We are all familiar with that feeling of being stressed out — and we each have our own “tells” that signal that feeling of overwhelm. Whether it’s a racing heart, an upset stomach or a pounding headache, you know what your body is trying to tell you. And then you can determine which stress relieving technique you’ll use to quickly help you destress and move forward, tension-free.
- Go for a walk. Take a few minutes to go for a walk to clear your mind. Exposure to natural sunlight is a real mood booster, and can provide a sense of calming and well being. It’s been well-documented that spending time outside in nature and surrounded by green spaces can be great for your mental and physical well-being.
- Breathe deeply. Being mindful of your inhales and exhales and concentrating on how the breath moves through your body can be a very relaxing practice. You can do breathwork while practicing meditation or yoga, or you may just choose to focus on your breathing. There is a wealth of information on top breathing techniques for calming your mind and body, including square breathing and the 4-7-8 method with longer exhales, but the main point is to focus on how the breathing calms your heart rate and gives your mind the space to clear and calm.
- Lose yourself in music. Music can really change a whole mood, affecting our brains in a positive way. Whether you want to relax or dance it out, planning ahead with a playlist of your favorite songs will give you a headstart and allow the therapeutic nature of the music you love to work quickly and effectively.
- Get some exercise. Move your body, calm your mind. The benefits of exercise have been widely documented, and so it’s probably no surprise that moving your body, whether that means going for a walk, doing some jumping jacks near your desk, or dancing to your favorite song, will play a pivotal role in your de-stressing. Blowing off that steam in a physical way will also release endorphins in your brain, helping dissolve the stress quickly.
- Connect. As humans, we’re hardwired for connection with one another. Think of someone in your life who will cheer you up, make you laugh or just let you vent, and give them a call or a visit.
- Practice gratitude. It’s not always easy to express gratitude, especially during difficult times. But as you train your brain to make this a habit, you’ll begin to see the benefits of doing so. You may choose to journal your feelings on a daily basis, but even if you aren’t into journaling, you’ll find that when you’re in the midst of a stress-inducing situation, writing down or even thinking of the positives in your life can help you gain perspective.