The key to health has less to do with the stresses we face on a daily basis and more to do with how we react to those stresses and recover from them. Everyone feels pressure at work and live a lifestyle full of hustle and bustle. Everyone has stressful days and head home exhausted. However, those whose lives are filled with wellness tend to not allow the negativity to affect them. Healthy individuals can handle the tension and actively seek to recover from their busy days instead of the letting stresses and difficult days compound on top of each other. They have strategies and behaviors built around unwinding from a stressful day to allow them to relax and sleep and then wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to attack the next task. Here are top five ways to unwind after a stressful day at work.
How To Unwind After A Stressful Day At Work
Writing has been found to be an amazing activity to unwind after a stressful day at work. It is believed that because of the mind’s concentration on the written word, tension in the other areas of the body, such as the heart and muscles, dissipate. Writing is effective because, although a distraction from everyday life, it is an active one that is often described as an altered state of consciousness. Creativity and imagination flourish while writing. Whether a journal to collect your thoughts or poetry, short stories or novels (don’t worry, these never have to been seen by anyone else), putting pen to paper or typing the keyword can slow the world down and reset the mind.
2. Deep Breathing Techniques
Another effective method for winding down after a stressful day is to perform deep breathing exercises. These are effective because this is the way we breathe in our most relaxed state, during sleep. Deep breathing works because the parasympathetic section of the autonomic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest part, is stimulated. This causes the heart rate to decrease and blood pressure to lower. Breathing quickly produces the opposite effect, an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, due to a stimulated sympathetic (fight or flight) autonomic nervous system. We tend to breathing faster when stressed, so at the end of a stressful day, be sure to focus on deep breathing for five or so minutes.
3. Social Interaction
Meeting with friends after work is a great way to unwind after a stressful day at work. Be able to unload about a bad day can be beneficial as talking about issues is the first step in making them go away. Multiple minds can also help trouble shoot problems. Sometimes hearing about another’s obstacles can help one escape their own or make theirs seem small. Social interaction doesn’t have to include any reference to the day and may just be a diversion and a way to replace negativity with the affirming emotions about being around close and treasured companions. When combined with physical activity such as group fitness classes, social interaction becomes an energizing tension reducer.
4. Show Gratitude
We often feel stressed because we perceive a long day as being negative. A proven method of turning anxiety and other negative feelings into positive ones is through gratitude. Gratitude makes us happier. Whether spoken or written to another or even, simply counting the things to be thankful for, this emotion is continually shown to increase positive chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. With gratitude come other positive emotions such as love, caring and compassion. These feelings wipe stress away and prepare people to pass those emotions along and bring energy and focus into the tasks at hand.
5. Plan a Vacation
Need a break after a stressful day? Take one in your mind by planning the next vacation. After all, that’s what all the stress is for, to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. Not only is this a project that will take thoughts away from everyday tasks, but is a positive one at that. Do the research, being sure to look at pictures, to meticulously plan the travel, the accommodations, the sight-seeing and other activities and even the meals. Be sure to find the best deals, one never knows when that information might come in handy. Also, crazy things have happened, a bargain might be found and instead of dreaming about an exotic vacation, the days to departure are being counted down.
Guest post contributed in cooperation with the editors at Gym Junkies. Gym Junkies provides health and fitness information and personal workout plans to achieve optimal strength and peak performance.