Feeling Frazzled? Here are Some Tips to Reduce Stress Now.
Stress today is as American as apple pie. Whether your main source is from work, kids, family, or money woes, odds are you reach your ‘boiling point’ occasionally and need to find relief. Recent studies found that 54 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their daily lives, with work and money being main stress factors. While seeking therapy or engaging in meditation sound good in theory for long-term solutions, sometimes you need help NOW. Keep reading for some simple tips to help you reduce stress and anxiety in just a few minutes.
1. Take a Deep Breath. Breathing deeply is thought to help lower cortisol levels, which in turn may reduce stress and anxiety. It may also help even out your blood pressure.
2. Turn Up the Radio. Music really can be mental, and in many ways is thought to have a biomedical effect on reducing stress. Just try to steer clear of angry tunes if you’re going for stress relief.
3. Laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine. A few hearty chuckles might impact your physical stress and some say even help you burn a few calories.
4. Break for Some Yoga. Before you get scared off, that doesn’t mean you need to be a super-bendy yogi and roll out a mat. If you’re at work, just stand up and slowly bend over to touch your toes (or as close as you can get). This helps blood flow to your brain, so you feel calmer and simultaneously more invigorated. If you’re sitting on the couch or at your desk, reach your arms out to your sides and up to above your head, then clasp your hands and point your index fingers upward. Stretch your arms up and breathe in and out slowly. Repeat either of these exercises a few times to energize your body and calm down your mind.
5. Snuggle with Your Pet. Studies have found that showing your pet affection increases your levels of serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that make you feel relaxed and happy. They’ll be thrilled to give you yet another reason to indulge them in a free massage!
6. Engage in Exercise. That doesn’t mean you have to drop everything the second you feel stressed and hit the gym for an hour. In fact, finding time to exercise may be one of the reasons you feel stressed out to begin with! Thwarting stress may be as easy to spending your lunch break walking outside of the building (Gaaa, sunshine!) and taking a stroll around the block. Not ideal weather for an outdoors stroll? Walking up and down the halls, climb the stairs a few times, or even drive to a close mall and wander aimlessing for 15 minutes. By getting your heart pumping, you’ll release endorphins that can help you reduce stress; and if you’re absorbing sunshine in the process, it may boost your mood even more.
7. Get a Good Squeeze. Studies suggest that hugging can reduce stress and even blood pressure. Plus, hugging is free and makes someone else feel happy in the process so you’re paying it forward!
8. Sex is GOOD. Seems like a no-brainer, but oftentimes being overly stress makes us inclined to avoid stress and wallow in our misery. Next time stress is beating you down, hit the bedroom and tackle stress head-on with your partner. It’s shown to help reduce the physical effects of stress, if you still need convincing. That’s some good therapy, right there!