Whether triggered by issues at work, money worries, or upcoming exams, the sensation of stress is a shared human experience. Luckily, there are several simple exercises designed to calm you down in minutes.
Prevalence of Stress
According to research by the American Psychological Association, money continues to be the leading cause of stress for American adults:
- 36% in low-income households report feeling stressed all or most of the time about money
- 72% feel stressed about money at least some of the time.
- 48% say stress has a negative impact on both their personal and professional lives.
- 42% admit to not DOING ENOUGH to manage their stress.
- 20% say they NEVER ENGAGE in activity to help relieve the stress they experience.
Instant Stress Relievers
Tackling stress needn’t be a daunting prospect – here are 8 simple techniques to use when you need a quick and effective stress release.
Focus on breathing
Taking deep and even breaths when you feel stressed has been proven to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Pick a yoga pose
Studies show that child’s pose and downward dog – in combination with Pranayama (deep yoga breaths) – can calm your brain and release physical tension.
Try progressive relaxation
Tense and release each muscle group in your body, starting from your toes and working all the way up to your head. This physical relaxation will automatically encourage your mind to relax too.
Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins. Even brief bouts of activity are beneficial, so try fitting two to three 10-minute walks into your day.
Colour it in
Try your hand at one of the many adult-colouring books now on the market – the focus you’ll place on colouring allows your brain to switch off from other thoughts and focus on the moment.
Sleep it off
Closing your eyes for a short period of time aids in the reduction of cortisol which ultimately results in a reduction in your body’s stress levels. And who doesn’t love a power nap?
Wake up earlier
Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than necessary, and enjoy the extra time lying in bed to focus your mind and wake up gradually. Using the extra time to think about your goals or read something inspirational will ensure you have a less frazzled day.
Offer someone a hug
Research has shown that hugging may actually blood pressure and stress levels in adults. Next time you feel your stress levels rising, seek out a friend or a colleague and embrace them for a minute.
By devoting just a few minutes a day to these stress-relieving techniques, you can become a calmer version of yourself, capable of taking on the many stresses of the modern world.
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