6 Ways to De-Stress for Better Brain Health
Everyone tells us not to stress, but no one actually tells you how to de-stress. Stress is inevitable. We all are familiar with that feeling of stress overload. Built up stress can make you angry, irritable, and anxious. It can have an impact on your physical health by making your blood pressure high. Here are some wellness tips to help you de-stress. Implementing these techniques will provide mental clarity and help you build healthy habits.
When you feel stressed and overwhelmed, try some of these techniques to help you decompress.
1. Do something creative/fun
One way to relieve yourself from stress is to find an activity to do that is immersive. Take your mind off of the stress and allow yourself to decompress by doing something that requires focus and concentration.
Activities to try:
- Take a bath
Fun brain fact!: Doing puzzles is a great way to work your brain as well. Puzzles help to strengthen short term memory by forcing your brain to practice spatial reasoning and problem solving. Your brain cells are creating new connections and old ones are being strengthened. Puzzles activate your left and right side of the brain by using reasoning and logic while playing around with imagination and creativity.
2. The 5,4,3,2,1 technique
This is a calming technique to use at the height of stress. You are connecting with your senses and distracting yourself from the dominating feeling of stress. This helps provide yourself with mental clarity to be able to effectively make decisions on how to combat and resolve unwanted stress. This is a simple and healthy habit to build and is useful on the go or in situations where you need immediate release.
- Name 5 things you see
- Name 4 things you hear
- Touch 3 things
- Name 2 things you smell
- List one thing you taste
Exercise is a great way to release and reduce stress. When you exercise, you stimulate production of endorphins that help your body relax. Exercise also helps regulate cortisol levels which is the stress hormone that we all have. It may help you release the stress that you hold within your body that you never release when you are not as active.
4. Call someone for support
Calling a friend, loved one, or trusted peer can help you de-stress. Venting and having a person willing to listen to you can go a long way. Make sure you communicate what you need whether it be help, a solution, or just a person to hear you. Having a person there can help you unwind and not feel as overwhelmed. This also helps strengthen bonds and build deeper trusting connections. Talking to someone can help lighten the mood, serve as a distraction, or even dissipate feelings of stress all together.
Meditation helps foster a state of relaxation and mental clarity. For meditation, sit or lay in a relaxed position. Focus all of your attention on breathing, counting, a mantra, or a sound. Meditation triggers your body’s relaxation response and restores the calm state. This helps oppose the state that stress puts you in and allows it to not take a toll on your body. Start small with a 5 minute meditation until you build the stamina to go longer. This is a healthy habit to do before bed to help allow your body to be the most relaxed it can be.
There are different types of meditation. For example, there is guided and unguided meditation. Some people may enjoy having a video to follow along with while others prefer to guide themselves. Explore different types of meditation to help you decompress and find the best fit for you.
6. Make a plan of action
Lots of times we may feel overwhelmed from a packed to do list. Making a plan of action for how to tackle each task will help you visualize how much time you have and a method to approach them. Many times we can be overwhelmed by thinking that we have to complete things all at once. Planning how to approach the tasks helps you.
Pro tip: Try some of our downloadable to-do lists in order to try and make a plan of action!
At Omega 3, our purpose is to give people an avenue by which they can take care of their brains proactively. De-stressing is just one way you can effectively take care of your brain beyond nutrition.
When stress strikes, there are things you can do so that you do not let it overcome you. Try some of these techniques when you feel stressed.