I write a lot about popular stress-management strategies, such as meditation, breathing exercises, journaling and other well-known tips. Their benefits are proven, and they're popular strategies for a reason. However, they're not the only ways to relieve stress.
I have to admit that I have a few lesser-known stress management techniques that I enjoy just as much and are helpful for the people who use them. Here are some of my favorites:
Playing with Pets
For those who love animals, there's a special peaceful energy that comes from taking five or 10 minutes to caress a cat or love up a dog. Other types of pets can be great "stress-management tools" as well: Fish, rabbits and even rats can provide their own soothing benefits.
You probably already know that exercise is a great stress reliever, but creative exercise classes can provide you with extra help. The fun of learning something new can take your mind off your stressors, and the class atmosphere can foster a positive type of peer pressure to keep you wanting to show up - even when you really don't feel like working out.
A recent forum post talked about the stress relief that comes from baking bread. This can apply to other forms of baking as well. Baking provides comforting aromas and soothing, repetitive motions to keep you "in the now" as you're baking and a delicious reward when you're done.
Seeking out situations that will bring out the laughter in you can help you relieve stress in a really fun way. Go ahead! Be goofy! Consider the benefits to your health and well being. Maintain a sense of humor about what stresses you.
Many people find themselves involuntarily daydreaming when bored at work. But visualizations are actually great for stress management as well, so daydream with pride! Vividly imagine your best memories, visualize your success or walk yourself through a peaceful walk on a secluded beach. Giving yourself a mental break in this way is a quick and fun way to step back from your stressors and start fresh.
Finding stress management advice via social media, taking quizzes that tell you more about yourself and how you specifically can relieve stress, and taking fun polls that tell you about how others manage their stress - these are all fun, free ways to learn more. Click the above link to take advantage!