Most people understand the simple, more recognizable ways to eliminate stress, like practicing meditation or yoga, or seeing a therapist. But there are also plenty of unique options available to you if you want to re-center yourself and start thinking about how to get on track. You’ll quickly find that not all stress-relievers are conventional, and there are many tactics that work for different people. Take a look at these five unique ways to eliminate stress to help get you started:
Travel is a great way for you to eliminate stress and appreciate the joys of adventure and leisure. Of course, every solo adventure is likely to have its setbacks and possibly lonely moments. But the pros far outweigh the cons, and many travelers will look back at their solo trip and feel proud in hindsight—even when reflecting on the moments that seemed tougher than others.
Research has shown that travel produces an array of benefits. In fact, it can actually boost your happiness, health and wellness, and allows you relax and detox from the daily bustle of everyday life. It can even improve your creativity and inspiration in life. According to author Adam Galinksy, “foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.” What this means is that the feeling of being in a new place, surrounded by new sights, sounds, and smells, can actually fire off the synapses in the brain.
Social Hookah Smoking Session
When you think of stress relief, hookah may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it’s a notable mention, as many hookah smokers have found that smoking hookah tobacco has made it easier for them to unwind after a stressful day. Although it does not make the smoker “high” in any way—it allows them to release muscle tension and quiet the mind. Furthermore, hookah is designed to provide a focal point for a social setting, which makes it the perfect way for you to sit around the table at home with friends, or even at a bar or lounge.
Go to Color Therapy
You may not think of colors as a form of therapy, but it’s a very unique way to balance your emotional, physical, and mental energy. Color therapy—also called chromotherapy—is an alternative medicine method that utilizes color to create a healthy balance in the human health system.
Whether you realize it or not, different colors have different psychological effects on the mind. And the use of color and light has actually been implemented in for thousands of years, and is thought to have originated in India, where they believed that seven main colors impacted the seven chakras. Here are various ways that color affects the mind:
Cuddle With a Pet
It’s no secret that pets make you smile. They’re cuddly, affectionate, and innocent, and this can always give you the feeling that everything will be okay. If you already have a pet, spend some quality time with it. If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting one or visiting a local shelter or organization where you can play with them for a day.
Mia Cobb, a human-pet researcher, said in an interview, “They can do really good things for our well-being, improve our self-esteem and make us more physically active.” For instance, doing something as simple as stroking your cat’s back releases oxycontin, a hormone associated with happiness. Another study also found that when people felt socially excluded, writing about their pets relieve stress in the same manner as writing about their friends, family, and gratitude.
You may not realize it, but volunteering can actually reduce stress and anxiety. This is because acting generously help increase empathy in gratitude, which in turn releases the oxytocin hormone and enhances your sense of well-being. Multiple studies have shown the many mental health benefits of volunteering.
If you feel stuck in a rut, you can turn to your local non-profit organization, or combine your solo trip with a volunteering mission. There are plenty of organizations around the world to choose from. Try to pick a program that involves doing something you’re passionate about. For example, if you love animals, perhaps you can volunteer at an animal shelter nearby or in a third world country.