Life is always stressful, but in these crazy times it's even worse.
Political chaos, a global pandemic, and economic instability might have your blood pressure rising.
Now is a great time to put a bit of focus on de-stressing.
It doesn't have to be as much work or as time consuming as you may think.
In fact, it can just take 5 minutes or less to significantly reduce your stress levels.
Here are 5 things to help you de-stress the next time you feel stress mounting:
1. Talk first person
Talk to yourself as if you were talking to someone else.
Treat yourself with the care and grace that you would if you were talking to a friend who was stressed out or upset and use that gentle, kind voice you reserve for said situations.
For example, when you are sitting in traffic and it is stressing you out because you will be late for work, say:
“Jane, it is fine. Everything will work out and you will get to work. You have no control over the traffic, and your boss will understand, so just take a deep breath and let it be.”
Stop what you are doing and take in a deep breath.
Exhale slowly, and then repeat.
Focus only on the task of inhaling and exhaling for the entire 5 minutes, and as you do so allow your breathing to deepen and your mind to stop wondering.
Recognize that feeling in your body when you allow deep breaths, and then come back tot hat whenever you feel yourself getting stressed.
3. Go outside
Just 5 minutes walking in the sun or in nature is enough to allow a sense of calmness to come over you.
Whether you do it in the middle of s stressful situation and remove yourself, or you do it a few times a day as a preventative measure against stress, either one will prove great benefits for both your body and mind.
4. Try smiling and laughing
So often we hold stress and tension in our face and this negative outward expression of emotion harbors negative and stressful inward emotion as well.
The next time you find yourself stressed out, just start smiling.
It will seem weird at first, but pretty soon you’ll be turning it into a laugh and then turning your stressful situation into something you can tackle with a positive approach!
5. Hug it out
Research has shown that when someone is stressed or anxious, simply being held tightly in a hug has the ability to elicit a calming response from the brain and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
In your next state of stress and anxiety, hug it out.
It will help both you and the hugger!