Tips for Letting Go of Stress

Tips for Letting Go of Stress

There is a high probability that you arrived on this blog post through searching the phrase “Tips for Letting Go of Stress” in Google or some other type of search engine. And this probably isn’t the first blog post you have read on Tips for Letting Go of Stress. You have probably already read a few and they recommend the following strategies:
  • Mindfulness and/or meditation
  • Physical activity
  • Healthy lifestyle choices - eating and hydrating well, getting more sleep etc
  • Breathing exercises
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Aromatherapy

But you have kept searching because you are looking for something different than the above. Not because those strategies don’t work - they absolutely do and I recommend them all the time but because they are not quite right for you at this moment in time and you are after something a little different than those options.

Stress is an inevitable part of life and some stress is actually really good for you but when stress builds up and becomes chronic it can be very detrimental to your physical and mental health. To help you lead a healthier and happier life you need to have a tool kit of techniques and strategies that can help you let go of stress. Below are some practical ones that you can add into your daily life that you may have not tried before.

Practice the Art of Letting Go

david hawkins letting go

One powerful strategy you can use to help let go of stress is the release technique popularised by Dr. David Hawkins. This method is rooted in the psychological principle of emotional acceptance and release. It is a simple yet powerful method to bring awareness to one's emotions and release them. The release technique involves acknowledging and fully experiencing the emotion without judgment, allowing it to dissipate naturally. I have broken down the release technique to these steps:

  • Identify the emotion - begin by becoming aware of the emotion you are feeling. It could be anger, fear, sadness, or any other challenging emotion.
  • Acknowledge and accept - allow yourself to fully acknowledge and accept the presence of the emotion. Avoid judgment or resistance. Simply observe it as it arises within you.
  • Feel the emotion - dive into the sensation of the emotion in your body. Notice where you feel it most strongly and allow yourself to fully experience the physical and emotional sensations associated with it.
  • Release resistance - let go of any resistance or attachment to the emotion. Remind yourself that resistance only prolongs the experience and adds to the stress. Practice allowing the emotion to be present without trying to change it.
  • Breathe and let go - take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly and intentionally. As you exhale, imagine releasing the emotion with each breath, allowing it to dissipate and leave your body
  • Repeat if needed - if the emotion persists, repeat the process. Sometimes it may take a few rounds of acknowledging and releasing before the emotion fully dissolves.

When you experience frustration and disappointment during you day (stress!) if you are not conscious in how you manage those feelings they can derail your productivity and have a negative impact on your relationships - causing you more stress. While you may not be able to prevent the frustration and disappointment etc from occurring, using the release technique you can prevent it from derailing your whole day.

If this technique interests you, you can read a book review I wrote - Book Review: Letting Go - The Pathway of Surrender by David Hawkins

Embrace the Art of Play

embrace the art of play

This is a perfect strategy for parents who are already feeling time stressed and cannot imagine finding time to add another activity to their calendar. Simply choose some time when you are with your kids and play with them. Engaging in play should not stop once we become adults. It is a key stress relief strategy and playfulness is linked to increased creativity, improved mood, and lower stress levels.

Why Play Works To Help You Let Go of Stress

Think back to the last time you engaged in play, what words would you use to describe how you felt afterwards - energised, happy, recharged, relaxed are a few of the words that often come to mind. Engaging in play may won’t necessarily make your stressful situations go away but it will allow you to let go some of the stress you are feeling and have you in a better position to deal with it and/or other stressors that come your way. Here is why:

  • Release of Endorphins: Playful activities trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals.
  • Social Connection: Many forms of play involve social interaction, which can enhance your sense of connection and support, further reducing stress.
  • Cognitive Flexibility: Play encourages cognitive flexibility, allowing you to think more creatively and adaptively. This can help you manage stress by providing new perspectives on problems.

How to Incorporate Play

Play can take as long or as little time as you want it to and it can take a variety of forms. Here are some tips for incorporating play into daily life:

  • Find Your Joy: Identify activities that you genuinely enjoy, whether it’s dancing, painting, or playing a sport. This one might seem obvious but as adults you can be out of the habit of playing and out of touch with what sort of play you get joy from. Finding what works for you and having a short list of go to activities can help you use play quickly and effectively as a stress release strategy.
  • Schedule Playtime: Dedicate time in your week specifically for play. Saying to schedule anything in can make it seem boring but if your life is running at what feels like 100% already find a time in your schedule for play. Start off small - 15 minutes on a Saturday morning for example when you are at the kids’ sport instead of just pushing the kids on a swing while watching jump on a swing yourself, chase them down the slide, climb up that climbing wall. You will be surprised how different you feel after it.
  • But Be Spontaneous Too: Planning it in makes it happen but also allow yourself moments of spontaneity for play. Even small acts of play, like a quick dance in your living room when your favourtie song comes on can make a difference. Joining in building a tower with your toddler, kicking the football with your teen are activities that can take you out of thinking about stress and give you an endorphin boost.

You can read more about the science behind stress and play here - The Playful Advantage: How Playfulness Enhances Coping with Stress. 

Adopt a More Minimalist Mindset

Adopt a More Minimalist Mindset

Adopting a more minimalist mindset can significantly reduce stress by simplifying your environment and focusing on what truly matters. I am not saying you have to strip everything back to the bare minimum but learning to let go of the physical can really help with also letting go of the psychological and make life easier.

Our physical environment has a big impact on our mental state. Clutter can feel visually overwhelming, triggering a stress response in our brains. Here's how a more minimalismist approach to life can help you de-stress:

  • Reduced Decision Fatigue - ever spend ages looking through a your closet/cupbaord working out what to wear or looking for a particular item? Decluttering eliminates the constant decision of "what to wear" or "where is it." Having clear and organised spaces allows you to focus your mental energy on what really matters to you.
  • Sense of Control - for many of us feeling overwhelmed often stems from a lack of control. Decluttering gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to regain control over your environment. This feeling of mastery can significantly reduce stress.
  • Increased Calmness - visual clutter can create a feeling of chaos. Coming home to a tidy space can create a sense of peace and tranquility, promoting feelings of calmness and relaxation. And it is much easier to take even five minutes out to sit and sip on a can of Adapt Drinks Relax if you don’t have to lift five items of the couch before you sit down!

You can read more about the impact of clutter here What does clutter do to your brain and body?

Engage in Micro-Adventures Outdoors

Engage in Micro-Adventures Outdoors

Often you are looking for a big chunk of time to allow you to relax and let go of the daily stressors in life. Realistically for most people, these big chunk of times don’t happen very often and you need more regular ways to let go of the build up of stress in your life. Micro-adventures, which are short, spontaneous activities outdoors that provide a quick escape from your routine and help you recharge and refresh.

Mini adventures work in terms of letting go of stress due to the novelty factor and the and its positive effects on mental health. They work because they:

  • Break Routine - breaking away from your routine can help prevent burnout and offer you a mental reset.
  • Exposure to Nature - being outdoors is known to reduce stress and boost your mood.
  • Simple to do - micro-adventures don’t have to require extensive planning or forethought, they could be as long as a day hike or short as stroll to new park in your area in your lunch break. It could be taking a trip to your closest lake, beach or river early one morning for some cold water therapy.

The spontaneity of doing something you don’t do regularly outdoors can really help you let go of stress through the novel stimuli you are experiencing. You can read more about the impact of nature on stress here A 20-minute nature break relieves stress and here Levels of Nature and Stress Response

Unplug to Recharge

I love my tech as much as the next person (running an ecommerce store you need to!) but there is no doubt that being constantly connected can be overwhelming. Unplugging from technology regularly is crucial for reducing stress and improving your overall well-being - regularly unplugging from technology can lead to better sleep, improved focus, and reduced anxiety.

How you unplug can take various forms:

  • Full digital detox - going completely offline and tech free for a period of time
  • Tech free time - you establish tech-free times or zones in your home. It might be that from 7pm at night you put your phone on charge and don’t look at it again until the morning. It might be that the you set the bedroom and bathroom as tech free zones. Or you set Sundays as the day you go without your phone.

Unplugging allows you to be more present in the moment without digital distractions enhancing mindfulness, a practice shown to reduce stress.

Letting go of stress doesn’t have to be about making drastic changes overnight but rather about integrating small, manageable practices into your daily life. Don’t let this list of strategies be another thing to stress you out! Start with one of these - the one that resonates most with you and see how it works for you. If it gives you success then stick with it, if it doesn’t don’t see that as a failure on your part but that it is just not the right match for you and try something esle.

The key is to have a tool kit of strategies you can use to help you let go of stress on a regular basis and prevent stress from becoming chronic and impacting your health and well being. Good luck!

PS. And of course drinking a can of Adapt Drinks Relax daily is a tasty and refreshing way to help you let go of stress. Each drink contains two adaptogenic herbs which help the body return to homeostasis after the stress response has kicked in.

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Sparkling Adaptogenic Drinks

Adapt Drinks Relax is the perfect drink to help you wind down at the end of the day. Containing adaptogenic herbs and amino acids that have been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation, Adapt Drinks Relax is a nightly ritual you can enjoy that is rewarding, delicious and good for you.

So go ahead and pour yourself a glass. You deserve it.