It goes without saying: stress isn’t fun. Whether you get headaches or migraines, develop knots in your back, experience dry blood-shot eyes, clench your jaw, lose sleep, or just generally feel overwhelmed by stress, it’s important to manage and reduce tension on a weekly, or even daily, basis. In this fast-paced world, it’s better to think of managing your stress as a practice, something that you should get in the habit of doing regularly!
Here are 6 stress management techniques for work and home:
1. Walk away from the computer frequently. Sitting at a computer for 8 or 9 hours a day isn’t healthy. In fact, studies have shown that sitting all day causes back issues, as well as other health problems related to sedentary lifestyles. Walking around can be fun as well, since it gives you a chance to chat with co-workers, family, or strangers!
2. Use http://www.calm.com at least twice during the day. No matter how many times you go for a walk, sometimes that anxious feeling just won’t go away. Directed meditation to the rescue! Calm dot com is beautiful to look at and listen to, and a very calm voice directs your mental cool-down. I would recommend a 5 minute meditation twice every day (plus some simple stretching) to relax your body and clear your mind. If you have a little extra time, you can alternate between stretching (5-10 min) and bursts of meditation (5-10 min). I did this just last night, and trust me – it cut through tension like nobody’s business.
3. Drink tea when you need some comfort and inspiration. Hot tea relaxes the throat and is oh-so-soothing. Drinking tea at work or home helps me to clear the mental cobwebs. I recently started drinking tea at work (even after finishing my morning thermos of green tea that I bring from home). I would recommend chamomile, peppermint, or spearmint. You can also double up on teas, and do a bag of green plus a bag of herbal (peach, mint, pomegranate, etc.).
4. Chew gum when you’re thinking hard, or are nervous about something. Studies have shown that chewing gum and pacing help you to think faster and more clearly. So, if you’re working hard on a project in your office, chew a couple squares of minty gum to keep your productivity chugging along. Remember to spit it out before meeting with a customer or client though. It’s unprofessional to look like a cow chewing cud in front of a someone you’re doing business with. Also remember, chewing gum does not refresh the body and mind – it revs it up, but manages your stress while you work hard. You should still take time to relax!
5. Close your eyes and massage them lightly with your finger tips. I don’t know about you, but when I sit at the computer all day my eyes glow red. Closing your eyes gives them a chance to self lubricate and massaging them relaxes the muscles. It feels heavenly – give it a try : )
6. Close your eyes. Relax your shoulders. Breathe in for 6 counts, then breathe out for 6 counts. Repeat this 3-5 times. Smile when you’re done! If you don’t feel like smiling yet, try the whole set again, until you feel more relaxed. Breathing well is so undervalued in our quick-fix society. But I cannot tell you how important it is to health and happiness for anyone and everyone. Practicing this breathing exercise at least a couple times a day, in conjunction with some of these other stress management techniques, will make a difference. I guarantee it.
These 6 quick tips have helped me manage my stress tremendously. I hope they are helpful for you too! Please share any of your stress-busting tips with me. I’d love to try them!