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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

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Nicollete Izakovic

Candidate of International Relations

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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

7 Simple Brain Training Habits to Boost Your Brain Power

7 Simple Brain Training Habits to Boost Your Brain Power

Throughout the ages, there have been many beliefs in various tricks to boosting brain power, yet when held up to scientific scrutiny, most of these beliefs don’t add up.

When I was a child, for example, my mother told me if I ate fish it would make me more intelligent. Of course, there’s no scientific proof this is true.

Today, there is a myriad of games you can download to your phone that claims to improve your brain’s cognitive skills. While we are still waiting for a conclusive scientific verdict on these, recent studies by neuroscientists at Western University in Ontario[1] and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia appear to contradict these claims.[2]

So, how can we really boost our brain power? Well, it turns out there are a number of simple things you can do that will improve the function of your brain. Here are seven to get you started.

1. Do Your Most Difficult Tasks in the Morning

Our brains work at their best when they are fresh and energized after a good night’s sleep.

If you have a task to do that requires a lot of thought and focus, the best time to do that task would be first thing in the morning when your brain is at its freshest.

This is one of the reasons why checking email first thing the morning is not a good idea. You are wasting your brain’s best hours on a simple task that can be done when your brain is not at its freshest

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Throughout the day, you will find the amount of time you can focus for will fall. Your decision-making abilities will also begin to weaken as the day progresses. This is called “decision fatigue” and that means the decisions you make later in the day will not be as good as the decisions you make earlier in the day.

It’s far better to do your most difficult, creative tasks early taking advantage of your brain’s higher energy levels.

Try to avoid meetings first thing in the morning and schedule work that needs higher creative energy and concentration.

2. Get Enough Breaks

Our brains are not very good at maintaining concentration and focus for much more than an hour. Once you go beyond a certain amount of time, doing focused work, you will find yourself making more and more mistakes. This is a sign your brain is tired and needs a break.

Taking the right kind of break is important. Switching from working on a complex spreadsheet to checking your social media feeds is not going to give your brain the right kind of break. Instead, get up from your desk and head outside. If that is not possible, go to the nearest window and look outside.

Your brain needs a break from the screen, not just the spreadsheet, so leave your phone behind so you are not tempted to look at it and just savour the view.

3. Read Books, not Social Media Feeds

There are no shortcuts to improved knowledge and you are certainly not going to improve your general knowledge about anything useful by reading social media feeds. Instead, make reading books a regular habit.

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When you read good quality books, you increase your ability to use the knowledge you learn to solve problems as your brain will apply the knowledge you learned to existing situations.

Learn about economic theory, history and psychology. All these topics have real practical applications for us all today.

4. Exercise Regularly

Humans did not evolve to be stationary animals. You need to move.

Had our ancestors spent their days sat around, they would not have survived very long. To survive and find food, our ancestors had to keep moving. Our brains have evolved to function at their best when we are exercised.

In his book, Brain Rules, Prof.John Medina explains when we exercise, we increase the amount of oxygen in our brains and this helps to sharpen our brain’s functions.

In studies, when a previously sedentary group of people began a light exercise programme, their cognitive skills improve as well as reaction times and quantitive skills.

This is why you are more likely to find the solution to a problem when you are walking somewhere or exercising rather than when you are sat at a desk in front of a screen.

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5. Get Enough of the Right Food

You probably have experienced the afternoon slump at some point in your life. This is when you feel tired and fatigued in the mid-afternoon. This is a result of the carbohydrates you ate at lunchtime, stimulating your body to produce insulin which then causes a drop in your blood sugar levels.

When you go into an afternoon slump, concentrating for long periods become almost impossible and you just want to curl up and go to sleep.

To prevent the afternoon slump, try to eat a protein-rich lunch such as a tuna or chicken salad without pasta, rice or bread. Keep some healthy snacks such as mixed nuts and dried bananas around your workspace and when you feel a little peckish, eat a few of these.

Not only will you avoid the afternoon slump, but you will also improve your overall general health and feel a lot more energetic.

6. Drink Enough Water

Your brain is made up of about 70% water, so without enough water, your brain will not function at its best.

When you are not drinking enough water, you will find your ability to concentrate, make decisions and stay alert will reduce. You will feel sleepy and lack energy. Your brain functions at its best when it is properly hydrated.

The solution is to keep a large bottle of water at your work station and sip regularly from it throughout the day. This will increase the number of trips you need to make to the bathroom which is a good thing. It will keep you moving and taking regular breaks from your screen.

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7. Don’t Deprive Yourself of Sleep

You probably don’t need a long scientific study to convince you that if you are not getting enough sleep, you are not going to function at your best.

You just need to go a couple of days without getting enough sleep and you feel your abilities reduce. Your decision-making skills become erratic, your energy levels drop and your ability to stay focused on your work diminishes.

If you want to improve your brain’s ability to function, then start with getting enough sleep. The number of hours you need will depend on your own circadian rhythms, so find what works best for you.

Six to eight hours is usually enough for most people so make sure you are hitting that number of hours per night as a minimum.

The Bottom Line

Improving our brain power is not difficult. All we need to do is develop a few simple habits such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating the right foods.

These seven tips will go a long way to helping you to become more alert, able to focus longer and make decisions. All simple common sense tricks anyone can use.

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Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

Reference

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