More unusual ways to reduce stress:
Reduce Stress with Play
Playing is not just for kids. In fact, not only should your kids be encouraged to play more but adults should as well. Play creates a physical and imaginary dimension different from that of every day. When we are on the swings and swinging high, we have no choice but to be “in the moment”. Happiness becomes more prominent when you are in the moment pushing stress aside.
The use of play has been found to relieve stress and depression by increasing endorphins. It has also been found to promote connection within relationships and therefore improve them.
Reduce Stress with Sound
Noise pollution creates sound havoc which increases your stress levels without you even knowing. Often sound pollution becomes soundless as it assimilates into your environment and you stop noticing that it is even there. It becomes the invisible stress maker. Jarring and loud noises will also increase your stress levels and can sometimes send you into a trauma state.
Some ways to overcome this is to use earplugs, listen to sounds of nature, sound machines can sometimes be used to block out “ugly, jarring sounds”, listen to music. Many studies have linked Mozart to enhancing our brain functions by producing several proteins that coincide with memory and attention.
Reduce Stress with Smell
Your sense of smell taps into your emotional center. Often certain smells can bring you back to grandmas house and illicit calm and peaceful feelings or take you to places you never want to be or think of again.
- Fresh Cut Grass – there is now a good reason you should look forward to cutting your grass. Not only will it make your yard look nicer, it will also improve your stress levels
- Green Apple – This one surprised me too. Apparently the aroma and smelling of green apples reduces stress and anxiety
- Lavender and pumpkin – Lavender is widely known for reducing stress levels and treating insomnia while pumpkins are known for their aphrodisiac effects, apparently mixing them together is a winning combination
- Peppermint – is great for increasing concentration and alertness
- Coconut – holds so many health contributing properties (including mental fatigue) and smells delish that it wont be hard to keep on hand.
Reduce Stress by Shifting Thoughts
This is definitely a favorite of mine. Your thoughts play an integral part in how you perceive your surroundings and the situations you are in. Your thoughts can help to create stress as well as reduce stress.
Since stress often comes from how you perceive what is going on. The more negative you perceive a situation, the more stressful and aggravating it will become. The more out of control you feel in a situation, the more stress you will feel. This is why it becomes so important to work on:
- shifting your thoughts from negative to positive
- reassessing what this particular situation means to you
- finding things you are in control of in each situation.
- Extra Tip – you can only control yourself, your thoughts and your own actions, so the focus needs to be within you and not on someone else. Perception becomes everything!!!
Reduce Stress by Building community
It has been shown that the more you surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive, the happier and healthier you become. Therefore, building a community around you that you can reach out to for help and emotional support when times are tough becomes essential. You cannot navigate difficult circumstances in isolation. Make sure you find and nurture your tribe. Connection with others is key and will drastically reduce your stress levels. In his book “The Whole Brain Child” Daniel J. Siegel discusses how when we share stories with others and speak out loud, we are bringing our left and right brain hemispheres together. This allows us to work with our full brain which helps in our stress and problem solving skills.