Whether it’s a deadline fast approaching, a long journey ahead or just too much on our plates, we all know the pressure of high-stress moments.
Not only is reducing our stress good for our overall health, but it can reduce our anxiety levels, help us become more productive and even lead to better sleep.
So, how can we reduce our stress levels?
Dealing with stress is a useful, necessary and overall healthy tool to incorporate into our daily lives. Here are our top five ways that you can do TODAY to reduce your stress levels:
Go For A Walk
It’s a bit cliche, but getting out and about in nature is incredibly helpful for both mind and body. The exercise you get will help use up the extra energy produced by your body in high-stress situations. What’s more, the fresh air will help clear your mind and you will definitely benefit from the vitamin d. A walk doesn’t require too much effort either, which is good if you don’t have the time or stamina to incorporate anything more.
If you aren’t able to go outside, walking around your house is a good alternative. As long as you’re using up the energy, that’s all that matters.
A great tool for both anxiety and stress is a technique called ‘grounding’.
When we’re stressed, our minds are consumed with the things that are stressing us out. Taking a moment to remove yourself from the situation will not only calm you down, but clear your mind to think of better solutions. Think of it as stepping away to see the bigger picture.
Grounding involves using one, or all, of your senses to bring you into the present moment: count five things you see (or even count your fingers) in as much detail as possible; focus on what you can hear; find an object to touch and focus on the texture; describe what you can smell; or even have a snack to focus on what you can taste.
My personal favourite is using slime for texture and listening to music.
I know the last thing you want to be told when you’re stressed is to breathe, but there’s a reason we get told that.
Stress increases our heart rate and blood pressure, leading to more adrenaline pumped through our system. De-stressing involves slowing our heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
Practicing breathing exercises, taking slow breaths in and slow breaths out, is a good way of controlling not only our breathing, but our heart rate too.
Feel Your Feelings
Being stressed in a professional or even public situation, or just being unable to control our emotions, leads to a lot of pent up frustration. Being unable to express our frustrations just prolongs the stress.
Developing healthy ways of letting our emotions out is a great way to de-stress. Whether that’s through crying, going for a jog, or even screaming at nothing. Whatever helps you relieve yourself of the pent up emotion will help de-stress you.
Just remember to do it in a healthy, non-violent and non-destructive manner. Unless you visit a wreck room, in which case the entire purpose is to break things!
Change Your Environment
Lastly, a great way of relieving stress is to change your environment.
We easily associate certain situations and locations with emotions we commonly feel. That’s one reason why working from home can be a hinderance to many without a designated office – working in the space we’re used to relaxing not only creates an environment of confusion, but leads to us struggling to relax whilst also struggling to be productive.
Just like that, when we are stressed in an environment, it helps to remove ourselves from it. You’re no longer surrounded by “triggers” or things that remind your body/mind of the stress.
Whatever helps you, and as much as it feels like you can be out of control, it is always in your power to take charge of your emotions.
Stress is something we cannot avoid in life, but we can learn how to navigate it for better productivity and healthier mindsets.