Today’s world is so fast-paced there isn’t much time for us to deal with stress when it arises. But keeping it bottled up until what we hope will be a more appropriate time just prolongs the damage to our bodies.
Here are some fast fixes to reduce your stress levels as soon as they start to rise:
Stand up from your chair as you feel the tension building up in your body, stretching your arms and legs. Try a couple of yoga poses that have been helpful in the past if you have the time and space. If you don’t, try staying seated while slowly rolling your shoulders or pulling your hands together behind your back to open your chest.
Long associated with reduced stress, deep, slow breathing has been found to reduce cortisol levels and drop heart rate and blood pressure, instantly and also in the long term for those who practice it regularly.
Chomping on a stick or two of it for just a few minutes releases saliva and increases blood flow, which in turn leads to a calming effect on your brain. It also discourages you from turning to less healthy food to deal with the pressure. Just make sure you have a place to dispose of it when you’re done, or you could create more stress!
Massage Your Hands
A lot of physical tension lands in our hands, and applying gentle pressure to the muscle at the bottom of your thumbs goes much further, sending signals that soothe your neck, shoulders and even your scalp.
Squeeze a Stress Ball
Transferring the tension in your hands to a ball or any squishy, non-sentient object can be very effective at drawing down the fury you’re feeling at someone or something that’s making your day more difficult
Shut Your Eyes
Getting a little non-sleepy shuteye to achieve a state of “quiet wakefulness” can restore feelings of calm and control, even in the middle of a chaotic work or home setting.