We’ve all had a heated argument or a crazy day at work that left us stressed out and in search of a way to decompress. And when that happens, experts say the best way to handle it is to deal with the negative feelings and let them go. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
We may have our own ways to de-stress, like a glass of wine or two, but there are other more effective methods out there. So next time you need to reset and relax, try one of these:
- Do something else - After you have a tense experience, get your brain focused on a smartphone game, which makes it less reactive to stress. Playing a game lets you detach emotionally so you can solve the problem or move past it. Playing puzzles or memory games like Tetris works best.
- Work out slower - While you may feel like taking out your tension with an intense sweat sesh, light exercise may be better at easing anxiety. Research shows working out at 40% capacity lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, but pushing yourself harder in a workout actually raises it.
- Write it out - Go old school and pull out the pen and paper to document your stressful situation. Mithu Storoni, author of “Stress-Proof” explains that writing helps remove the emotion of the situation, which reduces its intensity.