Stress has a firm grip on the lives of millions of people around the globe, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin yours. If you spend just 30 minutes a day focused on these simple strategies to relieve and prevent stress, you’ll be amazed by the changes you see.
Physical Release of Stress
Everyone experiences and in turn copes with stress in different ways. Some people need quiet time alone to process their thoughts and relax while others need to burn off nervous energy through physical activity.
Regardless of which method of stress relief you prefer, it is important that you include at least some time each day for both. Specifically, physical exercise can release up to 30% of your stress each day simply through the natural chemical release that you achieve when exercising.
Emotional Release of Stress
Many people seeking tips on how to relieve stress are eager to focus their energies in emotional releases – meditation or other activities that allow them to relax and release stress each evening.
The important thing to remember is that not all stress is relieved this way. In fact, most activities that people find relaxing are simply ways to avoid stress entirely – focusing energy into something else.
And while any time spent relieving the effects of stress on the human body is time well spent, to truly relieve stress, you must go further.
True emotional stress release starts by recognizing the source of your stress and finding an appropriate way to deal with it.
One of two things normally happens when someone is stressed out.
- They constantly worry about it to the point of discomfort and anxiety.
- They put it off time and again until it becomes a nagging worry that creates new stress.
To avoid either of these things happening, you need to have a system in place to process things that stress you out each day. When a problem arises, first ask yourself if it is something you can do anything about right now. If not, schedule a time when you can worry about it and refocus your energies into something less stressful.
How to Relieve Stress in 30 Minutes a Day
So, how should you spend your 30-minute wind-down time each day? It’s entirely up to you, but here are some quick suggestions to maximize the effectiveness of your relaxation time:
- Unplug – Remove yourself from all sources of external stimulation. This means your phone, the TV and especially your computer. You may feel relaxed watching TV or checking your email, but the constant stimulation keeps your brain moving at 100km per hour and is a direct contributor to additional stress.
- Take it Slow – Don’t set goals for this time. There should never be a calendar or chart saying “I need to read 20 pages in this time” or “I should complete 12 reps of this exercise in this time.” Instead, allow your relaxation time to be just that; time to relax.
- Open Yourself to New Things – One of the most relaxing things you can do is sit down and try something new. Pick up a hobby like painting figurines or sewing, or building model trains. Focused, creative tasks with no clear deadline are fantastic ways to release stress and refocus your energies.
The goal is to spend 30 minutes unplugged, unattached to a schedule and absorbed in what you’re doing. Do these things and you’ll begin to crave that 30-minute stretch each day, when the worries of the day can melt away.