Most of us know that walking, meditating and deep breathing are great ways to de-stress, but sometimes we need other options. When the traditional options aren’t available what do you do? Here are six creative ways to de-stress you may not have thought of.
Creative Ways to De-Stress
1. Guided Imagery
Guided imagery is a powerful tool that can help reduce stress. It involves using your imagination to envision a calm and relaxing place. Studies have shown that guided imagery can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones.
You can start by finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Once you’re feeling relaxed, begin to imagine a peaceful place. It can be somewhere you’ve been before or somewhere wholly imaginary.
As you continue to relax, let your mind wander and explore your surroundings. Pay attention to the details of your surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell?
the details of your surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell?
2. Hug Someone
Oxytocin, also called the “cuddle hormone,” releases when we hug someone. Oxytocin is known for reducing stress and increasing feelings of happiness and pleasure. So the next time you’re feeling stressed, try hugging someone you love.
The tactic is so effective, in fact, that a new business model has recently popped up and is growing in popularity. You can cuddle with a professional cuddler in a safe and non-sexual way for a pre-determined amount of time.
If the price tag throws you off, try cuddling with a pet. Research has shown that interacting with animals can also help reduce stress.
If you’re feeling stressed, try belting out your favorite song in the shower or car. This method naturally works better if you have an affinity for singing, but give it a try even if you only know one song! You can also join a choir or take singing lessons to make it a more regular activity.
Singing has been shown to lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. Singing can also help boost your mood and improve your breathing.
However, remember that this activity should be strictly for fun. Unrealistic expectations can lead to performance anxiety, only adding to your stress levels.
If singing isn’t your cup of tea, pretty much any art form can have a similar effect!
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote healing. Essential oils are extracted from plants and have a powerful effect on our mood and emotions. Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils for relaxation. It’s often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Chamomile oil is another good option for reducing stress.
You can use essential oils in a diffuser or add them to your bathwater or lotion. You can also put a few drops on a cloth and inhale the scent.
If you’re using essential oils for the first time, start with a small amount and see how you react. Some people may be allergic to certain oils.
5. Cook a Feast
If you’re a busy city-dweller, you might not have given cooking a proper go. But there’s scientific evidence to back up the claim that cooking can help relieve stress.
The act of cooking can be therapeutic. It gives you a chance to be creative and focus on the present moment. The process of chopping vegetables or kneading dough can be calming and meditative.
The more effort you put into cooking, the more satisfaction you’ll feel. So don’t be afraid to try something new or make a mess! During the experience, you’ll most likely be focused on the pots and pans rather than your stressors.
And, of course, the end result can be pretty satisfying too. Sharing a meal with friends or family can help reduce stress and promote bonding.
6. Explore Holistic Healing
Do you seemingly do everything right to be healthy, like exercising and eating well, but still don’t feel your best? If so, you might want to explore the world of holistic healing. Holistic healing is based on the idea that our physical, mental, and emotional well-being are interconnected. So if one area is out of balance, it can impact the others.
There are many different types of holistic healing practices. Some common ones include acupuncture, yoga, and massage therapy.
Cannabis-based therapies are also becoming more popular as the stigma around marijuana use decreases. CBD oil, in particular, is thought to have many stress-relieving benefits. If you’re interested in trying out a holistic healing practice, do some research to find a reputable practitioner in your area.
Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. If you’re looking for ways to destress that go beyond the traditional methods of walking and meditating, give some of these ideas a try.
Set aside some time each week for your stress management activity, and try them one after the other. You don’t need to go all-in on any one of them. You can note your results in a journal to keep track of what works best for you.
In the end, you’ll have a reliable arsenal of tools to help you cope with stress, no matter what life throws your way.