You don’t always need to visit a spa before you get the chance to relax and relieve tension. Some of these steps can help you de-stress your body when you need to:
A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.
- Breathe Deeply.
Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth. Experts say that deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
- Be Present
Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food.
When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.
- Laugh Out Loud
A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally. It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood. Lighten up by tuning in to your favorite video, reading a comic, or chatting with someone who makes you smile.
- Listen to soothing music
Listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. “Create a playlist of songs or nature sounds (the ocean, birds chirping), and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece.
- Be Grateful
Keep a gratitude journal or several (one by your bed, one in your purse, and one at work) to help you remember all the things that are good in your life. Use these journals to savor good experiences like a child’s smile, a sunshine-filled day, and good health. Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments like mastering a new task at work or a new hobby.
When you start feeling stressed, spend a few minutes looking through your notes to remind yourself what really matters.