5 Ways to Relieve Stress

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SunLight Shining Through Trees in a FieldWe are wrapping the month of May which is Mental Health Month. Now is the perfect time to reflect on ways to help you relieve stress. Stress is inevitable, but how we handle it is what makes all the difference. 

Here are five ways to relieve stress:

  1. Focus on a hobby. Did you get so swamped with work and life that you put your hobby to the back of your mind? Find a way to get re-inspired with your hobby and devote a few minutes or hours to it this weekend. 
  2. Create a gratitude jar. Last year, I shared with you all about creating a gratitude jar. It works wonders. You can place in a location where you spend most of your time and just write down small notes of things that you are thankful for. You can reflect back on it at the end of each month, week, or year. 
  3. Talk it out. We all have a confidant that we share our most important moments and details with in our lives. You can talk with those same people when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. 
  4. Envision your future. It’s never too late to create a vision board. Make a collage of pictures that represent your family, friends, hobbies, goals, and other interests that you have. Keep it close to you in times of stress. 
  5. Practice some mindful breathing.
  • Find a quiet place. Sit in a cross-legged position on the floor or in a chair with a tall spine and shoulders relaxed.
  • Inhale through your nose. As you exhale through your nose with your mouth closed, count “one” to yourself.
  • Inhale again and count “two” to yourself on your exhale. Continue to do this as you count up to “five.”
  • Begin a new cycle, counting up to “five” with each out-breath.
  • Repeat three times, counting up to five and then beginning back at one again. Having your eyes closed may be helpful.
  • Reflect on this breathing session. Did you start back at one after counting to five or did you continue past the number five? Did you lose focus or stop counting? If so, were you able to draw your attention back to counting?

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness, contact the local 4-H office at 704.283.3735 or 704.283.3740.