In addition to diet and physicality, stress is a major contributor to heart disease. During Heart Health Month we’re exploring a variety of ways to improve your heart health for a longer, healthier, more robust life. Today we’re investigating unusual ways to relieve stress.
Pet an Animal
Furry friends provide helpful ways to relieve stress. They are usually cute and make you happy. Plus, they are always in the mood to play. Cuddling or petting an animal makes you feel good and is rewarding because you know your pet is also enjoying the bonding experience. If you don’t have a furry pet of your own, visit an animal shelter or pet shop where there are friends ready and willing to accept your love.
Massage your Earlobes
Don’t have time for an hour at the spa for a full body massage? You can get a similar effect by spending a few minutes massaging your own earlobes. This is a form of reflexology that can fill your entire body with a sense of calmness within moments. Massaging the head can increase tension but the earlobes bring peacefulness from the massaging motion, light pressure and natural sound effects.
Adult coloring books are all the rage when it comes to ways to relieve stress. You may not have truly sat down to color since you were a kid, but the practice of staying within the lines and losing yourself in your masterpiece is excellent for melting away stress. Adult coloring books feature intricate and detailed images for you to color. This DIY art therapy method is fun and easy.
Do Something Repetitive
A repetitive act can put you in a trance-like state. There are many different repetitive movements that can ease you into a more peaceful place ranging from chewing gum or snapping a rubber band on your wrist, to swinging in a hammock or doing housework like ironing, mowing the lawn or washing dishes. It may seem odd but this redundancy can transport your mind to relieve stress.
Smile and Laugh
“Fake it til you make it,” they say. The same is true with smiling and laughing when you are stressed. Force yourself to smile when you’re feeling stressed out. Even a smile out of spite, resentment or disbelief can trigger a change because your body associates the smile with happiness. Better yet, when you feel super stressed, seek out something that will make you laugh or smile, like funny youtube videos or talking to a humorous friend.
Sometimes you just need to blow off steam to relieve your stress. You can release the pressure in several productive ways. One is crunching on hard food, like granola or nuts. Moving your jaw and the repetition of chewing relieve tension in your face. Or try cursing. It seems crude but in the privacy of your home, let out your feelings with a few expletives added.
Sources: SheKnows, Everyday Health, Healthy Helper Blog and Business Insider