Stress Less: Five Ways To Increase Calm and Enjoyment
We can create more tranquility and pleasure in our lives by periodically taking ourselves out of the rushed digital stream of business we are accustomed to and using some of that time to wholeheartedly enjoy simple pleasures and activities we love.
Five Stress-Less Suggestions
- Make your bedroom a quiet refuge, a digital-free haven where time seems to drift instead of fly. Use your computer and watch television elsewhere and then retreat to your bedroom for a good night’s sleep. Eventually, your body will start to relax as soon as you walk into the bedroom.
- Many of us freshen up in the shower – which can be relaxing or energizing. However, to enjoy more stillness, have a leisurely soak in the tub. Infuse the bath water with a few drops of lavender essential oil. To enhance the ambiance, add candlelight and soft music. Tape a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the bathroom door and forget the world for a while.
- Create an activity area by dedicating a spot in your home to an activity you love to do, something you lose yourself in. At this dedicated spot, keep all the tools you need to enjoy the activity. Then, whenever you have 15 or 30 minutes free, you can engage in something you enjoy without having to gather what you need or put things away when you stop.
An activity area might be a favorite chair and a pile of books, a woodcarving bench in the garage, a knitting nook near a bright window, one end of the dining table for scrapbooks or greeting cards, a charged camera, a notebook and pen to write down your thoughts, or a basketball sitting next to the back door. If an activity you love is set up and waiting, you are likely to do it more often.
- Bathe your eyes in plenty of sunlight each day. When our eyes receive the natural spectrum of sunshine, certain light-sensitive cells in our eyes are stimulated. These cells are wired to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland gets a buzz from the invisible blue spectrum of the sun’s light and then stimulates the manufacture of the hormone melatonin. We need melatonin to get a good night’s sleep.
The brain’s hypothalamus also gets energized by sunlight. The hypothalamus influences our bodies' circadian (daily) rhythms, hormone production, mood, mental sharpness, energy, reaction time, and quality of sleep.
- You do not see people strolling much anymore, but it is a great way to both move and relax. Strolling is walking at a slow leisurely pace simply to enjoy yourself, the fresh air, and the natural world. Stroll solo, or with a friend or family member. Conversation flows easily when your legs and heart are not racing at aerobic rates.
Photo credit: Kim (flickr)