Stress Awareness Month: My 5 Favorite Stress-Busting Tips
Top 5 Stress Busting Tips
April is Stress Awareness month! I couldn’t let the month go by without sharing some of my favorite stress-busting tips. So, here are my top 5 tips for busting stress, in no particular order.
This is at the top of the list for a reason. Plenty of research has shown the benefits of exercise. I’m not talking about exercise for weight loss. I’m talking about exercise for mental health and stress relief. Plenty of people will try to tell you the “right” type of exercise that you should be doing. But really, I think the “best” exercise is the one that you actually enjoy enough to do consistently. Right now, my favorite form of exercise is playing pickleball, as I wrote about in the Pickleball for Wellness blog post. But, my wife, for example, isn’t into racket sports. She would rather lift weights for exercise. That’s what she enjoys, which is why she’s stuck with it for nearly 30 years!
2. Power Playlist
You don’t need a music therapist like me to tell you that music can be good for you. We all prescribe music for ourselves. But, there are specific ways of using music that I like to recommend to my clients. One of my favorite stress-busting tips is also one of the easiest to implement. It’s what I call the “Power Playlist.” Simply create a playlist of a few songs that remind you of a time where you felt happy, healthy, and safe. Then, when you feel stress strike, put on that playlist and go for a walk. Strut or stroll to the beat. Your stress will ease in minutes!
3. Beat a Drum
When we engage with music in any form, we are focused on the present moment – not ruminating over the past or worrying about the future. In the music therapy groups that I lead one of the best ways I’ve seen people really get their stress out is through drumming. I shot a video about this as part of a mini-course that I created, but I’m sharing it with you here free of charge because I think it really illustrates the idea. Click HERE to watch the video about drumming.
People will then often ask me, “What kind of drum do you recommend?” There are lots of choices but Remo drums are my favorite. Click here for an affordable Remo drum on Amazon.
4. Relaxation Apps
There are many relaxation apps out there that are either free or low-cost that you can use to help you relax, meditate, fall asleep, etc. I put together a list of some of my favorite relaxation apps and have created some app demos as well. Check out the list of Relaxation Apps HERE.
5. Remember Stress Can Be Positive
Did you know there are two types of stress? There’s positive healthy stress, which is called eustress. Like euphoria, where the word stress is actually the ending, and the prefix EU means pleasant pleasing positive pleasurable. And then there’s distress, which would be unhealthy, negative stress, where stress is the ending and then the beginning the DI right would be like dystopia or dysphoria. Usually, this has a negative connotation. Events can be one or the other. The real power is that you can decide, and choose whether or not something is going to be a healthy challenge, or whether it’s going to wear you out. You can read more about how to do it in the Resistance Training Blog Post from a few weeks ago.