Take a Breather
For centuries, ancient yogis knew that serenity comes with mindful breathing. It is easy to do and you can do it anytime and anywhere that you feel stressed. Take a deep breath through your nose. As you are gently inhaling, count to four in your head. Then, hold the breath to the count of three. Exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of four. This type of breathing can lower your stress hormones and your blood pressure. Do this mindful breathing until you feel at ease. Mindful breathing is a big part of meditation, which is the next suggestion.
You do not have to pay for expensive yoga classes to enjoy the benefits of meditation. You can easily meditate in the privacy of your own home or at work. It just takes a few minutes to feel the stress melt. Find a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. You can sit on the floor, in a chair, or lie on the sofa. Close your eyes and begin your mindful breathing. At this time, there is nothing else in the world that needs your attention. Be aware of the tightness in your muscles and let it go. Feel your body getting lighter as you release the tension that keeps you stressed. Let your thoughts pass you like birds in the sky. Do not be discouraged if you have stressful thoughts. Just acknowledge the thought and let it go. For a few minutes, you are just a passive observer. You can benefit from as little as 10-15 minutes of mindful breathing and meditation.
While you are meditating, add some beneficial visualization. It like creating your own daydreams. Visualize yourself in your favorite place, such as the beach. Create all of the sights and sounds as if you are actually there. Practice positive affirmations and tell yourself that you are a wonderful person just as you are. Be kind to yourself and get rid of the extra burdens of stress. Imagine yourself floating and free. It may seem a little silly to you at first; however, it will become more natural with the more that you practice.
Rest One Day a Week
The human body was not meant to work 24/7. You need time to rest and rebuild your strength. Some people feel rested when they spend time doing a favorite hobby, reading, or watching a good movie. Give yourself one day a week to do what you enjoy doing. The next day, you will be refreshed and less stressed. You will have the strength to tackle what needs done the rest of the week.
You do not have to be doing something every hour of the day. If you feel your stress starting to mount, then it is time for a little break. Take a few minutes and do a few affirmations to recenter yourself and remind yourself of the goals you want to accomplish.
Go For a Walk
There is nothing like going for a walk when you are feeling stressed. The best place to walk is a park or some other scenic area. While you are walking, take notice of the beauty around you. Look at how the trees are grounded in the earth; yet, they reach their arms to the sky. Notice the many colors that Mother Nature incorporates into her scenery. This world is actually a lovely place. While you are walking, practice your breathing and do your best to silence the stressful chatter within your mind.
Adopt a Pet (or at least go visit one!)
There are plenty of scientific studies that show positive correlations between having a pet and lowering people’s stress. Your local animal shelter has scores of wonderful dogs and cats that are just waiting for a loving home, or at least a friendly visitor! Petting an animal has shown to lower blood pressure and stress.
Call a Friend
Loneliness and boredom are some of the precursors to lingering depression. While it is good to have some time by yourself, everyone needs a friend. If you feel stressed and alone, try reaching out to someone else. It can be uplifting to share what is bothering you with someone who cares about you. Spend some time chatting and laughing with a good friend. You will be helping that friend relax, too. If you can, visiting in person is even better.
Stress turns on our fight, flight, or freeze response. The same hormones that kicked in when primitive humans were threatened are the same ones that envelop you when you feel stressed; the brain cannot tell the difference. You do not have to stay stressed every day. If you practice some of these suggestions, you will feel less stressed and much better about yourself. It does not take a lot of time and money to de-stress. All it takes is a few minutes of your time and an open mind that is ready to overcome undue stress.