The negative effects of stress can cause long-term damage. While we can't completely avoid stress in our lives, we can learn how to manage it. Learning stress management skills will help you to stop yourself from dwelling on the stress factors in your life and face them with a renewed and calm energy. Here are 4 tips to help you destress.
You can practice these exercises in just 30 seconds, and you can do them anywhere. Whether you're lying down in bed, sitting at your desk, or standing in a long line at the grocery store.
1. Breathe In, Breathe Out
Take a long, slow inhale and fill your lungs. Focus on inhaling into your low belly, then allow the air to fill upward through your torso and chest. By simply slowing your breath, you can create calming and relaxing feelings. Exhale slowly and then breath out.
2. Be Mindful of Your Body
While you continue with slow breathing, pay attention to the sensations in your body. Do you feel cold, warm, or any pressure? Try not to associate these feelings as either positive or negative. Simply recognize the feelings. For example, be aware of the tightness you might be feeling in your neck. It's not necessarily a bad feeling, just one you hadn't payed attention to before.
You might notice a number of sensations all at once, while others may notice their butt sitting on their chair. This step can be done in one breath (full inhalation and exhalation) or you can sit with it a bit longer.
3. Refocus Your Attention Back To Your Breath
Return your focus back to the pattern of your breath. Be attentive of how the air fills your lungs as you breathe in and of it leaving your lungs as you breathe out. Practice this breathing for a few breaths until you feel present in the moment and then....
4. Move On With Your Life!
By taking a moment (or two) to quickly and calmly pause what is stressing you out, you should be better equipped to re-engage with the world around you with a new sense of focus and calmness. Try to maintain those feelings of being grounded that you just created. If you notice your stress returning, follow these steps again as needed.