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40 Simple And Brilliant Ways To Relax and De-stress

40 Simple And Brilliant Ways To Relax and De-stress

Today’s fast-paced society has our lives in its crushing grasp, and stress is an unwanted by-product. Well folks, that’s all about to change. Below are 40 easy– and some slightly unconventional– ways to relaxAfter all, you deserve it.

1. Get Moving

I know, I know– you just want a break, and perhaps tiring yourself out even more is the last thing on your mind. But trust me, this is gold. Exercise triggers the brain to release feel-good hormones called endorphins, which will– erhm– make you feel good. Yeah, it really is that simple.

2. Drink Tea

…Green Tea, especially. They are a rich source of L-Theanine, a chemical that is proven to reduce stress and anger.

3. Visualize

This is a nice technique that tricks the brain and subsequently calms you down. Imagine yourself at your favorite spot– on the beach? The more imagery, the better.

4. Return to Nature

Henry David Thoreau once said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life…and not, when I came to die, [to] discover that I had not lived.” Deep. But seriously, greenery is much more relaxing than the pixels on the screen, and as a result you’ll feel more calm and whole.

5. Write in a Journal

Or blog, if that’s your style. In any case, it’s a brilliant way to get back to the basics and practice some old fashioned introspection.

6. Be Bored

Say what? Yep, being bored can actually spur your creativity levels, which will undeniably get you to have some fun and bring out your inner child– or inventor. In a nutshell, it’s just another way to relax.

7. Engage in Your Interests

Like watching sports? Watch sports. Like cooking? Cook! Do what you like to do– your hobbies and interests– and just have a ball.

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8. Take a Nap

If you’re generally bad with naps like me, Sara Mednick’s nap wheel might help. Power naps and naps in general are great ways to give you that boost of energy you need while letting you wind down.

9. Unplug From Social Media

Constant connection to social media can spread you thin. It’s simple: challenge yourself to stay away from anything that sends you notifications. The less connected we are to the vast social world on the net, the more connected we are to ourselves.

10. Meditate

This one isn’t new. Meditation is a great way to calm the mind. Here are some easy meditation techniques for beginners.

11. Do Yoga

Yoga is just meditation with an added physical component– and it goes pretty deep to reduce stress. If this sounds right up in your alley, give it ago. If not, try it out anyway!

12. Clean

De-cluttering your physical environment actually works in de-cluttering your mind. Do the laundry, shine your shoes, organize your closet.

13. Take a Walk

If Passion Pit’s song doesn’t convince you enough, I don’t know what will! Taking a walk is so light, so simple, so easy… but it’s an opportunity for simple reflection and mind-wandering plus an added physical component.

14. Read

Imagine: rainy days, cozy nook, interesting book. Sound calming? That’s because it is. Oh, and congrats and visualizing that description! That’s also a relaxing activity (see #3)

15. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

Sound silly? That’s because it is silly, you silly goose. Dancing will make you feel good, promise. Bonus– it also reduces muscle tension, and you can go along with your favorite beats.

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16. Talk to Yourself

Before you question my sanity, try it out. Please. Talking to yourself, especially positive self-talk, is a powerful happiness-booster. Give yourself a pep talk. Or, just talk to yourself about your day, about your life, or about your feelings. This can allow you to realize (and then release) any negative feelings that you didn’t know you had before.

17. Cuddle with a Pet

Pets oftentimes just know what’s up. Well, maybe not your goldfish. But owning a cat or dog or really any other cuddle-y friend can actually lower your blood pressure.

18. Listen to Music

Get lost in some tunes, and you will find your special place. Hint: calming music can especially calm you.

19. Be with a Friend

Humans are social creatures. A lot of these relaxation steps involve much alone-time, but the truth is that hanging with the people you like will make you care-free and feel good. Simple science, really.

20. Learn Something New

Challenge yourself. Every dreamed to learn code? Archery? Under-water basket weaving? here’s your chance to have a blast, relax, and add a new skill-set to your credentials.

21. Say No

Sometimes busy agendas can explode– that is, if you keep saying yes. Know your limits and say no when you feel overwhelmed.

22. Stretch

Release tension and gain flexibility! Stretching also gets your blood circulation going and does wonders to the lymph nodes, which are responsible for your immune system health. No wonder it’s also a component of yoga, which also lowers stress. Read more here.

23. Take a Bubble Bath

Soak in that soapy goodness and just wind down after a long day. Bubbles help.

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24. Squeeze a Stress Ball

This one is a no-brainer. BUT, I rarely see anything with a stress ball when they’re stressed. Try it out and keep it with you if you’re the type of person who gets overwhelmed easily.

25. Look Out The Window

Again with the nature, except this one is a little more forgiving for those of you who have no choice but to stay seated for most of the day. If there’s a window around to, take advantage of the opportunity to see what’s out there!

26. Tickle Yourself

So you probably think I’m crazy and I’m not blaming you. Tickling yourself most likely won’t really work (if it does, then good for you!) but the key point here is laughing. Crack a joke, or even get tickled!

27. Watch a Movie

Popcorn and a movie is a simple, easy way to indulge and relax.

28. Eat Chocolate

It’s true! (…in moderation, of course.) Studies show that dark chocolate can actually reduce your stress levels. 

29. Smile

It’s that simple. The physical act of smiling, even when you may not necessarily be in a smiling mood, is proven to still reduce stress.

30. Go Barefoot

This is one of the many ways to get in touch with nature as previously mentioned, BUT it has unique properties of its own. Walking barefoot outside might make you a hippie, but it’ll also helps you absorb free electrons from the Earth and has a surprisingly powerful antioxidant effect on the body, as explained here. If anything, however, going barefoot gives you a natural, spiritual connection with the Earth on which we live. Deep.

31. Sing

Bring out your inner Beyoncé. Pair this up with “dance like nobody’s watching” (see #15), and you’re set as a backup singer/dancer.

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32. Treat Yourself

Go out for some froyo, splurge in that clutch bag, give in to a guilty pleasure. Treating yourself is just a reminder that life is good, and that you deserve to have a good time.

33. Scents Make Sense

Try out aromatherapy. Some scents, like lavender and jasmine. Check out this page for a more detailed list.

34. Do Your Research

It’s important to relax, but it’s equally important to understand what caused you to stress in the first place. Acknowledge whatever it is, as it may just be right under your nose.

35. Chew Gum

Chewing gum can actually lower stress! Pop one in your mouth, and you’re set.

36. Find a Relaxation Mentor

AKA, a positive role model who excels specifically in the field of staying relaxed. Find that one dude whose catch phrase is “take a chill pill!” (Not limited to people who grew up in the 90’s…) By looking to others who are good at being calm, you can also learn their tricks.

37. Be Spontaneous

Take an alternate route to work, spice up your morning routine, or take an impromptu trip to your favorite store. We’re so entrenched in routine, but a bit of spontaneity once in a while is good for you.

38.Forgive Yourself

Any weird emotional tension? Let it go by forgiving others and yourself. Staying in the past is not worth missing the future.

39. Breathe

Probably the easiest thing you can do, and it takes only a few seconds. No matter where you are or however difficult the situation at hand may be, taking a deep breath can calm you down.

40. Remember You’re Human

It starts with awareness. We all make mistakes. Let go of any perfectionist tendencies that may be dragging you down, and let go of any unrealistic standards that you set for yourself and fail to reach. So… Relax, remember you’re human, and go reap the harvests of life.

Featured photo credit: Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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