Sometimes even the word ‘stress’ is enough to send a person’s blood pressure soaring and make them tighten up. This month I will offer a few tips for managing day to day stress.
Be Present – Taking a minute to focus on what you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste at any given time. It can help put you deep into the moment and ease anxiety and stress. Try to focus on feeling the weight of yourself in your chair or on your bed. Pay attention to the textures of anything that is nearby like your clothing. Doing this someplace quiet will allow you to listen to the calming ambient sounds of your surroundings.
Breathe – Really, take some intentional breaths. Block out the rest of what is going on and really focus on the depth and rate of your breathing. Feel the temperature of the air coming in and out of your lungs.
Smell the Roses – If you are going to take some time to breathe, it might as well smell good. Essential oils, especially lavender and orange, have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Try Tea – The active ingredients in black tea have been shown to help reduce the levels and effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Give a cup a try at the end of the work day to melt the stress away.
Keep It Positive – Thinking positively can be difficult to do in times of stress. Take time to think about the things that are going right in your life to avoid negativity spirals that can feed into themselves. Our brains and psyche are very complex, but they are easily fooled! The physical act of smiling can trick your mind into thinking everything is hunky-dory, even if the smile isn’t genuine.
Laugh It Out – Going along with the smiling thing – laughter has been proven to decrease stress, improve your mood, relieve pain, and even improve your immune system! So, laugh it up fuzzball! (I keep this video around anytime I need a good laugh)
Sweat – Getting a bit of exercise every day can also go a long way to reducing stress. The best part is that it doesn’t matter what type of “exercise” you do. Just move your buns in the way that makes you happiest and you are on your way.
Music Therapy – Both listening to and playing music have been shown to decrease stress. Tastes may vary, but science shows that calming music can go a long way towards reducing stresssensation. Creating music (even if you aren’t any good) also has the same effect. Jam on!
Talk It Out – Having a close friend(s) in a time of stress is also a great way to reduce stress. Sometimes we just need to be heard, even if a problem can’t be fixed. Just get it out there.
There are many other great ways to deal with stress. Give one or all of these a try the next time you’re feeling tense!
Got any of your own stress tips? Send them my way and I’ll share them with everyone else.