July 22, 2024

5 Ways to Relax and Relieve Stress by Nicole Burley

Everybody is stressed. Too little sleep, long work hours, and their shoulders are up around their ears all day long. Does this sound familiar?

Stress is rough on your body in a number of ways. It can lead to tension headaches, anxiety attacks and high blood pressure – but it can also really mess with your weight! Steady levels of stress hormones in your blood will make you hold weight and keep you trapped with extra pounds. It’s not always practical – or even possible – to quit your job, go on vacation, have weekly massages or hire an assistant to help you manage the stress in your life.

Here, however, are 5 totally free – and totally doable – ways to reduce your stress and find some peace.

Do absolutely nothing. Don’t underestimate the power of doing nothing! This can mean 5 simple minutes of staring out the window – or a whole afternoon of watching bad TV without guilt. See if you can find a little, tiny patch of time where you consciously, purposely do NOTHING. Let yourself veg out – even if it’s in the bathroom stall for a few moments!

Make something. Make a pie, make macaroni art, make a little man out of paper clips; sketch a portrait of your boss. Create something. Free up a different part of your brain so that stress and anxious thoughts have to take a temporary back seat.

Look at a tree. Seasonal allergies aside, there is something very powerful and calming about nature. Could you find a few trees or some grass or some flowers and spend some time appreciating them? Even if they’re only out your window, just taking some deep breaths while looking at something green can do wonders.

Find a four-legged friend. Play with a puppy, or any kind of animal. Animals can be big balls of love and happiness. Sometimes all you need to do is SEE a happy dog or a cute bunny and it will lighten your spirit and relax your blood pressure. If there are no pets roaming around your workplace (!), check out one of the countless YouTube videos of animals being adorable-it can really shift your energy!

Write. Possibly one of the more powerful ways to alleviate stress and anxiety is to write. Writing helps you find clarity, and also gives you a way to get all your anxious thoughts OUT of your head and on to the page, where they are much less destructive! If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by stressful thoughts and all the things you have to do – write it all out on a piece of paper (or on the computer) and look at it objectively. Seeing everything laid out in front of you can give you a new perspective – and make things seem more manageable.

Nicole Burley, M.Ed is a certified Life Coach and Health Coach in NYC. Her motto is, “Health is fun. Diets are not”. Nicole helps frustrated dieters find a happy, healthy weight – no dieting or deprivation allowed! Nicole holds a masters degree in education from DePaul and a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell. She is a graduate of Coach U and a certified member of the International Coach Federation. www.NicoleBurley.com. Facebook.com/NicoleBurleyCoaching. Twitter: @YourCoachNicole

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