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10 Refreshing Ways To Clear Your Mind Of Stress

10 Refreshing Ways To Clear Your Mind Of Stress

An increase in heart rate, heavy breathing, constricted blood vessels—all of these things are byproducts of stress. Your fight or flight response kicks in and rather than escaping from a large animal like our ancestors once had to do, we are dealing with an upset spouse, a traffic jam, or trouble at work. Chronic stress can lead to larger issues like chronic headaches, hypertension, and depression or anxiety disorders, and can make existing conditions worse.

1. Express Gratitude for What You Have Learned

Every bad experience leaves something to be gained. It is likely that when all is said and done, you will have discovered something valuable about yourself or someone else that will help you later on in life. Be mindful of what it is that you have learned, and be thankful for it—for all you know you’ll be in the same situation later on in life and will proceed with this new perspective.

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2. Get a Plant

Simply being in a room that is full of plants can lower your blood pressure and help you calm down, as well as purify the air. Aloe plants, English ivy, rubber trees, peace lilies, snake plants, bamboo palms, philodendron, spider plants, red edged dracaena, and golden pothos are all great choices.

3. Pay Someone a Compliment, Genuinely

Though it might seem counteractive to compliment someone else when you’re feeling stressed out or down, but it has been found that when we take the time to give others encouragement, it will release the hormones in our brain that make us feel good. It takes the focus off of ourselves and point out the positive in others. The real trick to this is that the compliment has to be genuine—so mean what you say!

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4. Put Yourself in the Present

Dwelling on past mistakes or being anxious about the future are huge sources of stress. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment to take away the anxiety and focus on what is really happening right here and now.

5. Read Inspirational Quotes

No matter what your situation is, there is no doubt that someone else has been there and has graced the internet with great quotes about it. Find words from poets, great leaders, and philosophers to see what they have to say to help you get rid of stress.

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6. Drinking Coffee Elevates Positive Moods

Coffee provides stimulation of pheromones, causing a feeling of euphoria, relaxation, happiness, and excitement. Combined, these feelings work to fight anxiety, stress, and depression. Because of this, it is advised to have a few servings of coffee on days that you may be feeling especially stressed.

7. Take a 10 Minute Walk

Step outside and take a walk through any green space. This will put the body into meditation due to the phenomenon known as ‘involuntary attention’—this is when something holds our attention (walking) but allows for reflection.

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8. Smile

Smiling will release chemicals in the brain called serotonin and dopamine, and will change your mood, even if you are faking it. It would be a good practice to smile at strangers in public—not only will this boost your mood, but it will hopefully make them smile back at you, having the same effect.

9. Get a Dog

Having the company of a dog can aid in becoming more mindful and may help you to have gratitude for the present. This companionship offers comfort, builds confidence, and eases anxiety for those who are anxious about venturing out into the world alone. Dogs are the perfect example of how we should live in the moment, not dwelling on yesterday or the future.

10. Unplug

Stress, lack of sleep, and depression can be associated with uninterrupted computer use as well as computer use late at night. It is important to take regular breaks when using the computer for an extended amount of time and go offline at least one hour before your bedtime.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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