You can’t avoid it completely, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed try a few of these easy ways to reduce stress.
by Elisa Hindes
There’s no way around it; stress is a part of modern life. We live fast-paced lives full of pressure, both at work and at home. Everyone has too much to do and too little time. We’re always on sensory overload and constantly “plugged in” to our computers, smart phones, television, e-mail, and more.
With everything we have going on it’s very hard to get a little peace and quiet once in a while. But as the stress builds it will take a serious toll on your body, mind, family and work. We can’t always jet off to a tropical island for a relaxing vacation, but here are ten easy ways to reduce stress that only take a few minutes and can be done practically anywhere.
1. Look at old photographs
If you’re at home pull out the albums and take a quick, happy trip down memory lane. Even if you’re at work or on the road, simply flipping through the photos on your phone can relax you and improve your mood significantly.
2. Take a time out
Shut your eyes, turn off the lights, lay down if you can, and just relax. Breathe deep and clear your thoughts. If it’s hard for you to empty your mind, try focusing on something tranquil, like a gently flowing stream or the beautiful blue ocean.
3. Drink a cup of green tea
Not only is the very ritual of making and drinking tea relaxing, green tea contains L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve stress. Stirring some honey into that cup of tea will give you even more stress relief. The compounds in honey help reduce inflammation in the brain.
4. Do some gentle stretching
Even if you're at the office you can take a few minutes to stretch. This will relieve tension that is built up in your muscles. Don’t forget to breathe deeply while stretching.
5. Eat some chocolate
All it takes is 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate to help regulate your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
6. Get some sunshine
If the sun is shining get outside and soak it up. Sunshine lifts our spirits and produces Vitamin D in our bodies.
7. Pet your pet
Many studies have shown the benefits of pet ownership. If you’re feeling particularly frazzled spend a few minutes snuggling with your furry companion.
8. Hug someone
Research suggests that hugging may reduce stress and blood pressure in adults so grab a friend or loved one and hold on tight!
9. Have a Laugh
Laughter really is the best medicine and can reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. If you can’t laugh spontaneously go online and watch a quick funny video.
10. Take a walk
Walking is always a good idea so if you’re having a stressful day you should try taking a relaxing, quiet walk to find your center again.
Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net