Everyone experiences stress or tension at one time or another. Furthermore, stress and tension cause us to feel unhappy and sometimes at a loss. Assistant professor, Dr. Pamela Peeke, of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, claims the best way to handle stress is to achieve “daily pockets of peace” rather than trying to grab it one sitting, like over a weekend or during our traditional two-week vacations. So, to get your pocket of peace, why not make a commitment to try at least one of these fifteen stress busters today.
- Daydream. Sometimes all you need to do to bust stress is find time for yourself, and what better way to spend it than in a pleasant daydream, even if you only have time for a five minute one.
- Experience a Sunset. The best time of day for me is when the sun goes down. I love to sit on my front porch, with my blanket, and a yummy glass of cold chocolate milk as I watch the sun go down.
- Just Say No. Sometimes demands from family, the boss, or a spouse can be too much. When stress becomes your mantra just say N-O and start saying Y-E-S to relaxation.
- Listen to White Noise. I read an article the other day that noted that even in the tropical forests of South America a person can hear the hum of machinery. Noise has gotten to be so common people don’t realize they can’t even hear the sounds of nature anymore. If you find noise a constant problem where you live, buy a white noise machine and let it mask those louder noises.
- Meditate. Meditation is one of the all time best stress busters, and it’s so easy because all you have to do is put aside your stressful thoughts and focus on your breathing. The calming effects of meditation include decreased stress, enhanced moods, and improved immunity.
- Practice Yoga. Yoga has been a well-known stress buster for years. My husband and I recently enrolled in yoga classes and we love them. It’s so nice to balance our energy, while also gaining a health body and a relaxed, stress-free attitude.
- Record Your Thoughts. It’s always good to process your feelings and understand yourself. If you record your daily thoughts, desires, fears, dreams, and achievements, then on bad days you can actually get in touch with yourself and see how much you have achieved and grown.
- Rip Up Your Lists. In this day and age, lives are often dictated by Palm Pilots, calendars, or to-do lists. If you feel stressed because of your lists, rip them up, turn them off, or toss them in a drawer. Put time for relaxation and stress busting above your lists.
- Say Thanks. If you’re having a rough day, instead of stressing out, use the opposite approach and say “thanks.” Trials are what help us grow and what helps us become stronger and more thoughtful.
- Share With a Friend. Sometimes worries pile up and we feel as if we are all alone carrying the burdens of the world. If you take time to talk to a close friend you’ll realize you are not alone and you’ll discover a good talk can put stress and worry in perspective.
- Swim. During the hot summer months there is nothing better than a refreshing dip in the pool. I love it because it makes me feel like a kid again.
- Take a Deep Breath. Sometimes people press our buttons, even if it’s unintentional. You can’t control people, but you can control yourself and your response. So, before you allow tension or stress to overwhelm you take a deep breath. Breathing deeply relaxes your body and wakes up your brain, so just take a few deep breathes and you’ll be stress free in no time.
- Walk Your Dog. One of the best stress busters is walking. I love it and my dogs love it. It recharges our batteries and I know I’m doing something good for them and good for me.
- Watch a Funny Movie. My husband loves the 1988 movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steven Martin and Michael Caine. My all time favorite movie is the 1992 movie HouseSitter, which also stars Steve Martin but with Goldie Hawn. We’ve watched them both a hundred times, but we still love them because we laugh every darn time.
- Your Happiness Counts. My sister once told me she felt responsible for the happiness of her children. I told her, she’s only responsible for her own happiness. She can’t control whether her children or happy or not, but she can control her own moods. So, stop worrying about someone else’s happiness and make sure your focus on your own.
If you want to achieve relaxation and bust stress and tension, I also recommend Doreen Blumenfeld’s Journey into Deep Relaxation.She uses guided imagery and self-hypnosis for a “blissful and peaceful ‘time-out’ from one’s [hectic] daily schedule.”
If you prefer music, one of my all time favorites is an ambient music CD titled Detaching the World Vol. 1.It came out in 2002, but it’s still great. In the meantime, there have been three other releases under the same name—Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 4—and while they all score at least a four, the first volume continues to remain the highest rated, at least on Amazon.com.