When stress makes you feel down, do something that makes you feel good. Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress. You don’t have to do a lot to find pleasure. Even if you are ill or down, you can find pleasure in simple things such as visiting with friends, or reading a book. Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 15 minutes. Here are some ideas for finding pleasure:
- Begin an art project such as drawing, painting or creating a scrap book.
- Take up a hobby, new or old such as collecting stamps, wood working.
- Read a favorite book, short story, poem, magazine or newspaper.
- Have coffee or tea or a meal with friends.
- Play golf, tennis, ping pong or go bowling.
- Enjoy a walk, take in the nature, listen to birds, look at flowers and trees.
- Sew, do needlework, knit or crochet.
- Listen to music during or after your practice relaxation exercises.
- Watch old movies or old television shows.
- Take an exercise class at a local gym.
- Play board games, cards or dominoes.
- Bake a cake or cookies.
Relaxation is more than just sitting in your favorite chair and taking a nap. To relieve stress, relaxation should calm the tension in your mind and body. Some good forms of relaxation are yoga, tai chi and meditation. Like most skills, relaxation takes practice. Many people join a class to learn and practice relaxation skills. Deep breathing is a form of relaxation you can learn and practice at home using the steps listed below. It is a good skill to practice as you start or end your day. With daily practice, you will soon be able to use this skill whenever you feel stress.