Over three-quarters of adults in the U.S. say they regularly experience physical symptoms of stress, according to The American Institute of Stress, which means it’s no surprise if you’re one of them. After a long, hard day at work all you might want to do is throw yourself onto the couch and turn on the TV, and while that’s fine occasionally, there are some much better options that will truly help you unwind and de-stress.
5 Ways to Unwind after a Long Day
Write Out a List of the Day’s Positive Events
Most of us tend to focus on the negative events of the day which makes us feel more stressed. By writing down the good things that happened, it can have the opposite effect. No matter how small, from that light turning green just before you got to a busy intersection to your four-legged friend who greeted you at the door. If you truly can’t think of anything, simply write down what makes you happy, and before you know it, you’ll be smiling and feeling more carefree.
Enjoy the Sounds of Nature
The sounds of nature have been found to instantly relieve stress as it distracts us from inward, often negative thoughts and toward outward sounds. If you can muster up the energy for a walk outdoors – perhaps you’re one of the lucky few that live near a beach in Los Angeles and can enjoy listening to the waves? But even enjoying the songs of the birds in a city park can do the trick. If getting outside isn’t an option, grab some headphones and play a track with nature sounds while you sink into that comfy sofa.
Yoga helps to calm the mind and body. Breath work especially is known to boost one’s mood and it can even alleviate pain, like that ache in your lower back after sitting all day. An ideal antidote to stress, the practice not only helps to keep muscles flexible and strong, it works to build inner strength that allows you to better take on the challenges of life.
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Take a Catnap
If you’re truly exhausted, a catnap might be what you really need. Experts say it’s almost like a mini-vacation, just don’t snooze for too long. If you nap for more than 30 minutes, you’ll enter deep sleep which means you’ll feel groggy when you get up rather than refreshed.
They say laughter is the best medicine, and it’s really true. Once you start laughing it’s easy to forget what you’ve been stressing about as it allows you to enjoy the moment. It helps to cool down the stress response and even lower your heart rate and blood pressure, providing a wonderfully relaxed feeling. It can instantly change your mood and it can even relieve pain by triggering the body to produce natural painkillers.
Play a funny video, watch your favorite comedy or invite over that friend who always knows how to make you laugh. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just make it happen.
- What are some things YOU do to Unwind?
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.