Stress Management: 7 Fun Ways to Relieve Tension
Try as you might, you will never rid your life of all stress. Believe it or not, you wouldn’t want to. A certain amount of stress is necessary and even good for you. It keeps life interesting and challenging. You may have plenty of stress, but stress doesn’t have to have you. It is important however to take steps on a regular basis to relieve tension.
Stress, even the off-the-charts kind, is manageable. You need to take steps to manage stress before it begins to take its toll on your body. What’s one of the most powerful antidotes for the no-fun feeling of being stressed out? Having fun! Try any or all of these tension-busting activities to get a handle on stress:
Laughter is seriously effective when it comes to easing stress — no kidding.
Laughter will relieve tension in the body. When you laugh, you inhale more oxygen, which, among other things, increases your endorphins, your brain’s built-in “feel good” chemical. So, whatever makes you laugh, an evening out at your local comedy club, reruns of The Carol Burnett Show, or cat videos on YouTube, seek out some laughs!
Close the blinds, put on some music with an irresistible beat, and, well, you know that Internet meme that goes, “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching”? You got it.
No partner is required, although that works too.
In fact, studies show that dancing is not only an excellent stress reliever but also that moving with others can lower stress levels by increasing feelings of social connectedness.
Play is a great way to relieve tension. Play charades. Play tag with your kids. Play fetch with your dog. Play the card game called “Stress”. Despite our society’s rather stern view of play as frivolous kids’ stuff, play is actually crucial throughout our lifespan. It helps develop and maintain creativity, problem-solving, imagination, and relationship skills at every stage of life. What else is play good for? You guessed it — it can play a key role in de-stressing.
Yep, sex is yet one more way to find emotional and physical release, increase endorphins, and boost mood, all the while having fun. Of course, stress can also kill libido. What to do if stress has done a number on your desire to get busy?
Most of the fun stress relievers described here can also help enhance your sex drive by relaxing you, and if done with your partner, can serve as a sort of foreplay to foreplay.
By now you may have heard that coloring books for adults are all the rage. Why are so many adults indulging in a pastime most people abandon well before reaching their tweens? It turns out, that choosing just the right shade of crayon and working hard to stay inside the lines channels and focuses nervous energy not just for kids, but for grownups too.
Coloring is engrossing, and when you’re engrossed in a task, especially one that takes you back to your younger days, you’re distracted from worrying thoughts.
Then get away. Or don’t. While vacations are generally viewed as healthful stress relievers, sometimes they can actually ratchet up the stress. Coordinating time off with a spouse or friend, arranging for pet care, and booking flights and accommodations can sometimes create more tension than the workaday grind that you’re trying to escape.
If you do plan to get away, studies show that shorter trips sprinkled liberally over time — say, a long weekend every few months — are generally more beneficial than a longer haul. And for some people, the act of anticipating a vacation lifts the spirits more than the vacation itself.
Do What YOU Consider Fun
Fun, like a sense of humor and taste in home décor, is subjective. Your idea of what’s fun may not jibe with someone else’s. That’s OK. It’s what YOU find fun that matters, especially when it comes to taming your stress. So … close your eyes. Take a deep, slow breath. Exhale completely. Now think of the word “fun”. What’s the first thing that pops into your head? Go do that.
Whatever you do, have fun, and don’t stress about it!
Couples and individual therapy in Boca Raton
Rebecca Klasfeld is a licensed clinical social worker in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’re ready to take the next step in improving your life, you are invited to call or fill out the contact form and click send.