Everyone feels stressed sometimes. Maybe you had a rough day at work, or you’re going through some financial difficulties due to circumstances outside of your control. Stress can negatively impact your mental health, as well as your physical health.
If you’re having a hard time coping with stress in your life right now, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve compiled 5 helpful stress hacks you probably didn’t know about!
1. Do Tense and Release Exercises
Stress tends to manifest in certain areas of your body, especially your neck and shoulders. You might not be aware of it, but you’re probably carrying a whole lot of tension in these parts of your body. We tend to hold our emotions in under stress, either trying not to address it or not wanting to upset someone else – this constricts the red blood cells and the muscles so you feel ‘achy.’
Thankfully, a quick 15-minute tense-and-release exercise can help you loosen up and relax a bit. Starting with your toes (or you can start with your hands) and working your way up to your neck and face, tense and release your muscles, really focusing on the relaxation you feel. Once practiced, it will be like Pavlov’s dog, where you muscle-memory will kick in and relaxation will be automatic. It’s a an easy routine to establish.
2. Go For Plenty of Walks
This is great advice for those who get stressed out at work from having to sit so much. Walking not only relieves stress and clears your head, but it has also been proven to improve sleep and inspire creative ideas. If you don’t have time to walk for thirty minutes or an hour, try taking three 10-minute walks throughout your work day. This is a great way, also, to take a brain break to increase your productivity.
3. Listen to Music
The power of music is pretty amazing, as it engages our whole brain. Listening to calming music is a fantastic stress reliever, and it can even put you in a better mood. Lo-fi music has actually been proven to help people focus more efficiently on their work, especially those who suffer from mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. You can listen to Pharrell’s song, Happy, as a great mood-lifter, along with dancing or movement.
4. Focus on Your Breathing
You might have heard this one before, but that’s only because it’s such helpful advice! Our breathing patterns tend to change drastically when we’re excited, stressed, or scared. Focusing on your breathing and doing so, in a calm way, can promote relaxation. Listen to the sound of your breath, with your eyes closed, to relax your brain and body, along with boosting your energy. This is a great exercise to try when you’re sitting at your work desk.
5. Start Journaling
Even if you haven’t kept a journal since junior high school, you can always get back into it! Recording your thoughts and keeping track of your feelings is a great way to relieve stress. Write about your day in your journal each night when you get home from work. That way, anything stressful that might have happened during the day is out of your mind and on the page. You can also set your goals and recognize accomplishments, or gratitudes, which can relax any stress you may feel in the moment.
Managing stress is not easy, as it is an automatic response but, with time and effort, you can master these stress management tips, You will, then, be able to handle any stressors that you face with more ease and live a calmer, less chaotic life.
If you’re struggling with stress, don’t delay in getting help as it can overtake your life and lead to emotional and physical symptoms. Visit our website to learn about our programs and services. Mastering these can start today!