10 Super Simple Stress-Busters

by aevans
10 Super Simple Stress-Busters
Everyday life can be a lot to handle, with work, family obligations and keeping up with your own hobbies and interests. If you don’t find ways of coping with stress, you’ll never be able to live a happy and healthy life. Stress is actually a major contributor to ill health. It can cause problems from headaches, fatigue and muscle pains to more serious medical issues like heart attack and stroke. Here are a bunch of quick stress-busters that you can do to keep yourself calm, cool and collected.

  1. Breathe – When you feel stress or anxiety coming on, take at least 5 slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose. Your lower abdomen should feel like it’s moving, not your chest. Exhale through your mouth, pushing as much air out as you.

  2. Get your groove on - Carry your iPod with you and listen to calming music, such as classical or jazz. MP3 players have become so compact that they’re super easy to carry with you wherever you go. If things start to get stressful, pop in those headphones and get lost in a soothing song. Listening to the right kind of music can actually lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

  3. Say no - There are times when no matter how much you like to be going, going, going, you have to say no. You might be used to helping people out all the time, but there are times when you need to devote some of that spare time to yourself. When you start to feel overwhelmed by all the additional tasks and commitments you’re making with others, just say no. Use that spare time to get in some quality rest and relaxation.

  4. Get unplugged - Most of us are glued to our smart phones, laptops and television sets. But if you’re finding that you’re unable to enjoy your life because you’re always checking your email or surfing the internet, it’s time to step away from technology for a while. Set aside time each day to remove yourself from these tech-y temptations and focus on reading, enjoying nature or simply just doing nothing. These activities can help restore your sense of self and keep you grounded during stressful times.

  5. Pare down that list – To-do lists always seem to grow by leaps and bounds, especially when we least want them to. Instead of letting yourself become overwhelmed by a never-ending list of unchecked items, cross off some of those things immediately. Prioritize your tasks for the day or week. Do what you can reasonably do, and then as soon as you feel overwhelmed ask yourself if the world will end if a specific task isn’t accomplished. Chances are there are plenty of tasks that can be pushed back a few days or maybe even weeks.

  6. Laugh – In the same way that chronic stress can damage our immune system, laughter can help repair the damage and keep us healthy. Laughing has been shown to reduce the amount of three stress hormones in our body. This might mean carrying around your favorite comic strip or joke so that you can reference it when you’re feeling down, calling your best friend to boost your spirits or even replaying a scene in your head from your favorite comedy.

  7. Exercise – Cardio workouts are a great way to signal the brain to grow new nervous cells, which can fight stress. Exercise also increases the production of serotonin and norepinephrine, which help regulate moods. Lastly, a good sweat session can release endorphins throughout your body, which reduce pain and improve the brain’s responses to stress and anxiety.

  8. Quick yoga – Find a couple of basic yoga poses that can be done almost anywhere. Try and pick a poses that are relatively easy and relaxing for you. When you’re feeling stressed, try some of those yoga poses. This works well combined with the deep breathing technique.

  9. Heat wrap – Soak a hand towel in warm water and place it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. When warm, place towel on you neck, face or hands. Alternatively, you can use a heating pad as well, which will stay warm longer.

  10. Step outside – When you start to feel anxious or stressed, fresh air can be a saving grace. Even if the weather isn’t fabulous, you’ll be surprised at how 5 minutes of fresh air can help you feel rejuvenated and take your mind off of more stressful issues.

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