You wake up late, spill your coffee, rush into work, have no time for lunch, sit in hours of traffic on the way home, then collapse on your bed before you even have a chance to change into your pajamas. How many times has this happened to you? If this situation sounds all too familiar, it’s time for you to take a moment, calm your mind, and unwind. Here’s how.
12 ways to de-stress
No matter why you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are plenty of ways to de-stress after a long day. Figuring out how to get stressful things off your mind may be tricky at first, but if you follow the below tips you’ll be well on your way to feeling less hectic.
1. Practice mindfulness
When school, work, family, and other responsibilities feel overwhelming, it’s important to take a step back and create distance from these stressors. Mindfulness can help you do exactly that.
When you’re heavily focused on the things that cause anxiety, you’re probably not paying attention to what’s going on in the moment, and mindfulness changes that. It brings your attention back to how you’re feeling in the present.
To start practicing mindfulness, try downloading a guided meditation app. Find a quiet spot in your home, put your headphones on, close your eyes, and think about nothing while listening to the app’s serene sounds.
2. Deep breathing
Dealing with stress is not only uncomfortable, but it can also affect your health. Stress and anxiety can cause your blood pressure to rise and your heart rate to increase – this is commonly known as “fight or flight” mode, intended to protect you from dangerous situations.
To help lower your heart rate, try to focus on your breath by doing breathing exercises. Deep breathing can be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety, lower your blood pressure, and promote tranquility.
While deep breathing may sound simple, there are actually different techniques you can try to regain control of your heart rate. One of the most common is the 4-7-8 breath – inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, exhale for 8 counts, repeat.
3. Progressive muscle relaxation
You know the expression “carry the weight of the world on your shoulders”? Well, that’s essentially what you’re doing if you are constantly stressed. As stress builds up, your muscles tense up too, and this tension can cause tightness, pain, problems sleeping, and migraines. When you get home from a long day of work, lay down for a few minutes and try out progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). PMR requires you to work on one muscle group at a time, constantly tensing and releasing to emphasize the feeling of relaxing your muscles. Doing so can calm your mind and help you lift that metaphorical and literal weight off your shoulders.
Exercise is good for more than just staying fit and active. While you are exercising, your body releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that help you feel happy and motivated. Being active can also take your mind off your anxieties by forcing you to think about your movements and coordination.
Research from Harvard University has shown that exercising regularly can improve your mood, reduce stress and tension, and positively impact your sleeping habits. Whether you do an intense conditioning workout or go for a nice walk around the block, the important thing is that you’re up and moving.
5. Listen to soothing music
If you’re in a funk and are having trouble staying motivated to do even simple tasks, sometimes the best thing you can do is wrap yourself in a fuzzy blanket, make some tea, and listen to soothing music. Music can help you regulate your emotions, lessen your anxiety, increase your energy levels, and boost your mood. Several studies, including this study published in Frontiers in Psychology, have found a connection between music and mood. So next time you’re feeling stressed, turn on some tunes and take some deep breaths.
6. Spend time with loved ones
No matter what’s happening in your life, you probably have friends and family that will be there to support you through it all. When life is stressing you out, spending time with loved ones can help combat loneliness and reduce stress. Whether in-person or on video chat, get together with friends and spend time joking around, telling stories, and having fun – after all, laughter is the best medicine.
7. Invest in a hobby
The hustle and bustle of everyday life can leave you feeling pretty exhausted, so you might not think that you have time for anything else. However, taking a break and doing something you genuinely enjoy can have a positive impact on your overall well-being.
Taking part in a hobby such as painting, knitting, or playing an instrument can help to reduce work-related burnout. Whether you decide to pick up a hobby alone or start one with friends, hobbies are a great way to calm yourself, have fun, and maybe even learn something new.
8. Get a plant
Transform your room into a luscious green garden for some natural stress relief whenever you need it. Along with providing beautiful decor to your home, houseplants can also reduce stress levels and improve your outlook on life. Being near plants can be a simple and cost-effective way to decrease symptoms of depression and rejuvenate yourself after stress.
9. Practice positivity
When you constantly feel like there is a dark raincloud floating over your head, it can be hard to remain positive and motivated. Change the forecast to a clear sky by practicing positivity.
Instead of focusing on everything that may have gone wrong over the day or things that are out of your control, concentrate on the good things, even the small ones. Every time you use affirmations and remind yourself that there are always things to appreciate in life, you’re reinforcing the notion of positivity.
10. Have a movie night
An especially easy way to unwind after work or school is to plop down in your at-home movie theater and enjoy a movie marathon. Movies can be a gateway into another world, as when you immerse yourself into their plots, you can temporarily forget about all your real-life worries. The mistakes you made on the big exam, the deadlines your boss is giving you – they all disappear for a bit as you immerse yourself in a fantastic flick.
11. Practice yoga
Through the practice of yoga, you can lower your stress by connecting with your body and mind. Meditation combined with physical poses and controlled breathing can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress while slowing your heart rate and keeping you focused on finding peace.
Create a special spot in your home just for yoga so that you always have a go-to spot for unburdening yourself of your worries. Light some incense, play soothing music, and use laser lights for a restful yoga session – with BlissLights BlissBulbs in your yoga space, you’ll be stretching, breathing, and de-stressing under a sky of twinkling stars.
12. Use lights to create a soothing atmosphere
Jumping into bed after a hard day at work is the absolute best – well, unless you're laying there unable to get your mind off your unfinished tasks and responsibilities Instead of staring into space and filling your mind with worry, calm yourself with soothing colorful lights and their relaxing patterns. With the BlissLights Sky Lite Laser Galaxy Projector, for example, you can ease your mind under mesmerizing blue nebula clouds and sparkling laser stars.
Sky Lite Galaxy Projector
Shine a galaxy of moving stars and a blue nebula cloud.
Lighting options for a relaxing environment
Whether you’re listening to music, doing yoga, or watching movies, you can always elevate your space with indoor lighting for an even more serene ambiance. Certain colors such as red, blue, and green can help your body to decompress, resulting in improved sleep and a better mood.
If you’re trying a deep breathing exercise or practicing mindfulness, consider doing so under blue lights, as blue light is known to increase blood flow and decrease blood pressure. With the blue BlissLights BlissBulb, you can more easily concentrate on controlling your breathing. As thousands of brilliant blue glimmering laser stars surround you while you practice deep breathing, you may feel more at ease.
Alternatively, if your de-stressing method of choice is a newfound hobby, incorporate the BlissLights Ark Ambient Aurora Light into your hobby zone. As this light’s soothing green aurora floats around its fluffy blue clouds, you might find yourself so entranced that the repetition of, for example, knitting a sweater becomes a complete and total balm.
ARK Aurora Light
Transcend reality with a moving abstract aurora.
Take a load off and refresh with BlissLightsA hectic lifestyle where you just go, go, go with no time to stop can lead to feelings of constant stress and anxiety. To relax, try creating a stress-free area for your de-stressing activities using items such as houseplants, candles, and lights such as BlissLights laser lights. These lights can transform your room into the ultimate safe haven where you can easily unwind. Browse the BlissLights collection to find your perfect lighting for a blissful night of de-stressing.
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