It’s easy to try to ignore your stress when you have so many other things going on. The problem with this strategy is that it is taking more time to do other things when you are stressed. Here are 9 quick ideas for reducing stress when you do not have time to waste.
1. Change Your Environment.
Take a mini “vacation” by stepping outside for a moment, doing something pleasurable like reading a book or watching a video, or jumping in the shower.
2. Participate in a Rhythmic Activity.
Walking or running are very pattern oriented and help you readjust your focus and relieve stress. Pick up a couple of pens or chopsticks and drum on the table to also find a similar response.
3. Do Something Creative.
It does not have to be a big project. Doing something you enjoy like photography, coloring, or baking can remove you from the stress you are experience. If you do something like baking it will require focus and concentration and can also have the added benefit of physical activity when you are rolling out dough or something similar.
4. Be Present and Slow Down.
Take 5 minutes to focus on what is happening for you. Notice the air on your face, how you are breathing or walking, or whatever your hands might be touching. When you spend time in the present moment, you are less likely to notice the stress.
When you take 2 minutes to focus on breathing in and out, it allows you to separate from everything else. Take this time to only notice your breath and leave everything else behind.
6. Laugh Out Loud.
Laughing unburdens you from the mental stress of the moment. It also lowers cortisol, which is your body’s stress hormone, and increases endorphins to lighten your mood. Find that good belly laugh by watching your favorite comedian, a funny pet or kid video or chat with someone who makes you smile. Whatever it is, find something to make you laugh.
7. Blast Those Tunes.
Playing some of your favorite music can quickly turn your mood around. Especially if you pick something contrary to what you are currently feeling. If you are anxious, pick something calm or if you are sad, pick an upbeat tune.
Wrap up in your favorite blanket or use a warm heat wrap around your neck.
Tip: fill up a long sock with rice and tie it off. This can be used as a heat wrap for your neck, shoulders or back.
Use a foam roller or ball to work out the tension in your muscles. Position the roller or ball in the spot and apply pressure while rolling it around gently.
9. Teach Your Body to Relax and Your Mind Will Follow.
Use a progressive muscle relaxation technique to get your muscles to relax. When your physiological state is more relaxed you have a harder time being stressed.
Learn these tips and many more in my Mental Wellness Course.