic state. This allows your whole body to calm down and relax.

12. Go in an Isolation Tank.

Isolation tanks, also known as sensory deprivation tanks, allow your body to relax entirely. These are tanks filled with salt water that is the same temperature as your body. It is also completely dark inside the tank. When you go into these tanks, you float in the water that is the same temperature as your skin, so you cannot feel anything. It is completely dark so you cannot see anything. It is completely silent so you cannot see anything (unless you want to listen to music). Basically all your senses are gone when you enter into one of these units.

The result is that you can enter a meditative and relaxed state much easier than sitting on the ground for instance. You can check yelp or google to see if they have sensory deprivation tanks near you, as they are getting much more popular in 2016 than they used to be.


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