For Enneagram Type 8s, it can be difficult to recognize when stress levels are rising. Type 8s pride themselves on always being in control so this personality type can find it hard to accept when things in their life are getting out of hand.
This personality trait means that Enneagram Type 8s really benefit from stress-relieving activities. Here are 6 ideas to help relieve stress instantly, so you can stay on top form while keeping your mind and body healthy.
1. Move your body!
When you feel your stress levels starting to rise, try letting out negative energy by moving your body. You can use this as an immediate way to relieve stress or as a regular way of managing stress in your life.
Some Type 8s might struggle with slower, more meditative forms of exercise like yoga or thai chi. Instead, you could benefit from activities that take you out of your head and into a new space like horse riding or kayaking.
It’s probably a good idea to steer away from team sports if you’re looking to reduce your stress levels as these could bring out your competitive and combative side. Opt for activities that allow you to focus on the movement of your body, rather than necessarily looking for an end goal or competitive achievement.
2. Cook something
Cooking is a tactile experience that engages all of your senses. It can also be a form of moving meditation, letting you process your feelings and de-stress while still doing something that feels productive.
Try to find recipes that involve chopping, stirring, and other forms of gentle movement. The idea is to take your time and immerse yourself in the experience. Think risotto or slow-cooked ragu rather than a flash-fried steak!
Not only does cooking help to give your mind the space it needs to process stress but you can also support your body through stressful periods with your diet. If you tend to grab a takeaway or ready meal, consider making something nourishing and nutritious instead. Research shows that what you eat can affect your mood so it’s worth taking the time to cook high-quality food, even when you’re stressed.
3. Try a creative activity
Like cooking, creative activities often engage multiple senses, helping you to be more present in the moment. Tactile activities like pottery classes can be especially good for reducing stress levels.
Personally, I don’t have a lot of patience for fiddly or repetitive tasks. Whenever I try knitting my stress levels start to rise rather than fall! That’s why I like creative activities that don’t require too much skill and involve lots of movement.
Playing an instrument is another great method for reducing stress, allowing you to focus your mind on a constructive activity. Music is often used as an effective form of therapy so it’s a great choice for Type 8s who struggle to relieve stress.
4. Have a cuddle!
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, sometimes the best remedy is to hug someone! Physical touch lowers blood pressure and releases oxytocin, flooding your body with feel-good hormones that can reduce stress. Touch starvation is a real thing and it can lead to you feeling more stressed and less able to cope. Cuddling is good for you!
Though Enneagram Type 8s often don’t like being vulnerable in front of other people, sometimes it’s really necessary. Try asking someone you trust for a hug when you need it. You might be surprised at how quickly it works to relieve stress.
If you’re not much of a people person, you could try socializing with an animal instead! It might sound strange but cuddling a dog, cat or bunny can be a hugely stress relieving activity. Sometimes pets are the best form of support. Let down your barriers and just relax.
5. Go outside
Another simple but amazingly effective activity for stress relief is going outside! Try to find a green space where you can appreciate the nature around you. Put your phone away and be present in the space.
There has been a huge amount of research into the calming effects of natural spaces. Spending time in a natural setting can help to improve your mood while reducing stress and anxiety. So if you find yourself feeling cynical when you’re standing in the park, just remember that it’s backed by science!
Don’t make the mistake of shutting yourself away when you’re stressed. If you can get out of the house or office and go for a walk, it could make all the difference.
6. Try buzzing bee meditation
Though many Type 8s might cringe at the idea of doing any form of meditation, buzzing bee meditation is something a little bit different. Instead of sitting still and trying to clear your head of thoughts (something that’s completely impossible for me), this meditation practice involves shutting off your senses and creating a space inside your head.
Known as Brahmari or bumblebee breath, this technique allows you to gradually lengthen the exhalation of your breath and relax your body. It’s really easy to do and can reduce your blood pressure so give it a go!
- Make sure you’re sitting comfortably in a private space. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and keep your back straight.
- Close your eyes and your mouth and put your hands over your face, with your thumbs blocking off your ears and your four fingers covering your eyes.
- Inhale through your nostrils and as you exhale, make the sound of the letter M as a humming sound.
- Keep the sound going until you need to inhale, then repeat: inhale, exhale with a humming sound.
- Do this exercise for as long as it feels good. Try to keep it going for a few minutes.
I tried this exercise for the first time last year and it has become my new favorite way to instantly relax. Though it’s not recommended if you’re in public, it’s really effective for relieving stress when you’re in private.
For me, it’s like hitting an instant de-stress button in my brain. Just try it!
How to find your favorite activities to relieve stress
If you struggle with chronic stress in your life, it’s really important to find activities that will help reduce your stress levels. Remember that what works for some people won’t necessarily work for you. Don’t force yourself to sit through a meditation class if you’re not enjoying it. Instead, try to experiment and find other activities that make you feel good.
There’s no wrong answer when it comes to activities that relieve stress. Whatever it is, what matters is that you make the time to do it!