9 Hacks For De-stressing Your Life

by Raven Ishak

No one never wants stress in their life. But it somehow always creeps into our lives, whether we like it or not, and finding ways to de-stress seems to become more and more difficult as we get older, busier, and have more responsibilities. In many ways, it's hard to determine what might be the best way for one to deal with the stresses and anxieties of life when each individual person is different. Thankfully, there are multiple ways for us to reduce the amount of stress that might accumulate in one's life.

As I have gotten older, it seems that stress flies to me like a bee to a flower. It's an attraction that I am not a fan of and I'm always looking for ways to reduce it from my life. Recently, I have done a slight overhaul in my life in an effort to de-stress, after realizing how silly it was to be so sidelined by something that is so mental, like stress. There are some people (people I envy) who can laugh anything off and not let a little situation eat away at them. But for others, it's a lot harder to just say goodbye to something that you know is just destroying you mentally. I learned to manage my stress by making sure that I wasn't overworking myself and clearing my schedule to make time for my friends and family. However, even though I've made some progress, I am still working through it and learning new ways to get rid of stress. If you are like me and need to ways to deal with stress, below are a few and really simple examples on how to do just that.

1. Just Breathe

It's so simple. When you take the time to allow yourself to relax and really be in the moment, your own body eventually will start to decompose that stress. According to The American Institute of Stress, if you breathe through your abdominal for 20 to 30 minutes each day, you will be able to reduce anxiety and stress. When you deeply breathe for that amount of time, you are supplying your brain with oxygen which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that essentially makes you calm. Not too shabby for something that you can easily do at home.

2. Put Away All Technology

It's really sad, but our favorite tech tools can actually cause stress. The best way to reduce this is by simply putting them away. According to a Huffington Post article, David Volpi, M.D., P.C., F.A.C.S., an Otolaryngology surgeon and an author of Wake Up! You're Snoring,conducted research that found that an increase used of technology can increase stress, sleep disorders, and depressive symptoms in young adults. I guess watching Netflix for five hours straight is not a good idea anymore, is it?

3. Have Sex

Is there really another reason why you need to have sex? We could count the ways, but instead, let's just talk about how it's really good to reduce that stress you have. According to an Everyday Health article, sex reduces stress the same way that sweets do all because they both trigger the same pleasure pathways. So, eating sweets is like having sex? OK, I might be able to agree with that.

4. Listen To Music

It's always a great feeling when your jam comes on the radio and you automatically start to get happy. While you might think nothing of this in your everyday life, it's actually a really good way to relieve some stress. According to an About Health article that discusses how music therapy can actually alter the way you breathe and de-stress. Essentially, slower music = slower breathing, which then translates to a more relaxed response.

5. Take A Bath

Taking a bath is always a great way to detox and relax. Mix some essential oils or Epsom salt to remove any toxins while you are relax in warm water. I always do this after a long, rough day at work. It allows me to rest my mind, while the warm water helps relax my muscles, too.

6. Mediate Or Yoga

As you probably know, yoga does wonders for people who are highly prone to stress. By stretching and connecting internally with yourself, you are allowing yourself to de-stress in ways you never thought imaginable. CNN connected with world-renowned yogi and DailyBurn trainer Briohny Smyth to talk about yoga and stress. "The key to de-stressing is realizing how to calm the mind and be present," Smyth said. By allowing yourself to be present while doing yoga, you will let your mind rest quicker and much faster.

7. Hang Out With A Friend

You know that friend that you love hanging out because they always put you in such a good mood? Yeah, they're important for a reason. It's simply because hanging out with your bestie actually de-stresses you. According to a Huffington Post article that referenced a study conducted with kids, hanging out with your best friend actually lowers the stress hormone cortisol. This could also work if you have a best work friend at your job. The closer you feel with the person, the less cortisol you will produce.

8. Find A Hobby That Makes You Happy

While hobbies are always a fun thing to do when you're not doing work, they are also a great way to reduce stress. According to a Psychology Today article, Dr Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D, an associate professor of psychology at James Madison University, said, "These activities are more than merely distracting. They remind you that that are many facets to your self-concept. Employee, yes, but also athlete or artist. As such, a blow to one aspect of your identity is less damaging." Overall, hobbies are good to have for your mental health. And they're just plain fun.

9. Eat A Banana

Not only are bananas crazy delicious, but they are great for when you are feeling really stressed out. Bananas contain a protein called tryptophan which your body converts into serotonin — you know, that thing that makes you happy and relaxed, according to the International Journal of Tryptophan Research. Mix bananas with Greek yogurt or add a little Nutella for the heck of it.

Say goodbye to stress with these nine awesome hacks. Remember to take sometime for yourself and to not let the little things get to you. Easier said than done, I know — but trust me, with a little bit of practice and cognitive awareness, you will be on the right track to a stress free life.

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