Simple but Powerful Stress Relief
Feeling a little crunched under the weight of stress? Ease your mind with 10 surefire ways to find your calm and keep your cool all day long.
Stress is an avalanche. It starts with one little thing—say, a traffic jam on your way to work. Then it builds and builds with deadlines, bosses, and, oh you forgot about that phone-in conference call. Soon, you feel like you're tumbling down the mountain, buried beneath tension, anxiety, and dread. To avoid that avalanche, try these 10 tips.
Walk the dog. Pets can soothe the savage stress beast inside of us. Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that folks felt less stressed with a pet as a companion than another human.
Steam up. When steam starts pouring out of your ears, head to the sauna. When combined with counseling, those who sat for a little sweating felt more relaxed, less stressed, and a greater sense of accomplishment than those who just went to counseling.
Steer through trees. To make your commute less stressful, find a route that includes trees. Researchers found that when there's more flora on a drive, the more relaxed you'll feel.
Breathe deep. Meditate by taking 10 minutes to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Stress will melt away with this mindful meditation you can do just about anywhere.
Take up tennis. Put a hole in a tennis ball and squeeze. Let the tension build up in your hand and the rest of your body, then release. This increases relaxation.
Book 'em. When a huge project lands on your desk, don't get overwhelmed by the immensity. Instead, create a timeline showing what can be done when. By breaking down the tasks, it all becomes more manageable and less stressful.
Flex stress away. Yoga can twist your body in strange shapes, but its effect on stress is downright jaw-dropping. A single session of yoga can make you feel more relaxed and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Look at the big picture. Check out some awesome panorama of nature. If the Grand Canyon is in your backyard, perfect. Otherwise any broad vista will do. Spending some time taking in that expanse will help you put all your woes in context.
Try the power of touch. Your spouse is a portable stress reliever. Ten minutes of holding hands or a 20-second hug from your significant other can decrease stress.
Apply positive pressure. Use acupressure to hit a stress-reducing spot. Two thumb widths from your wrist on the underside of your arm is one of those pressure points. Hold pressure there for a minute...then feel some of your overall pressure release.
Join the Conversation
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!