Indulge your natural instincts and get out in the wilderness—hiking, biking, riding or any outdoor activity that puts you in the “zone,” that serene place where your daily worries disappear. A study at Texas A&M University showed that rock climbers and hikers enjoy lower stress levels than their less intrepid peers. The physical movement boosts your mood, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you sleep more soundly at night.
You can’t always run for the hills, but you can bring the adventure to you. Here’s how: Instead of cruising through your day on autopilot, cursing the tediousness of it all, find aspects of your routine to explore anew: Take a different route to work, switch up your lunch spot, try wielding the mouse with your non-dominant hand. These little twists will keep your inquisitive spirit engaged, and short-circuit stressful thought patterns.
Explore Your Body
No, not like that (at least not in public). Stress can have you torqued, twisted and hunched in ways that only heighten your tension. Picture yourself as a stress ranger, roaming the terrain of your body in search of taut muscles. Start with the toes and work your way up to the head, releasing knots as you go. This “body scan meditation” will quiet your mind as it loosens your body. It will also entertain you during boring meetings.
Plan Your Next Trip
Sri Lanka? Zambia? Paraguay? Just anticipating your next adventure can lift your spirits. According to a study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, planning a vacation boosts happiness for eight whole weeks. And for Explorers like you, possibly longer. Where to?