4 Ways To Deal With Stress You Might Not Have Tried
Lots of things can cause stress in our lives, so unfortunately, learning how to deal with stress is something we all need to know. In today’s society everyone is glued to their phones and rushing around - it can be really hard to recognise when it is time to take a step back and zone out. The fast-paced nature of life nowadays can take a little time to balance — but it can be done!
How to deal with stress
Here at SWEAT, we’re the first to point out the benefits regular exercise can have on stress, but it’s also helpful to know there are lots of ways to help you manage it. Here are a couple you may not have tried!
1. Find some fractals
Fractals are repetitive patterns, which become finer and finer the closer you get to the focal point. Once you know what fractals are, you’ll probably notice them everywhere, like leaves or flowers, shells or even mandalas (think of those popular stress relieving colouring books). It’s suggested that fractals can have a positive effect on stress levels, and research appears to back this up.
Basically, when we look at fractals, we begin to feel calmer due to the way our eyes move when we look at the patterns and the regions of our brain that are activated. Try looking for recurring patterns when you next go for a walk and focus on them for a little while. It can help you to clear your mind and relax you. If you can’t find any, try making your own! Grab a pen and paper and get doodling.
2. Do some sweeping
Just as our mind feels calmer when we observe repeating patterns, it seems that repetitive motions also make us feel less stressed. Chores like sweeping, vacuuming and ironing require you to move in the same way for a period of time. Meanwhile, your mind is free to wander or to process thoughts that may have been swirling around in your head all day.
This is known as the relaxation response, which can bring with it a slower heart rate and lower blood pressure. You can also try doing a few morning stretches and holding them a little longer to give you time to process thoughts once you wake up.
3. Drink some peppermint tea
That amazing smell that comes from peppermint is due to the natural menthol content. That menthol doesn’t just smell amazing, it also acts in a similar way to a muscle relaxant, which can be good for a stressed-out body. Sipping on a little peppermint tea can help you to find relief from headaches caused by tense muscles, so it is definitely worth brewing a cup!
If you’re not a fan of peppermint tea, try a 5-minute matcha latte instead, as matcha provides your body with the amino acid l-theanine. L-theanine can help to increase the feel-good chemicals in your brain and may help you to feel calmer.
4. Indulge in some animal therapy
Numerous studies done over many decades show that pets have a number of positive impacts on our health. When you interact with your pet, it can actually trigger a release of feel-good endorphins, which makes you feel happier and less stressed! Pets also offer companionship and affection, so interacting with them can help to reduce feelings of tension and stress.
Dogs in particular are fantastic at responding to human emotions, often sensing when you could do with a little cheering up. Even if you don’t own a pet, there are ways to indulge in makeshift animal therapy. Specialty pet cafes allow you to spend time with an animal without committing to a full-time relationship while ensuring the pets are cared for and have a stable home.
Try these ways to deal with stress
If you’re feeling stressed, the important thing to remember is there are things you can do to manage it. When you feel like you’ve tried everything and still feel very tense, try these methods to see if they provide you with relief.
Have you found an unusual way to deal with stress that works for you? Let us know in the comments!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.