April is National Stress Awareness month and that got me thinking about all the natural ways to combat the stress of everyday life.
We wrote on this same topic a couple years ago in April and we just wanted to touch on it again. There are several things you can do to help alleviate the bad stress in your life that are all natural and extremely effective. I want to talk about three of them here.
Exercise or Take a Walk.
Many times when people see this one they think if running a marathon and think “that’s not me…” But how about this instead…For your next meeting just take a walk with that person instead of sitting at a desk? Nothing hard or too long, just get moving. Not only will it help alleviate stress, but it will also get your blood flowing and maybe help you come up with that next great idea! Nilofer Merchant talks about this idea in a TED Talk that I love! While Indianapolis may not be the best city for getting someplace by foot, there are a ton of walking paths if you just need a place to walk and talk.
Write it down.
The act of writing your feelings and thoughts can be incredibly therapeutic. I’m not talking about “Dear Diary…” (but it could be!) Just writing about your day. What happened, what didn’t happen, how it could have been better, what you were proud of accomplishing, etc. There is a great tool out there called the 5 Minute Journal to help with this. It is pitched towards productivity and not necessarily stress reduction, but I know for me that those two can go hand in hand…if I am getting more done there is less for me to worry about… The journal is very simple and doesn’t require lots of writing and may be a great place for you to start a habit of writing-and that is all it is, a habit. I am not suggesting that you set out to write a book to relieve stress (that would probably have the opposite result we are looking for), just write to let some stuff out.
Take time for you on the table.
Massage is a great way to relieve stress. We have talked about the physical benefits of massage before, so lets focus on the mental and emotional side. First and foremost you are taking time for yourself. This is also a time when you can’t do anything about the stuff that is stressing you out-so you can completely let it go when you are in session. What should you think about? That's up to you and we have a post about that, but I certainly hope it isn't all the stuff that is worrying you. While those same stressors will be there when that session is over, you may have a whole new outlook on them when have cleared your mind for an extended period of time.
Stress is real and it can cause real problems. We all need to find ways to deal with it that work best for us. If there are any that I haven’t mention that work for you please leave us comment and let us know.