Stress is a nearly constant torment for most people these days, and while beating it can sometimes be difficult, it is by no means impossible. The typical methods for stress relief are well-published, but these five tips are a little more off the beaten path. Give them a try, and see if they might work for you!
Force a Smile
Just as our brains tend to alter our facial expressions, believe it or not, our facial expressions can also alter our brainwaves. By smiling, even if you feel like it’s the last thing in the world you want to do, your brain will react by releasing chemicals called endorphins, which will make you feel good. Looking up while you’re smiling will also amplify this effect. You should also get a bonus laugh out of the deal when you realize how ridiculous you look while you’re doing this.
The Six Healing Sounds of Qigong
This powerful method of self-healing has been used for thousands of years in the Orient. A combination of breathing, posture and visualization, these techniques for ridding your internal organs of negative emotions and energy tied to stress can be practiced in minutes, or longer, depending on how much time you have.
Sing and Sing it Loud
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a great singer or an awful one; singing relieves stress. The combination of deeper breathing and timed exhalation required to sing mimics the same meditational breathing techniques practiced elsewhere, with the added benefit that you get to totally rock out! If you’re shy, go for a leisurely drive and sing in your car. If not, belt out a few tunes in the shower, your living room, or anywhere else you feel the urge.
Get it On
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but sex is one of the most powerful stress-relievers out there. Regular practice has been proven to extend a person’s lifespan by years. It bolsters the immune system, gets the heart and lungs working, and releases all sorts of beneficial hormones and enzymes into the bloodstream. Single? No problem. Whether you’re with someone else or spending some quality time with yourself, the benefits are the same.
Massage Your Ears
The ear massage is a great way to de-stress. It triggers the release of endorphins and provides instant relief. Start by rubbing your earlobes gently between your thumb and index finger. Then work your way up, massaging the outer edges of your ears up to the top. These parts of your ears have nerve points that will relax specific parts of your body. Finish by using your index fingers and middle fingers to massage the bony part of your skull behind your ears.
Whether you try one of these techniques or all of them, always try to remember that stress is caused more by our attitude towards the troubles in our lives than the troubles themselves. By being grateful for the positive things we experience, the negative aspects will be less overwhelming, and you’ll enjoy the journey of life much more!