Stress has become a staple in the lives of everyone trying to cope with the fast-paced lifestyle of the modern world. As the saying goes “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” The way you handle pressure makes the difference between winners and losers. In the battle against stress, consider these:
1. Step Outdoors. Being outdoors always helps you feel better. In stressful situations, being in a closed environment can feel very claustrophobic. Just taking a ten minute walk around the block, home or office, can ease the pressure on your nerves.
2. Tune in to relaxing music. The healing power of music is no secret. Frayed nerves respond positively to soothing melodies, so step out of the stress zone by taking 15 minutes to listen to some of your favorite tunes that will calm you down.
3. Blow bubbles. Yes, next time you think you’ve reached the end of your tether, use a stick of gum to loosen up. Studies confirm that chewing gum lowers stress levels. The rhythm of chewing may improve blood flow to the brain, and the smell and taste also help you to relax.
4. De-stress with deep breathing. Taking deep breaths curbs your instinctive ‘fight or flight’ reflexes in stressful situations and takes away focus from negative emotions. Find a quiet place and breathing in slowly through your nose, let your chest and lower belly rise and your abdomen expand, then breathe out. Ten minutes of controlled breathing will melt stress away, especially if you make it a routine exercise.
5. Put your stress into words. If you feel you can’t confide in anyone, just jot down your thoughts about a stressful situation on paper, a phone app or a Word document. This will help you assess the situation and formulate a plan to resolve exactly what’s bothering you about it.