10 Techniques to Reduce Stress and Relax
Take a moment to relax.
No, really. It’s good for you! Here are ten techniques for relaxing and busting stress:
1. Be Grateful
Keep a gratitude journal around and make gratitude lists when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or too wound up. Gratitude lists help you to remember all of the beautiful things you have in your life.
2. Get A Move On
For everyone who is groaning right now and saying “I KNEW exercise would be on this list”, fear not. You don’t have to run the Boston Marathon. You don’t have to run at all, unless you enjoy it. The key is to find something you enjoy so much it doesn’t feel like exercise. And if you start trying out a bunch of different things, you might surprise yourself when you see how much you like something you didn’t expect to. For me, this is rock climbing in a gym. I start really working the holds and projecting, and before I know it I am covered in sweat and exhausted.
3. Get your Groove On
Cranking up the tunes and rocking out can be a quick and fun way to de-stress and relax. Or make a playlist of gentler songs or nature sounds to help you relax. Focus on the sounds of the gentle singing or a babbling brook and just let yourself relax for a bit.
Really. Laughing out loud is a great way to de-stress and coax yourself into relaxing. A good belly laugh will de-stress in any situation, because it releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
5. Decompress yo’self
Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes, then place a stress ball or tennis ball against the wall and use it to massage the knots in your back and shoulders out. It’s like a tiny little spa treatment you can do in your office!
6. Do A Body Scan
A daily body scan can help you identify where stress points are.
You don’t have to do anything about them, just be aware of them. Take 1 to 2 minutes for each part that feels tight or stressed and take deep breaths, visualizing the breath going to that part to help heal it.
7. Don’t Isolate
Your social network is one of your best forms of stress relief. Make plans to have coffee with a friend or help them do something, like gardening or folding laundry: it’ll make them so happy and you’ll feel better too!
8. Just be here
Slowing down and taking a few minutes just to be present, a few minutes of mindfulness, no matter what you’re doing, can be a huge stress reliever. If you’re eating something, notice the complexity of flavors and textures in each bite. If you’re walking around, notice the feeling of the ground beneath your shoes and the air on your face.
9. Breathe deep
Take just five minutes and do some deep belly breathing. One hand on your abdomen, feel your breath start in your belly and rise to the top of your head, and then relax. Deep breathing helps counter stress by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
Meditation is actually pretty easy. You put both feet on the floor and sit comfortably, then focus on your breathing. When you get distracted by “thinking” gently bring your thoughts back to your breath. If you’d like, recite a positive mantra. There’s no way to do this right or wrong, but meditation has been proven to reduce stress and increase relaxation.
We really hope you found this helpful, and that perhaps one or two of these practices resonated with you.