4 WAYS TO RELIEVE STRESS AND RELAX

The older I get, the more susceptible I feel I am to stressful situations.

I think a part of finding yourself, is discovering your stressors and how to deal with them to make your life more relaxed and stress free.

So, I thought I’d share with you my top 4 ways to relieve stress and relax.

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OLYMPUS E-PL8

Remove yourself

The first thing I do when I feel stressed or anxious is to remove myself from the situation or thing that is causing me stress. Whether it be removing myself from my desk at work or turning my phone off.

The key to getting this step right, is not to run away from your stressors but to come back to whatever it is that is causing you stress, once you have relaxed and can look at the situation again, with a clear mind and new perspective.

This is such a simple thing to do but we often underestimate the power of a different view and perspective.

Meditate

Once you’ve removed yourself from the situation, you need to relax your mind and body. Meditation is one of the best ways to do this.

Now, when I say meditate, I don’t been sitting cross-legged, with your hands on your knees, repeating ‘Omm’ over and over – but if that’s what works for you, then go for it!

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of meditation is: To focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.

Meditation is something that I always thought was really bizarre as a teenager, but having learnt how to practice meditation properly, I wish I had been taught it so much earlier in life.

I, personally, like to sit or lay down with my eyes closed, palms facing upwards, in silence and just concentrate on my breath – just be aware of how I’m breathing – that is all.

It sounds weird and the first time I did it I was like what the hell am I doing – but trust me, stick at it because it freaking works!

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OLYMPUS E-PL8

Move your body

One of the most common ways to de-stress is to exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy. It’s science.

This is all well and good if you enjoy exercise, but I for one, definitely do not – it’s something I do to keep healthy, because I have to, not because I enjoy it.

However, I recently discovered yoga and OMG is it not just the best exercise in the World?! Again, something I wish I’d discovered a lot earlier.

Create a relaxing space

After a stressful day, the last thing you want to do is to come home to an unwelcoming space.

Your definition of a welcoming space may be different to someone else’s, but a tidy space means a tidy mind, so naturally, being clean and tidy helps you to unwind.

It’s important to have one space to come back to that acts as a sanctuary. Somewhere that is kept exactly how you like it. Somewhere that you can separate yourself from work or revision or technology, whatever it is that you need to escape from. Somewhere that you can personalise with things that help you to relax, whether that be playing music you like, lighting candles or decorating with plants.

Creating a bedroom that helps you to unwind will naturally improve your sleep too and I reckon we could all do with a bit more of that!

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