Living in our “wellness obsessed” culture, it’s easy to forget about the power of life’s small, easily-accessible pleasures…
➊ STRETCH YOUR BODY
When you work out, your body releases Endorphins, aka the “feel good” chemical, into the blood stream.
If you have ever gone to the gym, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Even when I DO NOT want to go to the gym, I always feel more mentally strong when I leave.
It’s scientifically proven that by incorporating stretching into your daily routine, you are increasing circulation, which in turn leads to lower amounts of stress.
“When you’re anxious, worried, or worn out, it places extra strain on the body, causing you to feel stressed. By taking a few minutes each day to unwind and relieve this unwanted tension, you will experience a sense of relief, and stress will slowly start to fade away.” — BUSTLE
➋ HOP IN THE TUB
I’m no expert, but there is NO denying the positive effects that taking a bath can have on your muscles, and your mood. Even the Japanese agree with me.
Obviously, settling into warm, soapy water FEELS good.
And according to researchers, a regular warm bath can actually have a greater effect on your mood than physical exercise- excellent news for us treadmill-haters.
To really up your bathing game, consider adding an essential oil or bath salt with lavender oil added, to promote relaxation.
“I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath, but I can’t think of one.” — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar.
➌ LAUGH UNTIL IT HURTS
When I’m feeling frustrated or down, I turn to comedy. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism, maybe it’s denial, maybe both.
Laughter is an extremely powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster, or more dependably, to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laughing session.
Recently, I’ve been firing up my Spotify and zoning out to their comedy radio. Hit shuffle, and you will discover new comedians you may never have heard of, or discover some new work from your old favorite artists.
You can also:
- Go to a laughter yoga class
- Host game night with friends
- Watch a funny movie, or hit up YouTube
“I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.” — Viktor Frankl
➍ TAKE A MINI VACAY
Getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean planning a big trip to the Mediterranean, or even a three-day weekend out of town.
You can find LOTS of people renting their homes out, right in your own city! Log onto AirBnb, pick a place that’s within driving distance, and get the heck out of town.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, taking annual vacations was associated with a 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular risk.
That’s definitely something to ponder poolside.
“I am a huge advocate of taking mini vacations. They keep me inspired. Anytime I come back from a trip, I’m ready to go and so much more productive.” — Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, owner of Chillhouse
➎ TAKE A NAP
Are you a nap person?
I’m trying to be one, because every time I do manage to take a nap- I wake up feeling like I could run a marathon and solve all the world’s problems, simultaneously.
For many, a quick few minutes of shut-eye during the day is seen as an essential way of keeping themselves functioning at high levels, but others find it impossible to fall asleep in the middle of the day no matter how exhausted or sleep-deprived they are.
A study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that napping can help to boost your mood.
Researchers also discovered that people were less impulsive and had higher levels of tolerance for frustration after a 60-minute midday nap. Who knew?