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5 Activities Stressed Out People Need to Start Doing

5 Activities Stressed Out People Need to Start Doing

Workplace stress is a serious matter. More than one third of workers in America are experiencing chronic work stress, and this comes at a high price for American businesses, with billions of dollars spent on medical bills and lost work hours. All this stress can have serious consequences on the quality of our lives, so how can we regain our inner peace and take control of our lives?

When we were teenagers, we all believed that we were invincible. We have done stupid things like drinking too much, driving too fast and playing with things we shouldn’t have played with. Luckily, we came out alive, and at some point in our early 30s, we realized that we are not invincible. So, we stopped doing stupid things and began to behave like adults. This is when long working hours came along with the stress. The reality is that this adult stuff is equally as dangerous as fast driving, because we work over 60 hours every week and act like there are no consequences.

We get stretched with deadlines, obligations and are doing our best to prove how much we are worth. All of this makes us burn out, become vulnerable and we get sick. Stress is responsible for over 80% of doctor’s office visits, because it can lead to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Stress should not be ignored, especially if there are simple ways to cope with it. We have discovered five activities that you can start doing to relieve that build up stress.

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1. DIY Crafts

After having a hard day at work, sitting in front of a computer screen or TV won’t help you forget about your stressful deadlines, demanding social life and huge bills. DIY crafting can be a relaxing activity to help you clear your mind. All that repetitive motion can take you to a state that is almost trance-like and will enable you to unwind and forget about your troubles.

You can create some crayon art, where you will glue crayons to a canvas, heat them up with a blow-dryer and let the colors seep down and create a true masterpiece; or perhaps string art, because there is no better way to relieve stress than hammering nails into a board. You can arrange them in the desired outline and then wind the threads around the nails to create something that will find its place on a blank wall.

2. Dancing

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    Stress is a physiological reaction that happens in your body; it releases the hormone cortisol in response to any negative stimuli and stores them in your body. Dancing can help you in relieving that stress by practically flushing it out with any other waste chemicals that can be in your body. Dancing replaces those hormones with serotonin and endorphins and counters the mental effects that stress has on your mind and body, so that you can see things in a more positive light.

    So, if you stay busy and focus on music, movement and your dancing partner, you will not be able to think about anything else. Choose a dance style that will suit you and let the music draw you into a whole other world, a world where there is no space for stress.

    3. Golf

    Golf cannot only help you relieve from stress, but you will be able to maintain that feel of serenity even after you have finished your game. Golf is a moderate exercise and it is more effective in reducing stress than getting a quiet rest. Imagine playing golf on a beautiful day, breathing fresh air and looking at endless green spaces.

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    Do not worry if you are not very good at golf. Practice makes perfect, and there are tons of gadgets that can help you become a better player and enjoy the game more, e.g. portable rangefinders with GPS capabilities and adjustable golf clubs. So, whether you are playing a full game or just a few holes, you will be outside, breathing fresh air and improving your mental health.

    4. Hiking

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      Yes, something simple like hiking can help you relieve your stress, because it combats stress with increased cardiovascular activity, in combination with a naturally calming environment. It is true that hiking requires a little effort, but it will give you relaxation through a direct experience with nature. Just being surrounded by nature will help you relieve stress. Hiking, like dancing, releases endorphins that are responsible for significantly reducing stress.

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      You can take the advantage and use the silence to think about issues that are affecting your life, and perhaps the best part of hiking is that feeling of being disconnected from work problems, family problems, the internet world, phones and everything else that contributes to stress.

      5. Yoga

      Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines controlled breathing, relaxation and meditation. Yoga does not only reduce stress; it lowers the blood pressure and heart rate. The thing that yoga can give to you is the awareness to stop yourself in the moment and recognize what is really happening. Then, you just roll out your mat; take a deep breath and start feeling better. There are special poses that are used for relieving stress. So, if you regularly practice yoga, your daytime stress levels will drop even after just a few sessions.

      There is no way of eliminating or avoiding stress in the workplace, which is a fact of modern life. But, we can neutralize stress in almost every area of our lives if we fuel ourselves with meaningful activities, beliefs and thoughts. Everyone deserves to live a contented, happy life, so it is never too late to start making yours better.

      Featured photo credit: www.lifeofpix.com via pexels.com

      More by this author

      Vladimir Zivanovic

      CMO at MyCity-Web

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      Last Updated on November 18, 2020

      I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

      I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

      If you’re saying “I’m feeling bored,” it’s important to realize that boredom and feeling too busy are the same problem. Some people claim I’m being too ambitious trying to strike down chronic boredom and busyness at the same time. I’d argue that the only way to take them out is simultaneously.

      The problem stems from how you manage your attention. Both boredom and busyness stem from feeling there is a lack of quality in how you focus your attention.

      Boredom is feeling that there are too few high-quality ways to spend attention. Busyness is forced boredom. This means that you feel there are high quality ways to spend attention, but your attention is being stolen from you before you can use it.

      I’m Feeling Bored: It’s in Your Mind

      Feelings of boredom and busyness are subjective. You can’t look out in the world and claim it is busy or boring. To say these feelings are subjective is obvious, but that misses a key point. The real problem is quality.

      Being engaged, neither busy or bored, happens when your attention is focused on high-quality activities.

      You can probably remember times when you were completely engaged. This could have been working on a project you were passionate about, spending time with your family, sky diving or vacationing under the sun. Why were you engaged in these moments and not in others?

      A likely reason was because those experiences had a higher quality. They allowed you to enter into an immersive flow state, in which your entire consciousness was devoted to the activity.[1]

      In the best cases your entire reality revolves around what you are doing. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which, I must admit, inspired most of these ideas).

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      Improving the Quality of Your Activities

      So how do you improve quality in your experiences when you’re saying “I’m feeling bored”? I believe there are two major ways you can do it: externally and internally. If you are chronically busy (and actively disliking the busyness) or bored, then you’ll need to tackle external and internal factors that contribute to these negative feelings.

      Here are some ways to consider improving quality in your experiences:

      Externally

      1. Plan Ahead

      Schedule your life to ensure there aren’t huge gaps or work overflows later. This can mean scheduling high-quality experiences if you find yourself frequently bored. It can also mean dividing large projects if you find yourself chronically busy.

      • Plan weekend activities for next month now. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also forces you to stay productive instead of just busy.
      • Map out what is placing demands on your time. Can you consolidate all your “busy work” (such as responding to emails) into one block of time instead of allowing it to cause constant interruptions in your day?

      2. Win-Win

      If you must perform an activity you think has low quality, you’re going to feel bored. Find ways to reorganize your life so that jobs, chores, and duties can become interesting, high-quality experiences.

      Turn mind-numbing chores into opportunities for growth and learning. For example, listen to an audio book or lecture on the commute to work or while you’re cleaning your house.

      3. Prioritize

      If you don’t manage time, you’ll never have enough of it. There are always more things to do than you have time for. Get your values straight so that the highest priorities are handled first and your life doesn’t get overtaken by the unimportant.

      Set a vision for your life, and determine how everything you do either contributes or detracts from that vision. Chances are, the things that don’t align with your vision are some of the same things that bore you. After you identify low-priority activities, you can try to make them more meaningful, or you can find ways to eliminate them.

      4. Put Quality of Experience First

      It is easy to get caught up in external goals that don’t fulfill their promises. Focus on goals that will give you a greater quality, not just a bigger paycheck or more status to brag about.

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      Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that align with your life’s vision.[2]

      5. Escape the Motions

      Habits are a part of your life, but don’t let them become the only thing. Break out of your patterns if they aren’t giving you what you need. Instead of staying in, go out and meet new people on a Friday night. Just do something to get away from doing the same old thing.

      Schedule times to break from your routines. I thrive on having a routine most days, but I also give myself opportunities to break from sameness.

      Say “yes” to trying something new. Nothing spices up your day like trying something new.

      Internally

      Most of the ways to improve your quality of experience and conquer boredom are internal. Remember, it’s not just what you do, but also how you do it.

      1. Build an Inner World

      I’m not suggesting you create a complete rift between yourself and reality when you find yourself thinking “I’m feeling bored,” but also realize that if you can’t find quality in your immediate surroundings, you can find it within yourself.

      Solving internal problems, reviewing knowledge, coming up with new ideas, creating stories, or even planning for the future are all areas you can explore in the mind without any external stimuli.

      Use “boring” moments as opportunities to brainstorm. It’s a lot easier to cope with a humdrum reality if you’re able to use the time to explore possibilities within your mind.

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      If you’re really at a loss, you can imagine a story about 2-3 of the people and objects in your vicinity. This is a great way to exercise your creativity and sharpen your observation skills.

      2. Seek Quality in the Now

      Try starting small with some simple questions. What are you doing right now? What can you find that has value for you? Seeking quality right now allows you to find it even if your environment is bare or overloaded.

      Activities like waiting in line can be turned into moments of self-reflection or times to remind yourself of your vision.

      3. Don’t Resist

      Busyness and boredom could also be described as symptoms of resisting what is. Fully accepting whatever situation you are in and making the most of it is one way to conquer feeling bored.

      Resistance is something that can’t be done half-way. Either completely push away and seek quality elsewhere, or accept your surroundings and find it here.

      4. Unchain Yourself

      A lot of mental unease is caused because you feel forced to do something. You have to go to work, study for your test, do this or that. Realize that you don’t have to do anything, just accept different results. Freedom is in your mind.

      Weigh whether the activity causing your discomfort is essential or expendable. For example, paying your bills is non-negotiable, but you can opt to live a more modest lifestyle or actively search for a job you enjoy.

      Use a mantra to remind yourself of your freedom. “I am free” and “I have the power to change my circumstances” can reinforce the notion that you have choices.

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      5. Stop

      Boredom and feeling overloaded are both patterns. They are mental spirals you run on yourself that loop back on each other. If you just interrupt yourself for a few minutes and think more deeply about the problem, you can often come up with a good answer independent of these suggestions.

      Meditate your way out of boredom. Sometimes boredom and busyness are caused by feeling disconnected from what you are doing. Use meditation to ground yourself in the present.

      You can learn how to meditate here.

      Take up a gratitude practice. Whenever you’re feeling too bored or too busy, stop to think about all the things that are going well. Being able to simply say, “I got out of bed this morning,” and “I have food to eat,” help you take stock of your blessings.

      The Bottom Line

      As boredom and busyness arise from the same source, the same strategies can be used to tackle them and find a sweet spot of a balanced mindset. Find high-quality activities when you start saying “I’m feeling bored,” and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can turn things around.

      More Tips on Tackling Boredom

      Featured photo credit: Siddharth Bhogra via unsplash.com

      Reference

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