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10 Easy Relaxation Techniques For Immediate Stress Relief

10 Easy Relaxation Techniques For Immediate Stress Relief

This list is here to help everyone dealing with stress and needing immediate relief. There are several easy things you can do to put your mind at ease and forget about everything.

1. Take a Walk

Whether it’s down the street, a hike, in a park, the beach, a lake, wherever you may go, this is a great way to relieve stress. Of course, it doesn’t help to go for a walk and think about your stress, but rather take in the nature, sounds, people, places and things around you. This will allow you to separate yourself from your stressful thoughts and get some fresh air. This can be done any time of year and in any weather condition. A walk in the rain is as effective as a walk in the sun.

2. Watch Something Funny

Whether it’s a funny movie, TV show, youtube video, Instagram video, whatever it may be, just watch it. I have watched some of the most ridiculous comedies to relieve stress and it helps so much. Some shows I recommend are: Impractical Jokers, The Office, New Girl, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, Friends, etc. You can even watch cartoons and relive some of your childhood memories all over again.

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3. Music

Browse your playlist, Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, old cd’s, youtube videos, etc. Music helps so much. Put on your headphones, close your eyes and just listen. Focus on the music, on your breathing and relax.

4. Sing

Along with listening to music, I encourage you to sing along to it. Put on your headphones and sing your heart out. Who cares how you sound, what matters is you are healing your mind and body of all the stressful toxins. Singing boosts happiness and lets you release emotions that are sometimes too stubborn to come out.

5. Read

The good thing about reading, especially if you have a big imagination like myself, is to have the ability to dive into the story as if you are in it. This approach helps to get your mind away from your stressful situation and temporarily bring you to another world.

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6. Coloring

This might sound ridiculous, but studies have actually shown that coloring is a major stress reliever. Think about all the times you have colored in coloring books while babysitting or with your sibling, your own child, in a classroom. Doesn’t it feel great?  They now sell coloring books for adults that you can buy in supermarkets, bookstores and of course online. So grab those markers and get to work.

7. Baking

The smells, the tastes, the ingredients, they all create this calmness that cannot be beat. Baking is a great way to relieve stress as well as comfort yourself with a little comfort food. I personally enjoy baking with some music and while you are using a spatula, why not use it as a microphone?

8. Religion

No matter what religion you have, practice it. Many studies have shown people who reach out to their faith become more peaceful on the inside and out. This is a way to sit, relax and meditate. Take as much time as you need to do this and put your strength into your prayers and watch them return with more clarification.

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9. Be Spontaneous

Sometimes we just have to do something without thinking about it. Whatever it may be, just go for it. Jump in your car and take a drive, go for a jog, go dancing, call your friends and plan something fun, visit family or stay home and play a board game.

10. Have a Me-Date

Sometimes all it takes is just a few hours for yourself. Coffee shops are great for this kind of occasion. Go to your favorite coffee shop, sit down, treat yourself and relax. Coffee shops give off such a relaxing vibe and this is a great way to calm your thoughts for a while as you take in that soothing aroma of coffee .

Always remember you are never alone and it is important to reach out to others for comfort. You can turn to anyone that makes you feel at ease after speaking with them…. now go do something relaxing!

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Featured photo credit: www.givingsong.org via givingsong.org

More by this author

Nicollete Izakovic

Candidate of International Relations

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Last Updated on October 29, 2018

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

Brain fog is more of a symptom than a medical condition itself, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Brain fog is a cognitive dysfunction, which can lead to memory problems, lack of mental clarity and an inability to focus.

Many often excuse brain fog for a bad day, or get so used to it that they ignore it. Unfortunately, when brain fog is ignored it ends up interfering with work and school. The reason many ignore it is because they aren’t fully aware of what causes it and how to deal with it.

It’s important to remember that if your brain doesn’t function fully — nothing else in your life will. Most people have days where they can’t seem to concentrate or forget where they put their keys.

It’s very normal to have days where you can’t think clearly, but if you’re experiencing these things on a daily basis, then you’re probably dealing with brain fog for a specific reason.

So what causes brain fog? It can be caused by a string of things, so we’ve made a list things that causes brain fog and how to prevent it and how to stop it.

1. Stress

It’s no surprise that we’ll find stress at the top of the list. Most people are aware of the dangers of stress. It can increase blood pressure, trigger depression and make us sick as it weakens our immune system.

Another symptom is mental fatigue. When you’re stressed your brain can’t function at its best. It gets harder to think and focus, which makes you stress even more.

Stress can be prevented by following some simple steps. If you’re feeling stressed you should avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine — even though it may feel like it helps in the moment. Two other important steps are to indulge in more physical activities and to talk to someone about it.

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Besides that, you can consider keeping a stress diary, try relaxation techniques like mediation, getting more sleep and maybe a new approach to time management.

2. Diet

Most people know that the right or wrong diet can make them gain or loss weight, but not enough people think about the big impact a specific diet can have on one’s health even if it might be healthy.

One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is vitamin B12 deficiency and especially vegans can be get hid by brain fog, because their diet often lacks the vitamin B-12. The vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to mental and neurological disorders.

The scary thing is that almost 40 % of adults are estimated to lack B12 in their diet. B12 is found in animal products, which is why many vegans are in B12 deficiency, but this doesn’t mean that people need animal products to prevent the B12 deficiency. B12 can be taken as a supplement, which will make the problem go away.

Another vital vitamin that can cause brain fog is vitamin D. More than 1 billion people worldwide don’t have enough vitamin D in their diet. Alongside B12 and vitamin D is omega-3, which because of its fatty acids helps the brain function and concentrate. Luckily, both vitamin D and omega-3 can be taken as supplements.

Then there’s of course also the obvious unhealthy foods like sugar. Refined carbohydrates like sugar will send your blood sugar levels up, and then send you right back down. This will lead to brain fog, because your brain uses glucose as its main source of fuel and once you start playing around with your brain — it gets confused.

Besides being hit by brain fog, you’ll also experience tiredness, mood swings and mental confusion. So, if you want to have clear mind, then stay away from sugar.

Sometimes the same type of diet can be right for some and wrong for others. If you’re experiencing brain fog it’s a good idea to seek out your doctor or a nutritionist. They can take some tests and help you figure out which type of diet works best for your health, or find out if you’re lacking something specific in your diet.

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3. Allergies

If you have food allergies, or are simply a bit sensitive to specific foods, then eating those foods can lead to brain fog. Look out for dairy, peanuts and aspartame that are known to have a bad effect on the brain.

Most people get their calories from corn, soy and wheat — and big surprise — these foods are some of the most common foods people are allergic to. If you’re in doubt, then you can look up food allergies[1] and find some of the most common symptoms.

If you’re unsure about being allergic or sensitive, then you can start out by cutting out a specific food from your diet for a week or two. If the brain fog disappears, then you’re most likely allergic or sensitive to this food. The symptoms will usually go away after a week or two once you remove the trigger food from the diet.

If you still unsure, then you should seek out the help of your doctor.

4. Lack of sleep

All of us know we need sleep to function, but it’s different for everybody how much sleep they need. A few people can actually function on as little as 3-4 hours of sleep every night, but these people are very, very rare.

Most people need 8 to 9 hours of sleep. If you don’t get the sleep you need, then this will interfere with your brain and you may experience brain fog.

Instead of skipping a few hours of sleep to get ahead of things you need to do, you’ll end up taking away productive hours from your day, because you won’t be able to concentrate and your thoughts will be cloudy.

Many people have trouble sleeping but you can help improve your sleep by a following a few simple steps.

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There is the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise, which is a technique that regulates your breath and helps you fall asleep faster. Another well-known technique is to avoid bright lights before you go to sleep.

A lot of us are guilty of falling asleep with the TV on or with our phone right by us, but the blue lights from these screens suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, which actually makes us stay awake longer instead. If you’re having trouble going to sleep without doing something before you close your eyes, then try taking up reading instead.

If you want to feel more energized throughout the day, start doing this.

5. Hormonal changes

Brain fog can be triggered by hormonal changes. Whenever your levels of progesterone and estrogen increases, you may experience short-term cognitive impairment and your memory can get bad.

If you’re pregnant or going through menopause, then you shouldn’t worry too much if your mind suddenly starts to get a bit cloudy. Focus on keeping a good diet, getting enough of sleep and the brain fog should pass once you’re back to normal.

6. Medication

If you’re on some medication, then it’s very normal to start experiencing some brain fog.

You may start to forget things that you used to be able to remember, or you get easily confused. Maybe you can’t concentrate the same way that you used to. All of these things can be very scary, but you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Brain fog is a very normal side effect of drugs, but by lowering your dosage or switching over to another drug; the side effect can’t often be improved and maybe even completely removed.

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7. Medical condition

Brain fog can often be a symptom of a medical condition. Medical conditions that include inflammation, fatigue, changes in blood glucose level are known to cause brain fog.

Conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, depression, diabetes, migraines, hypothyroidism, Sjögren syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus and dehydration can all cause brain fog.[2]

The bottom line

If you haven’t been diagnosed, then never start browsing around Google for the conditions and the symptoms. Once you start looking for it; it’s very easy to (wrongfully) self-diagnose.

Take a step back, put away the laptop and relax. If you’re worried about being sick, then always check in with your doctor and take it from there.

Remember, the list of things that can cause brain fog is long and it can be something as simple as the wrong diet or not enough sleep.

Featured photo credit: Asdrubal luna via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Food Allergy: Common Allergens
[2]HealthLine: 6 Possible Causes of Brain Fog

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