(StatePoint) Stress is a daily part of life but, left unchecked, can be bad for the body, mind and soul. Here are five great ways to reduce tension, relieve stress and feel better.
• Practice Yoga: Yoga is a powerful stress reliever as it combines the benefits of stretching, meditation, controlled breathing and exercise all in one package. It’s as simple as unfurling your yoga mat when stress runs high. While studios are easy to find these days, there are plenty of free videos you can find on YouTube when you need to de-stress on your own schedule and at home.
• Play music: Music can reduce stress, particularly when you are the one playing it. But first you need the right gear. Consider this: these days, you don’t need a grand-sized home to get the grand piano experience. The slim design of digital pianos, such as the PX-S1000, makes it possible to get the feel and sound of a grand piano in a compact design. And integrated Bluetooth audio lets you connect your device wirelessly to this particular model, so you can also kick back and relax and listen to your favorite music through its powerful stereo amplification system.
• Laugh: Laughter reduces physical and mental tension. So when you’re feeling stressed, spend time with friends who make you laugh, turn on your favorite tv show or see some stand-up comedy. Even just smiling can trick you into feeling happier, so if the real laughter isn’t forthcoming, consider the old adage -- fake it ‘til you make it.
• Take a hike: Spending time in nature can reduce stress, ease anxiety and boost feelings of happiness according to the American Heart Association. What’s more, the exercise you get on a hike or other outdoor adventure will boost endorphins, working to trigger positive feelings. Just be sure you take along tools to help you navigate the trail and avoid bad weather. High-tech wearables, such as the Casio Pro Trek PRG650Y-1 watch, will keep both hands free for ease on the trail. Designed for comfort and durability, this watch features Triple Senor technology that tracks bearing, altitude/barometric pressure and temperature.
• Tackle your to-do list: Is the source of your stress a growing to-do list? Pick an item, any item and tackle it today. You’ll feel so much better afterward. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing an item off your to-do list. If it helps, start with the easiest item first. The sense of accomplishment will motivate you to keep going.
Whether it’s playing music or going on a nature walk, reducing stress will help you feel happier and boost your sense of well-being.