5 Ways to Ease Stress After Work
Almost half of your waking life is spent at work, so it stands to reason that a large portion of the stress you feel is caused by your working life. If you let that stress build-up, your physical and emotional health will suffer. You can stay healthier by looking for ways to regularly reduce stress each day. While this may require setting aside time each evening specifically for these activities, doing so will help you live a happier and healthier life.
Get Some Exercise
Physical activity is necessary to your physical and emotional health for many different reasons, which is why it’s important to get some exercise each day. In addition to helping you reduce your health risks, exercise helps alleviate stress and anxiety. When you have concerns or unpleasant experiences, a part of the fight or flight response involves the release of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone is what causes the symptoms of stress. However, strenuous physical activity prompts the brain to release endorphins, which are the “feel-good” neurotransmitters. The release of endorphins halts the production of cortisol and helps reduce the number of stress hormones in the body. This is why people with depression also feel better after engaging in moderate to high-intensity exercise.
Go For a Walk
You can also lower your stress levels by going for a walk in nature. In addition to giving you some more exercise, a walk in a nearby park or on the beach can have a calming effect on the mind. Researchers have found that people with mental illnesses experience fewer or less severe symptoms of their condition after spending time in nature. Even if they don’t walk or exercise, people benefit from this effect just by sitting in nature. Some people have reported feeling especially relaxed after walking barefoot in the grass or sitting against a tree. Try connecting with nature in your community to experience this effect for yourself.
Start a New Hobby
Starting a new hobby can also help you alleviate stress by giving your mind something enjoyable to occupy your thoughts. You can do something as simple as word puzzles or assembling plastic models. For a more ambitious hobby, try learning crocheting or woodworking. You can find woodworking materials at most hobby shops, and there are online tutorial videos to help you learn the basics. This can be an opportunity for you to explore your creative side as you take your thoughts off your professional concerns. Other hobbies to consider include writing, painting, or coloring. Look for a few different hobbies to keep things interesting.
Schedule Physical Therapy Sessions
Several different types of physical therapy are beneficial to the mind and body even when you don’t have an injury or chronic pain. For example, deep tissue massage helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. While this helps reduce physical pain and improves mobility, it also has a relaxing effect on the mind. As you enjoy the massage and relax, you’ll feel your stress dissipate. Acupuncture can also help relax the mind and reduce stress. The ancient Chinese believed acupuncture helped redirect the flow of energy in the body. Whether or not this is true, people often report feeling more relaxed, energized, and happier after a session. There are many more types of physical therapy to experience, so don’t be afraid to explore the services in your community.
Meditate or Practice Yoga
You can also try to relax at home in a comfortable setting. Meditation involves sitting quietly and keeping your thoughts focused on a peaceful setting or comforting object. As you feel your mind wander, redirect your thoughts back to your chosen object or setting. There is also guided meditation that involves listening to a narrator tell a story that’s intended to help you keep your thoughts focused. Some people prefer to meditate as they practice yoga. Each pose stretches and strengthens a particular muscle group, making this a great way to tone your physical body. As you practice each pose, focusing your thoughts or practicing your breathing can keep your mind from dwelling on your problems. This promotes better mental clarity, strengthens concentration, and helps your long-term memory.
You can look for other relaxing activities to try as well. Engaging in a variety of different stress-reducing activities can help you get more enjoyment out of your life. When you feel happier with your life, you’re far less likely to suffer from stress-related illnesses.