Everyone needs a way to blow off steam from time to time. Whether you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at work, the kids have run you ragged or you just need a little “me” time to recharge your batteries, finding healthy ways to relieve stress is extremely important to your mental well-being. Additionally, too much stress can lead to muscle tension and even depression, which commonly causes neck pain and back pain if you aren’t careful – leaving you even more stressed because you’re in pain. That being said, individuals handle stress in their own ways, so there is no one good cure; it’s up to you to find the activity that works best for you.
While stress relief is ultimately a personal subject, there are a wide variety of different stress relief techniques and lifestyle changes to consider:
- Athletics – with a physician’s permission, take up golf, kickball, jogging walking or another sport that keeps you active and engaged
- Hobbies – find a hobby that you enjoy, such as writing, doing puzzles or painting
- Family time – spend some time with your family to take a break from the stresses of work
- Alone time – sometimes a little time spent alone is necessary to gather your thoughts and take a deep breath
- Reading books – reading a good book is extremely therapeutic and beneficial for the mind
- Taking a vacation – a much-needed vacation puts things into perspective and can be a great motivator when you return home
- Breathing exercises – closing your eyes and taking full, deep breaths lowers your heart rate and is an excellent way to relieve stress in the short term
The specific stress relief activity you choose doesn’t matter as long as it’s healthy and relieves tension. Tight muscles are more prone to injury and inflammation – particularly in the neck and back – and can cause a variety of other symptoms, including disc pain, sciatica, muscle weakness and more. Finally, if you have prolonged stress or depression, it is important to reach out to your loved ones and visit a medical professional for immediate help.