7 Tips For Reducing Stress
7 Tips To Reduce Stress, on the go or from your own desk.
7 Tips To Reduce Stress. Think about the last 24 hours. How often have you felt stressed? Once? Twice?
According to a survey by Forsa, 91% of Spaniards feel stressed. Many of us used to suffer from permanent stress, caused by full-time jobs and the constant accessibility of increasing digitalisation, to name just a few of the stress triggers.
But not all of us have the time, resources or simply the "me-time" (hello, home office with kids!) to relax with an online yoga session, take a candlelit bath or savour a glass of Pinot Noir on our own terrace. If we did, we probably wouldn't be half as stressed and wouldn't be able to cope better with the stressful situations that come our way.
Our busy lifestyles require quick and easy-to-use stress management techniques that you can apply at your desk (either at home or in the office) or for two minutes on the go. Then you can get on with your day a little more relaxed afterwards.
Try these 7 Stress Reduction Tips. For best results, use them with your friends, colleagues or partner: not only will you help them reduce their stress levels, but you will also make your everyday environment more relaxed.
7 Tips To Reduce Stress.
1. Count your breaths
Take two minutes to count your breaths. Each time you exhale, press a key on the keyboard.
Yogis and medical researchers alike swear by breathing exercises, and rightly so. Breathing exercises are the king of relaxation techniques: they help you relax by mimicking the way your body feels when you are relaxed.
Although proponents of breathing exercises often recommend "concentrating on the breath", admittedly this is quite difficult with all the distractions around us. Instead, counting breaths helps you to consciously focus on your breathing and forces you to breathe deeply for at least two minutes.
2. Embrace others
Grab a friend and hug him or her tightly. Of course, you should only hug people you are very close to or with whom you can be sure that neither of you will be at risk. Alternatively, the people to hug can also be your better half or your flatmate.
We have long known that a big hug can do what only a serotonin hot chocolate would otherwise do: hugs trigger the release of the so-called "cuddle hormone" (also known as oxytocin), which makes you happier and reduces stress.
In fact, a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University found that hugging protects against stress-related infections.
Read on to learn more about our 7 Tips To Reduce Stress.
3. Create a regular reminder to relax.
Change the background of your phone to an image that helps you de-stress.
Let's face it: most of us look at our phones all the time. While this is likely to increase our daily stress, we can also use our smartphones as a tool to relieve stress.
How? Change the background of your phone to a picture of nature - for example, your last hike in the mountains of Patagonia - a simple seascape or simply the colour blue. All of these have been scientifically proven to reduce stress.
And to avoid mobile phone-induced stress, for example from the constant bombardment of emails and social media notifications, try to banish it from your field of vision as often as possible or set your phone to time-limited "do not disturb" mode. Because what we don't see all the time can be forgotten from time to time.
4. Unleash the power of lavender
When it comes to stress relief, lavender is something of a miracle cure. Believe it or not, studies show that smelling lavender reduces heart rate and anxiety.
This is because lavender increases GABA levels. These are neurotransmitters that help you feel relaxed (incidentally, it can also help you fall asleep).
So, whether you prefer lavender oil, cream, candles or dried lavender, always keep some in your handbag or desk, and pull it out when you show signs of stress. You'll get immediate results.
5. Snack smarter
Eat avocados, nuts, bananas, eggs and/or Brussels sprouts (the latter is not recommended if you have an important meeting around the corner).
Your gut has been shown to be one of the main mediators of your stress response. There is a very close connection between the stomach and the brain: the gut-brain axis.
So stress eating doesn't have to be bad, as long as you do it right.
Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in nuts, avocados, eggs, Brussels sprouts, etc.) reduce inflammation and cause less stress, while potassium (from bananas, for example) helps regulate blood pressure, which rises in times of stress.
6. Try the naam yoga hand trick
Find the gap between the second and third knuckle (the joints at the base of the index and middle fingers) and apply pressure there for a few seconds.
It's not just for yogis: this simple hand trick will reduce your stress in the blink of an eye.
Applying pressure to this point activates a nerve that relaxes the area around the heart, creating an instant sense of calm and balance. Like the breathing exercises, this trick is free, costs little time and can be used anytime, anywhere.
7. Focus on the positive side of stress
Perceive your stress as something positive and turn it into energy that increases your performance.
In her book "The Upside of Stress", Kelly McGonigal provides scientific evidence that stress is actually only harmful if you believe in it too. If you see stress as a positive thing, you can use it as a force for good.
Consider the following: A Harvard study found that students who told themselves they were "excited" before a presentation were much more convincing than students who were "calm".
So, wherever you are or whoever you're with, do the following: The next time you're stressed, turn your negative self-talk into something that not only relaxes you, but also cheers you up, and use that energy to make a difference.
These were our 7 Tips To Reduce Stress.
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