5 Ways to Keep Stress at Bay

stressed girl standing outside in jacket

With an busy lifestyle comes the promise of stress, and although it may be a wholly unavoidable reality, even the worst cases of stress are manageable — or at the very least, can be countered by willful acts of self care. Each of the following suggestions are simple, yet remarkably effective ways to offset stress, so long as you think of them as priorities instead of luxuries.

Practice Mindfulness as Often as Possible

Mindfulness is, in essence, devoting time daily to thoughtfully processing your emotions and thoughts. When you’re in tune with your feelings, you reduce the chance of feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. Increased mindfulness, while relieving your stress, reduces your risk for developing emotional disorders and can even lead to an increase in empathy.

Invest in an Adult Coloring Book

Yes, you read that right: a coloring book. More than just the latest fad, adult coloring books have been proven to relieve stress in adults because they give you something to focus on that isn’t – you guessed it – the things you’re normally fretting over. So what is it, exactly, that sets an adult coloring book apart from a regular old kids’ book? Intricate patterns, occasionally irreverent language, and the earnest satisfaction you feel after completing the first page. At about $5 to $15 per coloring book, adult coloring books are a small investment with a huge payoff.

Take a Paint and Sip Class

Paint-and-sip classes are another trend sweeping the nation that, more than just a fun night out, can severely relieve stress. Studies show that active participation in the arts has an unequivocally positive impact on emotional wellness. If you’re in need of a boost this Saturday night due to the stress of the work week, research paint-and-sip classes in your area, pick up a brush, a bottle of your favorite wine, and partake in a simple joy. You can sign up with friends, or even make some while you’re there – the relaxed atmosphere of the class will make it easy to mix and mingle with new people!

Recite Positive Affirmations

When stress wears down your spirit, positive affirmations can help you feel more confident and self-assured. If done consistently, they may permanently exile negative thoughts from your psyche. By looking in the mirror and saying to yourself, for example, “I am wholly worthy of love and respect,” or, “My mistakes don’t define me,” these feelings become somewhat palpable.

Practice Self Love

Positive affirmations are what self love looks like in a nutshell, but indisputable self love goes beyond this. Loving yourself is a full time job, with no weekends off or vacations, and requires more than just affirmations. It means looking after your mental and physical state of being. Have you eaten breakfast today, and did you get enough sleep last night? When was the last time you danced, or spent time with your best friend? These things are far from superficial, and being more mindful of them is a huge stress reliever.

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