Tackling adrenal exhaustion involves dealing with stress head on. As it’s impossible to lead a completely stress-free life, finding ways to unwind and “chill out” are key to retaining your energy levels and ultimately your sanity.
There are as many techniques to decompress as there are human beings; but when it comes to finding inner calm, practices such as mindfulness and meditation are usually top of mind.
Although these are both fabulous tools, they don’t always float everyone’s boat. If an activity isn’t enjoyable, then forcing yourself to do it is going to be counterproductive and unlikely to achieve results.
So what can you do if you’ve tried mediating or being more mindful but it just isn’t working for you?
Here are a few surprising alternatives for kicking stress to the curb…
1. Play video games
Ask anyone who plays games why they enjoy them, and they’re likely to tell you it’s because they help them relax or de-stress.
You may be surprised to learn that there’s a growing body of scientific research which supports the idea that regular playing of video games can help people unwind and improve their ability to handle everyday stress. A 2010 study at the Texas A&M Public Research Facility showed that video games could potentially be used as a “form of therapy to help people find a way to work through their frustrations in real life.” A further study conducted in 2014 by University College London also found that people who played video games after work experienced faster recovery from work related stress.
Although there are a number of games on the market which are specifically aimed at helping people unwind and manage stress, it seems that almost any form of game playing will do the trick. Spending half an hour each day on a video console could be be as effective as going to the gym for helping you “chill out” at the end of a busy day.
2. Go for a slow walk
We’ve all heard about the health benefits of going for a daily walk, but when was the last time you went for a stroll just for the sake of it?
Most people walk to get somewhere, to lose weight and burn off calories, or to get a breath of fresh air. We simply must log our obligatory 10,0000 steps in order to feel we’ve complied with our daily target! When was the last time you took the long route home or explored a new neighbourhood just for fun?
The next time you go for a walk, make a mental note about how fast you’re walking and take the decision to slow it right down. Use the opportunity to notice the people and scenes around you. Meander. Allow your mind to run free without an agenda. Imagine, daydream!
Taking time out of your day for something you don’t have to do makes it feel like you have extra time on your hands, relieving pressure and forcing deadlines and other stressors to take a backseat. If you find yourself feeling guilty about “wasting time” think about how much time you waste each day on things like scrolling through Facebook or watching TV. If you can find the time to do those things, then taking a walk is certainly nothing to beat yourself up about.
3. Fold paper!
Forget mindful colouring books! Folding paper is the new way to de-stress!
The ancient Japanese art of Origami has recently seen a surge in popularity due to the fact it can be done any-time, anywhere, with materials that are often to hand in stressful environments such as schools and offices. It may seem complicated, but thanks to YouTube, and online course platforms like Udemy, anyone can make learn to make simple creations from table decorations to paper aeroplanes without spending a fortune on expensive tools or equipment.
According to paper folding guru Himanshsu Agrawal (who has five world records to his name- including the creation of a 44 foot human being and a 105 foot dinosaur!): “Origami is inherently geometric; as you fold from one end to the other, the movement becomes rhythmic. It soon feels like you are detached from the world.”
The act of folding paper has been shown time and again to help decrease anxiety and increase feelings of inner calm. The beautiful film “Between the folds” takes a deeper look at the art of paper folding and it’s many benefits for health, and is a good place to start if you’re thinking about taking up this hobby.
The best approach when it comes to finding ways to unwind is to immerse yourself in whatever activity you’re participating in. De-stressing is about getting away from it all and distracting your mind from the everyday pressures of life. Choose something you love, and do it often. Pencil out some “me-time” every day and commit to it without the guilt!
Is stress taking over your life right now? Learn more about how to beat it naturally, with the Adrenal Fatigue Solution program.