Let’s face it: The last several weeks have been stressful. Worrying about a pandemic while juggling family and work responsibilities can stress even the most level-headed person.
How are you dealing with stress? Adding more tools to your stress management toolkit is always a good idea. Read on to discover four simple and effective techniques you can start using today.
Acknowledge Stress and Experience It Mindfully
Acknowledge that stress and anxiety are normal under the current circumstances. We tend to think of stress as “bad”, and therefore we push it aside in our consciousness. Instead, allow yourself to experience stress and anxiety as they happen. Whenever you feel stressed, inhale and exhale slowly and think “I’m allowing myself to feel stress.” Getting in touch with those difficult feelings allows you to approach them in a more detached manner, making them more manageable.
During stressful times we tend to forget about self-care routines. Exercise is particularly important because it’s a natural way to release endorphins, the neurochemicals that boost good mood and help us feel more optimistic. Think of any healthy activity that makes you feel relaxed and allow yourself to do it. Some ideas you may consider are indulging in a long bath, listening to your favorite music or reading a book you like.
Let Go of Tension
Stress causes tension in your muscles. This tension builds up during the day and makes it difficult for you to rest and relax. To relax your muscles, tense them intentionally. For example, to ease the tension on your shoulders breathe deeply a couple of times and then shrug your shoulders up. Maintain this position while tensing your muscles and then release. Apply this same principle to any other area of your body where you feel tension.
Overwhelmed by Stress? Try This Easy Breathing Exercise
There are moments when stress overwhelms you. Before snapping at your family, friends, or coworkers, try this calming technique: Count to ten as you breathe deeply and slowly. While you count, feel the floor beneath your feet. This exercise will make you feel grounded and relaxed. It’s very simple so you can keep it in mind and use it during moments of extreme stress to avoid outbursts that may harm your relationship with those you care about.
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