Chew Gum No Seriously
A stick of gum can make a world of difference. And not just to mask what you ate for lunch.
An intervention study examined the effects of gum and work-related stress. It found that chewing gum at work and outside the workplace reduced anxious or down feelings, fatigue, and actually put people in a better mood. How about that? Theres no data yet on also blowing bubbles.
Close Your Eyes And Picture Your Favorite Vacation Spot
Zoning out can be a great way to relax, and it’s especially fun if your mind drifts off to a sunny location that’s stress-free.
Some psychologists advise spending about 15 minutes a day daydreaming: not only could it help you focus, they say, but as a meditation technique it could also help reduce stress.
How Managing Stress May Help Support A Healthy Mind And Body
Being aware of the effects of stress on your brain and body is a good start to managing stress.
Its no surprise that constant stress negatively influences your health. Not only can stress cause physical symptoms, like an increased heart rate, but recent research suggests that long-term stress may actually change your brain structure and lead to increased anxiety and other stress-related issues.2,3
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Mindfulness And Mantra Meditation
Mindfulness is an ancient form of meditation that promotes awareness of whats happening in the moment.
It encourages you to focus on your body, your thoughts, and whats going on around you.
Mantra meditation, on the other hand, is the opposite of mindfulness. In this practice, you place all your attention on a single target, like a mantra, a candle flame, or a phrase.
In both types of meditations, whenever your mind wanders — and it will Smith says — you simply re-focus.
It’s a brain skill, he says. In that in the first 2 weeks you won’t be able to do it very well. Your mind will constantly chatter and distract, and that’s normal, that happens.
But as you practice, youll get better at it.
Spend Time With A Dog
Having a dog around comes with many benefits, one being that the simple act of making eye contact releases the feel-good chemical, oxytocin, according to 2009 study.
While oxytocin isn’t directly related to relaxation, researchers found that administering oxytocin to rats actually induced anti-stress responses, like reduced blood pressure.
Kissing may help reduce levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, at least according to research by psychologist Wendy Hill at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.
Hill compared cortisol levels in college couples who had just kissed with couples who had held hands for 15 minutes, and discovered that cortisol levels were lower in the kissers than the hand holders.
Deep breathing is what the American Institute of Stress calls a “super stress buster.”
When we’re anxious and stressed, it can cause you to take shorter breaths, so by deliberately taking a series of deep ones, you can help increase the supply of oxygen to your brain.This, in turn, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to as the “rest and digest system,” because it’s the part of the nervous system that slows heart rate, increases intestinal activity, and relaxes certain stomach muscles.
This is called “progressive muscle relaxation” and researchers think it may help boost our awareness of the physical sensations associated with relaxation.
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Ways To Decompress From Stress
Having a long day at the office? A week that wont end? Dont feel alone. Most Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress, with 44 percent reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years. And unfortunately, a lot of the things that stress us out are things we cant control. Your commute, boss or a project youre working on might all have you pulling your hairs. So what are you supposed to do?
After all of that, you needed to decompress.
Here are a few things that might work:
Find A Physical Activity That You Like
Moving your body may be the last thing you want to do after a long and tiring day, but keeping active may help release your stress while reaping its fitness benefits.
Physical exercises release chemical messengers such as dopamine, which is responsible for reward, motivation, memory, attention, and even regulating body movements and endorphins that help relieve pain and stress.
If you are not a fan of the gym or home workouts, there are many other things you can try to keep you active. For example:
Joining a Team Sports
Release your stress and unleash your competitive side while enjoying the bonus of having the opportunity to socialize. If you are not into team sports, there are a lot of other sports that you can try or revisit.
Taking a Walk
If you are working indoors, taking a walk allows you to go out, breathe some fresh air, and be closer to nature.
Give yourself time to wander around the neighborhood without worrying about anything. If possible, leave your phone at home and try not to think about anything.
If you have a dog, this can also be a chance to bond and get some fresh air
Attending a Dancing Class
Dancing can be a new after-work hobby slash stress-release you can do. Just like other forms of exercise, dancing is a form of emotional expression and creativity that can make you feel good and alive.
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Best Tips For Relieving Nighttime Stress
There are numerous strategies for relieving nighttime stress and anxiety before bedtime. If youre feeling too stressed to sleep, these approaches can help you relax. Some sleepers use only one or two of these relaxation strategies while others practice a combination of them. If stress and sleep are a chronic concern, your physician can help you determine what the best approach is for you.
Ways To Decompress After High Stress
Every Thursday is Happiness Day on Zen Habits.
The last couple of days were just crazy for me. My days were jam-packed with activity, meetings, people stopping in to see me, hundreds of emails, phone calls and messages, one project after another. I am usually able to maintain calm and focus in the midst of a workday, but the last two days put my abilities to a test. I stayed calm, but the stress levels were definitely higher than I care for.
After all that, I needed to decompress.
So today is a decompression day for me. I have a number of tried-and-true methods that work for me, and I have to say, in the last 24 hours, my stress levels have dropped dramatically.
Heres what works for me:
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What Is The Best Way To Deal With Stress And Anxiety
What Type Of Meditation Reduces Stress
In mindfulness meditation, we are able to pay attention to the present moment more fully. The practice can be used anywhere and can provide lasting relief from stress. Many people consider this simple meditation technique to be one of the easiest to use for stress relief because it can be learned quickly.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Control Stress
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Total Costs Are Much Lower
Universities and colleges can earn high profit margins on e-courses because a vast majority of the classroom sessions are taped and can be viewed at any time. In short, schools spend much less on e-students than on those who live and matriculate on campus. In general, expect to pay about half the cost of a traditional diploma when you are a remote learner.
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Types Of Relaxation Techniques
However, a whole range of relaxation practices can help you power down and de-stress.
There’s no one shoe that fits all, Smith says. He points to five or six approaches based on scientific observation and experience that really do work for stress reduction. There are other therapies, too, that you might find helpful. You can do one at a time or you can practice some together.
Give Yourself An Ear Massage
Yes, really. An ear massage using a pressure point, dubbed auricular acupuncture, has been found to treat anxiety when patients were on the way to the hospital. A randomized, blinded study tried two points . The researchers found that those in the relaxation group reported significantly less anxiety than those in the sham point group. So try it. Sit at your desk and rub this little point in your ear for a few minutes and see if it helps you de-stress at work.
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Take Control Of Your Stress
At the end of the day, theres almost no way to avoid work-related stress completely. But its possible to discover ways that may help you leave that stress at the office after a long day so that you may find relaxation at home.
Changing your diet, sleep, and exercise habits may help set you on a path to a lifestyle where youre in control of your stress in a way thats healthy, effective, and manageable.
You Can Get A Graduate Degree
If your educational goals include an advanced degree, it’s worth looking into private graduate student loans. Working through a private lender, most prospective pupils can obtain enough money to pay for all degree-related expenses, take advantage of competitive rates, and get access to suitable repayment terms. This is especially helpful for current college grads who want to get their MBA, JD, or other specialty degrees to qualify for high-paying jobs.
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If You Destress By Cleaning Make Some Cleaning Slime To Reach Those Hard To Clean Areas That Keep You Up At Night
This is also just a good excuse to make slime, which is relaxing and should be enjoyed by everyone.
And aloe is one of the easiest plants to care for!
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Think about how much work your eyes do in a day, they deserve a break.
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Talk It Outbut Listen Too
Finding a way to clear the mind is a crucial part of everyday life. Thats because its a very important way to limit stress. And sometimes the best way to clear your mind is to let those stressful feelings spill out of your mouth. Its a much better alternative than letting the stress and tension build up to unhealthy levels.
Talking it out is great, but focusing outside of yourself is important, too. Listening and helping others solve problems focuses your energy away from your stresses onto solutions. Youll also get perspective on your life and the satisfaction of doing good. Thats why helping out a friend or loved one is a solid plan. Being a sounding board for those in your life who need a little guidance can go a long wayfor you, and for them.
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
Stress Relief Techniques To The Rescue
Activities that switch on the bodys natural relaxation response feel great, Buenaver says. And they have been proven by research to improve sleep. They help by reducing the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and by slowing your heart rate and breathing. Your body and mind calm down.
Yoga, tai chi and meditation are helpful stress relief techniques. So are these two simple exercises that Buenaver recommends to patients who are struggling with sleepless nights.
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. It may help to close your eyes.
- Breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. As you inhale, breathe down into your belly. Focus on your breath.
- If youd like, repeat to yourself, Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I am coping.
Progressive muscle relaxation:
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Take a few gentle breaths, in and out.
- Begin tensing groups of muscles one at a time as you breathe. Hold the tension as you inhale, then release it as you exhale. Take a few breaths as you notice how relaxed each muscle group feels.
- Start with the muscles in your head, neck and face. Move down to your shoulders, hands and arms, back, stomach, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
- Repeat for any areas that are still tense.
As you go through this exercise, feel the presence and absence of tension so you can spot lingering tension and do something about it, Buenaver says.
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A Daily Full Body Relaxation Practice That You Can Try At Home To Reduce Stress And Reset
Stress is often related to our perception of time. If we are pressed for time, we feel stressed. When we take time off or vacation, we create space which gives us the perception of more time in the day to help us mentally relax and unwind.
Many emotional states determine how we perceive time and space. If we are happy and relaxed, we can feel like we have all the time in the world. If we are stressed, we can feel like we have no time and become irritable with very little mental space or personal time to give. When we do something we love, we feel free, inspired or expansive and time moves quickly, but if we do something we dislike, we feel constricted, inhibited and time seems to drag into dismal eternity. It is not the time that makes us feel stressed or happy, it is the perception of how much space we have.
Emotions, time and space are intrinsically connected, so if we want to decompress, the key is that we need to create the perception of more mental space which makes us feel like we have more time. The perception of more time means we can mentally and emotionally relax and reset. So, when we are ready to work, we can then return rested with enthusiasm, focus, productivity, and efficiency.
Here is a simple and quick four-part full body practice that is traditionally used to re-establish the communication between our mind, body, breath and emotions, helping our system to synchronize and operate cohesively.