Everyone has experienced stress at some point in their life. You are worried you will not get a good grade on your history final. You are worried you won’t have enough money to repair your car. You can’t get your boss to notice the extra work you have done. The list goes on.
Stress comes in and out of your life. At times, it is out of your control. The truth of the matter is, you can’t control anyone. What this means is, you need to learn how to reduce stress in your life. You can’t keep going. Your body and your mind need a break.
Here are 11 ways to reduce stress right now:
- Try some light yoga. With yoga you get the mind and body connection. This is a great way to reduce stress. Start with a few gentle poses. Simply rotating your neck can do wonders.
- Do an art project. This will change your focus. All you need are some pencils and paper. Pick an object to sketch, or sketch your pet. You can also color. I love all of the coloring books that are out now for adults.
- Write it out. Keeping a journal can help reduce stress. This will help get your feelings out. Nobody has to see it, so you can say what you want. If you’d like you can pick a subject write about, or write a poem.
- Spark some scents. Aromatherapy is a good way to reduce stress. If you have some of the oils, put a little behind your neck or underneath your nose. Then, take a few deep soothing breaths. You can also close your eyes. This will help block out distractions.
- Listen to music. Research has shown that listening to music can help reduce stress. Listen to music with positive lyrics that has a soothing sound. Try not to think about what is stressing you out while you are listening to music.
- Stop, and take a deep breathe. This can help reduce cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. If you can, close your eyes and try to clear your mind. Just focus on your breath. Pay attention to where it is in your body and follow it. This will help keep you in the present.
- Go for a walk. Get outside in the sunshine, if you can. The fresh air is good for your brain. Try and keep your mind off of what is stressing you out. Stop and look at a flower or a tree. Take time to notice the details.
- Hang with your pet. Studies have shown that pets help reduce stress. Also known as, pet therapy. Your cat or dog loves to spend time with you. You can hang on the couch or play with your pet. Time with your pet, is time well spent.
- Hug it out. If you are around a loved one, give them a hug or ask for a hug. Touch is good for you. We have gotten away from it in our culture. I love it when my seven year old nephew hugs me. It’s even better when he doesn’t want to let go.
- Try mindfulness. This is a form of meditation. There are many apps. Out there for mindfulness. Download one and try it out. You can start with five minutes and eventually go up to thirty minutes. Mindfulness is about being in the present. You can’t go back and you can’t predict the future.
- Laugh it off. Laughter can reduce some of the physical effects of stress on the body, like fatigue. Watch a short video clip on YouTube or read a comic strip.
Start to do at least one thing you enjoy everyday. It can be as simple as saying your favorite prayer or playing with your cat. You can enjoy the life you have. Start with the small things and go from there.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, CA. She has helped many people reduce stress and love the life they have. For a free 15 minute phone consultation or more information, please visit call or email (650) 892-0357 or Lianne@LessonsforLove.com.