A small amount of stress in our lives can be a good thing, like having a deadline inspires you to complete a project in a timely manner. The problem is that most of us have chronic and consistent stress that never goes away. When stress becomes chronic or severe it can quickly create problems for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Long-term stress is often a contributing factor in many health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease, and even increases the risk of accidents. The good news is there are things that we can do to reduce stress to help us live happier lives!
Read these 7 tips on how to reduce your stress in less than 5 minutes:
- Long hugs (greater than 30 seconds): long hugs release oxytocin, which promotes feelings of relaxation, increases happiness, decreases stress!
- Grounding: sometimes called earthing – getting your skin to touch the ground. We are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet. Walking barefoot, laying on the ground, and wading in shallow water are all great ways to reduce your stress.
- Dancing & singing to music: Singing and dancing your heart out for a few minutes is a great mental reset technique! Choose a song that makes you feel happy.
- Do something tactile: this is a great way to activate your senses, which gets you out of your head and back in your body. To do this, simply focus on one thing you can smell, hear, touch, etc. Maybe it’s petting an animal or smelling a relaxing essential oil, etc.
- Quick burst of exercise: doing a few minutes of exercise is a great way to boost your mood, boost your energy, and reduce stress & anxiety! It’s as easy as 1 minute of jumping jacks or running up and down your stairs a few times.
- Body scans & progressive muscle relaxation: close your eyes for a minute and focus on your body. Starting with the muscles in your head and moving down, focus your attention on all of the muscles throughout your body. Notice how each muscle feels and then relax each muscle. If you are having a tough time relaxing a muscle, squeeze it & relax. The goal is to breathe into your muscles to reduce the tension!
- Deep breathing: it only takes 3 long deep breaths to reduce the stress in your body! You can simply take long, slow, deep breaths filling all of your lungs or you can focus on box breathing where you breath in for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, breath out for a count of 4, and hold no breath for a count of 4.
Try one of these stress management techniques out today!