Stress is something that everyone deals with. Whether you’re working too much, not sleeping enough, or forgetting to take time out for Self-Care, stress can make anyone feel tired and frazzled. You don’t always have control over things that cause you stress. But you can take charge of how you deal with it. How can you reduce stress and improve how you deal with problems that come your way? Read on for a few tips and stay cool and restore balance when things get hectic.
Ways to Reduce Stress
When you feel stressed, your body reacts. You might sweat, clench your jaw, or go into fight-or-flight mode. Your brain ramps up production of cortisol, which floods your body with adrenaline. You might feel tense and agitated. If stress continues, over time, you begin to feel tired, burned out, and depressed — all of which can have adverse effects on your mental health. That’s why it’s important to find ways to cope with stress that help calm your body, quiet your mind, and bring you back into a state of alignment and balance. Some stress-reduction techniques include:
- Relax your neck muscles. This area of the body tends to hold tension, and constant clenching of the neck and jaw can result in tight, sore muscles and joints. To soothe stressed necks and shoulders, try using a warm compress, like Heated Neck Wrap. Warm and soft, Heated Neck Wrap can help ease tension — whether you’re at your desk or relaxing at home.
- Taking a time-out for meditation or yoga. Performing a few simple moves — even Child’s Pose or savasana — can help you slow down and focus on the moment.
- Deep breathing exercises. Breathe in deeply for 5 seconds. Hold your breath briefly; then exhale for 10 seconds. Slowing your breathing is an instant stress-reducer, and helps slow the racing thoughts and anxiety that may take a toll on mental health.
- Take a walk. If you can, go outside and take a stroll around the block. Notice the things around you, and try to focus on one object at a time. Focusing on five things you can see, touch, smell, and hear is a powerful way to quiet your mind and center yourself, providing instant stress relief and clarity.
How to Reduce Stress at Work
Maybe you’re clocking a lot of overtime, or the lines between work and leisure time have been blurred since you’ve been working at home. Work is a top stressor for many people, and it can be challenging to find ways to tune out the constant influx of notifications and learn to focus on restorative downtime. Try these tips to help you wind down from your workday and add Self-Care to your routine:
- Keep a journal. Writing down your wins for the day and keeping a running list of things that you completed can give you a sense of accomplishment and let you reflect on the positive points of your day.
- Make a to-do list — and put it away. At the end of your workday, jot down the things you need to work on the next day — and then put the list in a drawer, or somewhere you can’t see it. Use this list as a way to end your day and let your mind switch off from work mode.
- Follow your nose. Keep a small container of lotion or essential oil at your workspace. Every hour or so, take a moment to close your eyes and inhale the refreshing scent. This helps reset your brain and increases focus, so you can effectively move through your day. Some good scents to try are: peppermint, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon, or sweet orange.
Stress can adversely affect your health, both mentally and physically. Managing stress can help you improve clarity, concentration, and overall well-being. Prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can be damaging to your brain and body. To reduce stress at work, you can give yourself a time-out during the day to reset, relax, and center yourself. These simple actions provide relief from stress and tension, improve focus, and give you a mood boost. It’s micro-moments that let you reduce stress and add mental health Self-Care to your day.