What comes to mind when you hear the word stress? It’s a word that’s around us every day and feels as we older and older it gets bigger and bigger. It’s something intangible that drives all of us crazy and we would love if we never had it in our entire life. For most people, it’s something everyone seeks to avoid when in reality it’s the wrong approach. Rather than avoiding stress, it should be handled and managed appropriately. I know that’s easier said than done but here are some tips that I have found useful in managing your various amounts of stress levels.
- Breathe Deeply: This can come in the form of yawning, sighing, or simply taking a long breath. Personally, I’m a big “sigher.” For some reason, sighing is associated with tragedy, stress, and has a negative connation but I use this technique throughout my day and has worked well for me. To be honest, it’s actually quite relaxing. It’s almost like a good morning stretch that can be done throughout the day.
- Go for a walk: I know this sounds cliché and simple but when going on these walks, silence your phone. Trust me sometimes you must leave your Twitter followers and Facebook friends behind for a bit. While walking it’s the perfect time to just watch the world go. If you’re in an office, walk around your business property, or set yourself a goal to walk for 15 minutes straight. When you’re starring at a computer screen all day this can help you from feeling like a zombie.
- Drink some water: Another no brainer right? This technique can also help with breathing deeply by allowing yourself to refocus on the task at hand. This is a great technique because water has underrated health benefits and has great ability to pick your body back up. And since you are already stressed, I can bet money that you haven’t eaten properly. Water can help with this so you don’t end up overeating.
- Get up and stretch: If you are crunched on time and don’t have the ability to do any major physical activity to take your mind off of things I highly recommend stretching. I’m not talking about doing any midday yoga type stretches in your office but keeping it simple. Stretches such as touching your toes to stretch your back, reaching for the sky to stretch your abdomen and back, and swinging your arms in small circles all can be great stretches. The purpose here isn’t to break a sweat but to take a small break to re-gather yourself and move the blood around in your body.
- Exercise: This is perhaps my favorite technique to relieve stress as this technique not only helps reduce stress but it’s a way to hit a reset button to your mind. There are so many advantages to exercise that it should leave you a bit guilty for not doing this more often. Exercise means many things for individuals but remember this should help relieve stress not add more stress to you. I recommend doing some light jogging, perhaps shooting some hoops indoor or outdoor, playing a quick game of racquetball, or logging some miles on a stationary bike even if it’s for 30 minutes. Exercise encompasses so many things that I’m sure you can find some kind of activity.
- Laugh: This is perhaps the hardest to do when you are crunching to meet a deadline or complete a project on time but it’s rather simple to do especially on your lunch hour. Take a break to find a kneeslapper online. This can be quite easy to do as you can search for practically anything online from the latest funny memes and gifs or simply watching videos on YouTube about the latest pranks being committed across the nation. Trust me there is always something funny going on and a good hard chuckle might be the extra push you need to make it through the day.
- Go for a drive: Keep in mind when I say go for a drive it doesn’t mean going on a getaway trip but rather to focus on the task of driving. It’s quite similar to going for a walk as mentioned above. This is a great time to just have some “you time.” There is nothing wrong with that but to fully get value out of this time I recommend not turning on the radio and rolling down your window and listening to the music of the streets.
- Play some music: I don’t know about you but music always puts me in a good or better mood so I use this to my advantage. I’m not saying for you to blast your music instead I recommend you play certain types of genres to keep you on the right track. This is where websites like Pandora and Spotify are perfect because all you do is type in the genre and enjoy. These might not be your hit music tracks but they will keep you concentrated. I recommend classical, jazz, or piano stations.
- Turn off the lights: Ever think you’re always in the spotlight even though you’re really not. Maybe that’s because you are always under the lights, figuratively speaking. If you ever feel this way, then turn off the lights for a bit to put your mind at ease. If you can’t or work in a facility where you don’t have access to the light switch I recommend you put a towel over your eyes to use this technique. The way I look at this technique is like ninjas do. They do their best work in the dark and maybe you can too.
Try one of these techniques or try several different combinations of these techniques to see what works best for you. If you are currently using other techniques I would love to know of other methods. Feel free to leave your comment below.