5 ways to unwind

7 May 2014 by
First published: 13 May 2014

Sick of feeling stressed out? Winding down and kicking back is easier than you think. Here are 5 ways to unwind.

These days, it seems there are a million and one reasons to feel stressed and anxious, from mortgages to jobs, family drama to commutes. A good way to deal with it all? Take some time to de-stress and forget about everything for a moment. Not only will it make you feel better, but it’ll most likely put you in the right frame of mind to effectively deal with whatever it is that’s worrying you. Take our advice and try our top tips to chill out.

 1. Do yoga

Hitting the mat is increasingly becoming an effective way for us to relax. It might be great for the body, but its meditative benefits are hard to ignore, too. In fact, striking a weekly pose is so good at stress-busting that researchers at Deakin University in Melbourne found that newbies who took up yoga for 6 weeks showed lower levels of symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress than at the beginning of the study. Try our fave new yoga classes.

2. Get more sleep

Think that just because you do it every night, it’s enough? Wrong! Whether you’re a TV junkie or can’t go to sleep without completing every chore going, you’re better off leaving it until tomorrow. A study published in the American Psychological Association found that those who lacked sleep experienced higher levels of stress. We’ll be hitting the hay at a decent time tonight, then. The to-do list can wait.

3. Breathe

Breathing’s one of those things you just don’t have to think about. We do it all day and night without batting an eyelid, but focusing on breathing exercises could seriously help you nip your stress in the bud. In fact, taking a deep breath actually sends signals to your brain to relax and is recommended by the NHS as a method of relieving stress.

4. Hit the gym

Even though an intense workout might seem the complete opposite of reaching a state of relaxation, exercise can actually help you forget your troubles. For years studies have consistently found that working out boosts the number of endorphins in the brain – that’s a feel-good hormone that’s often referred to as a runner’s high, although it’s not exclusive to running at all.

5. Put the radio on

Whether you’re a rock chick or love the golden oldies, everyone loves listening to a good tune every now and then. Music is actually good for your health, too, confirms a study conducted at the University of Kentucky. Researchers found that not only could listening to music reduce anxiety and stress, but it could even boost cognitive function.