These days it seems like stress is everywhere. If like me, you want to manage stress, you are in the right place. Here I am going to discuss my top 3 stress management activities to manage stress. Of course, there are more stress management activities however I want to focus in on only three so that you might give one or two or even all three a go and see what sort of results you get.
It is better to give an activity a chance and see does it work for you. If it does not, just simply move on to the next idea as quickly as possible after giving that activity a proper and real chance. It is said that Thomas Edison found ten thousand ways that did not work before he found a way that worked when he invented the light bulb. I am not going to ask you to try out ten thousand stress management activities to manage stress here.
Of course, my top 3 stress management activities that I share here are done by many people worldwide including me on a regular basis, so I am expecting that at least one of them works for you, if not all three. Many other people find these stress management activities work for them and there no real reason why they would not work for you as you are reading this.
My number one stress management activity is meditation. Lucky for you, learning how to do this is actually easy once you have the right approach and after that it is just a matter of doing it if possible every day. I was lucky when I learned meditation, and have at the time of writing this, done it for over 800 consecutive days in a row with no let up. I will share with you the online course I did that helped me greatly in this venture.
My number two stress management activity is walking. Physical movement outside helps. Walking itself is pretty easy to do once you decide to do it and assuming that you are capable of walking. Either walking around the block or walking in a park helps. It is of course important that you are healthy enough to walk, so you may have to run the idea by your professional medical team just to be sure. Do not take on more than you can manage.
My number three stress management activity is reading novels for enjoyment. Reading these novels for pure enjoyment is the important take away here. Reading horror books or reading technical work related information or the like is not what I mean. That is reading for other purposes unless of course, you like reading horror stories.
What I am talking about here is the idea of reading novels for pure enjoyment. When you read a novel for pure enjoyment, your stress levels go down after some time and you are transported to the time and place of the novel, and your mind is busy converting the words you read into your own private action movie.
Meditation As A Stress Management Activity
As already mentioned above, my number one stress management activity is meditation. There are loads of different meditation techniques out there. Here I will outline a very simple and effective meditation technique that you may wish to try out straight away after reading these guidelines:
- Sit down in a straight backed chair in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, most likely your bedroom.
- Close your eyes.
- Put your hands in a comfortable position, for example resting on your lap.
- Take in a slow deep breath in through your nose. Breathe out slowly through your mouth making a loud sigh/noise (if by yourself) to help with releasing stress and tension.
- Perform the above step 4 times in total.
- Take in a slow deep breath in through your nose. Breathe out slowly through your nose silently.
- Perform the above step 8 times in total. 12 times in overall total (4 plus 8).
- Move your hands a bit and gently stretch your arms to full length for at least 30 seconds. Then slowly open your eyes.
Do not do these steps in a place where it may not be safe to do them, for example, do not do these steps when driving.
You might say silently to yourself a count total after breathing out (One, two, … eleven, twelve). The number count does not have to be exact and you do not have to do it 12 times. If you lose count during the process, just reset in your mind to one and resume. If you reckon you have done this session for long enough, assume that you have completed the process.
It may take about 3 minutes to 5 minutes to perform the above.
Remember it is not a race. You want to enjoy the process. When breathing in and breathing out, do it at a pace that you find comfortable and for how long you find comfortable. There is no need to breathe in for 4 seconds and breathe out for 4 seconds if you find 4 seconds too long. Forget about doing it for so long and just focus on breathing in and breathing out at a pace that you find comfortable and enjoyable.
I indicated earlier that I have done meditation for over 800 consecutive days in a row with no let up and that I would share with you the online course I did that helped me greatly in this adventure. Below are two resources, one is to my review of this online meditation course and the second is a direct link to this online meditation course.
- This is my #1 Recommendation On Meditation Course. This is actually my review of this online course that you can do at your own pace. This post explains my findings and opinions on this online meditation course.
- The online Master Your Mind Beginner Meditation Course. This is a step by step real world practical course where you learn how to do meditation every day along with some different meditation techniques. Knowing a few different techniques allows you to select the ones that you like the best.
Walking As A Stress Management Activity
My number two stress management activity is walking. If you do regular daily brisk walks, ideally in the countryside, and ideally in the morning it all helps with stress management. The actual physical movement of walking is one of the things that is good for you here. And if the walk happens in the countryside where there is a lot of nature and a lot of green that is also good for you. And if it happens in the morning, there is more natural light around and that is good for you.
I have written about walking a number of times here.
Here are some additional resources:
- This is My Walking In Nature Article. The above mentioned article includes a chart outlining 20 different health related benefits of walking. You will notice that for some benefits, you have to walk longer on a daily basis in order to hopefully achieve those benefits. The speed at which you walk is also a factor. The effect is cumulative, although regular daily walking is encouraged when possible. Of course, if the weather is not great, it may be smarter not to go for the walk. In this case, read a book that you enjoy reading. And of course, if you are not fit enough to walk, it would be smarter not to go for the walk. Maybe, in that case, read a book.
- This is My Walking For Stress Reduction – Improve Health And Well-Being Article. I read somewhere that for each ten minutes of brisk walking you do, that can help to keep you in an “upbeat mood” for two hours. So a 40 minute brisk walk would help to keep your mood up for eight hours.
Reading Novels For Enjoyment As A Stress Management Activity
The Top 20 Most
Sold & Most Read
Books of the Week.My number three stress management activity is reading novels for enjoyment. This is an incredibly simple stress management activity. It is to read novels that you totally enjoy and totally engage in. The important thing is that you totally engage yourself in the story.
Once you start turning pages and read for a while (over 6 minutes according to a UK study), your stress levels start to go down.
I suggest that you read novels that you totally enjoy and totally engage in every day for at least 10 minutes. I have resumed doing this myself a while back and read in bed most nights for at least 10 minutes. I get so engaged with the story that it is usually nearer 40 minutes when I call it a day.
My gut feeling is that my stress levels are going down, so all good.
Why not give it a go, and see if this one works for you? You surely have a novel in the house that you could start reading or rereading later today.
Above, I outlined somewhat very briefly, my top 3 stress management activities. Each of these three activities is pretty easy to do! Meditation, walking and reading. Once you add one or two or all three of them with suitable times in suitable places to your daily schedule, you may be surprised how much that they help you to manage stress. Just remember to do them daily if possible and if you miss a day or two or more, not to beat yourself. We are all human.
Of course, you may add variations to your meditation, walking and reading experiences. Naturally reading different books by different authors is an variation that will happen naturally over time. Walking in different places and walking different routes is an variation. Learning different meditation techniques means that you would have a number of different meditation techniques to use for your meditation sessions. It is important in my view, to add variety so that you do not become bored with doing them and possibly stopping doing them.
Have you started meditation yet? What was the most difficult part of starting meditation for you? What was the most difficult part of maintaining your daily meditation habit?
Have you started walking yet? What was the most difficult part of starting walking for you? What was the most difficult part of maintaining your daily walk habit?
Have you started reading novels for enjoyment yet? What was the most difficult part of starting reading novels for enjoyment for you? What was the most difficult part of maintaining your daily reading novels for enjoyment habit?
Let us know in the comments so other people can be inspired by your experiences.
Like and share if you love any of these stress management activities!