These days feeling stressed seems to be a way of life. Yet regular stress is playing havoc with our health, careers and even our closest relationships.
If you don’t want to end up just another super-stressed statistic, then the good news is that you can do something about it.
Discover the top 10 secrets to feeling less stressed – in under 10 minutes.
The good news is that there are 10 things you can do right now to feel less stressed.
- Write it down
One of the challenges with feeling stressed is that our problems keep going round and round in our minds. It’s almost like there’s a stressed-out cheerleader, keeping us on the super-stress merrygoround. It’s important to write down your answers, because this helps stop the mental chatter and slows you down, reducing your stress levels.
Ask yourself, “What specifically is the problem?”
This helps you get out of the drama and be clear about the issue.
Then ask yourself, “What do I want instead?”. This helps you see that there might just possibly be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Finally, answer the question, “Which single, baby step could I take, right now, to move towards what I want instead?”
By breaking it down into tiny chunks, you’ll see the overwhelm start to disappear.
- Go for a walk in nature
Going for a walk outside gives you a change of scenery and some fresh air. It gets you breathing more deeply and helps relax your mind. It only need be 5 minutes, but if you can manage longer, that’s great. If possible, go somewhere with trees or grass. If not, even walking down the street will help.
- Avoid caffeine
Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate and many soft drinks) will rev you up. If you’re already stressed, that’s the last thing you want.
It stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the adrenalin-filled fight or flight response. Drink some water instead and you’ll feel better.
- Blow a raspberry
No, I’m not kidding here. Pucker up those lips and blow a big fat raspberry!
Blowing a raspberry relaxes your facial muscles, especially those of the cheeks and jaw, where we store a surprising amount of tension. If you’re stressed out, this one will help you smile and relax, which might be all you need to see the solution to your problem.
- Nurture yourself
In this world of 24-7 everything, it can be hard to take time out to nurture ourselves.
Yet even 5 minutes can make a massive difference. Perhaps you’d like to take a relaxing warm bath? (Not too hot or that sympathetic nervous system gets going again…) Or maybe your thing is going for a massage? Or even just time to yourself to read a book?
These are all good stress-busters.
- Deep breathing
Breathing deeply and slowly is an instant way to relax and destress.
Sit up straight and breath into the area just below your ribcage – your diaphragm. Allow your chest to expand while you breathe in (yeah, forget holding in your tummy muscles for a few minutes!). Then allow it to gently sink as you breathe out.
If you can do this through your nose, it’s even more effective.
- Laugh your head off
There’s good reason why they say “laughter is the best medicine“.
Watching a funny film or TV show – or listening to one on the radio – is a great way of releasing endorphins, which are nature’s way of making us happy.
You don’t even have to commit to watching the whole show – just 10 minutes of laughter is enough to transform your day.
- Get creative
Classic distraction therapy, but it works well for those who like to get active and stay busy. Go and make something. Whether it’s painting a picture, knitting and sewing, making cards or even woodwork, letting out your inner creativity helps you focus on something positive, which will reduce your stress levels.
- Learn relaxation techniques
There are so many ways to learn how to relax. And the more you practise, the easier it gets. You can learn at home, with books or DVDs, or join a class. Maybe you’d like to try yoga or meditation? Or perhaps Pilates? Or even martial arts? Any hobby that trains you to focus and quieten your mind will make a massive difference to your stess levels.
- Ask For Help
If feeling stressed out is a regular event for you, you’d be wise to ask for help.
That might be help with the tasks that have overwhelmed you, or even asking for professional help, if things have got more serious.
Asking for help is something we often find difficult, but those who care about you are probably longing for you to let them offer their support.
There are no prizes for being a stress-hero. In fact, the winners are those who ask for help early on.
Applying any of these stress-busting techniques will help you relax and feel happier fast.