Relax and Reduce Stress With These Simple Tips
May 26, 2015
These days stress and busyness are the norm rather than the exception for many people. We are feeling more tension than ever with anti-anxiety medication use on the rise and more attention than ever being paid to this growing health concern. Whether or not you are seeking outside help through therapy and/or medication, you can begin to take some action on your own to see improvements in your emotional health. Even setting aside a few minutes per day can result in some noticeable improvements.
Focus on Your Breath
One of the simplest ways to reduce anxiety is to focus on the most basic bodily function – the air flowing in and out of your lungs. Set aside five minutes to sit in a comfortable position and take some nice deep breaths, remaining attuned to how your lungs expand upon inhaling, and contract upon exhaling. Any breath work involving slow, lengthened breaths has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure.
Fostering a sense of presence means that you’re being mindful only of the things that are happening right now. Rather than worrying about what’s coming in the future, maintain your attention on what is happening currently. One way to do this is to take some time to sit outside and take in your surroundings.
Image Credit: In-Shape Health Clubs
Exercise, Even for Short Periods
All types of body movement help your body release endorphins – the chemicals that improve your mood and assist with managing stress. Even if you can’t get an hour-long workout in, taking a walk around the block, doing some jumping jacks, or climbing a few flights of stairs can help you lessen worries and increase feelings of positivity.
If you can get to a gym, some facilities will have spa areas where you can relax after a good workout. This can help you maximize the effects of exercise, give you a reward for your hard work, and bring a new level to your self-care.
Connect With Your Support System
It can feel intimidating to reach out and talk to someone when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but it can also be exactly what the doctor ordered. Sharing what you’re experiencing often gives you a new perspective on your problems and takes you out of your own headspace for awhile, where worries and anxieties can run rampant if left unchecked. It’s a big plus if you can talk to a funny friend who always makes you laugh, as laughter is also a way to manage tension.
Studies have shown great benefits from cultivating a habitude of gratitude. Make a resolution to write down five things you’re grateful for each day. These can be small things, such as seeing a dog playing in the park, or larger things, such as getting a raise. By creating this awareness you’ll start to give more thought to the things that you are thankful for, and dwell less on worries or concerns. Follow these tips and more in order to feel noticeable reductions in stress and increases in wellbeing.