Life is busy. These days it seems we are all on the run to jobs, to school, to family events, to work events, to the airport, from the airport! It can be hard to take a second and slow down, particularly if we always have things to check off on our list. The thing we should be checking in with though, is stress. If things go on for too long, or suddenly build up, we can quickly and easily find ourselves in stressful situations. We need to find the time to care for ourselves and de-stress. “Compassion for ourselves means compassion for others.” – Brené Brown.
So even if you are strapped for time each day, when you feel those heat levels rising inside you, take a crack at one of the suggestions below and see if it doesn’t improve your day.
10 Quick Stress Busters
1. Negative Ions
Ions are molecules that seep into your blood stream and help create serotonin. The ions gain electrical charge from nature (negative ions, as opposed to flat charged ions, registered as positive). This is why we feel so amazing when we get a breathe of fresh air, or walk by a lake or the ocean. Get outside. Sometimes in order to get positive you need to find the negatives!
2. Quick sprint
Get your endorphins going. If all you have is five minutes, jog around the block. It will release the negative or anxious energy that has been building up inside your body.
Studies have shown that a lot of good feelings are released through human contact – particularly a good kiss. If you can get a quick hug and cheek kiss from a friend, great; If you can find someone to have a pash with, even better. The “love” hormone oxytocin can dramatically reduce stress levels when released through kissing. Love is the answer.
Clean up. Tidy. An organized space means an organized mind. If there is clutter or anything dirty surrounding your day it can mean added and unnecessary anxiety. Cleaning is the easiest stress buster there is. You can do a lot or a little. It’s in your hands.
This might seem crazy but to let your frustration out with a good old scream can be just the ticket. Being in close proximity to others we are often kept at a relatively inoffensive level of noise. So if you can’t let out a blood-curdler without alerting the police, find somewhere underwater. Go for a quick dip in the pool, or the beach, or even just dunk your head in a sink of water. No one will hear you!
Bust out a tune! Like screaming, singing is a total release. It is much more emotionally rewarding than people realise. Forget anyone is around and just sing your heart out, wherever you are.
7. Act the opposite
If you are stressed to the point where you are having negative emotions, hard as it might seem, try to do the opposite of what you are feeling. Feel like kicking and screaming? Breathe, shake hands, and smile. Feel like yelling at your kids? Take a breath and then talk to them warmly. The more you practice this the easier it will become. It will also bring your stress levels down, and you will feel proud of yourself.
8. Step back
Just literally take a step back. Step out. Step off. Step anywhere but toward the situation that is fuelling your stress. Take five. Remember your purpose. And try again.
9. Say “Stop” to your emotions
Our thoughts can take us on a spiral train to crazy town. They move like lightning, and we often arrive somewhere miserable before we know it. When you feel this happening, when you realize your thoughts are swirling dangerously, put your hand up and literally just say “STOP”. It will jolt the process and give you time to reassess. The train will stop in its tracks.
10. Chill out
Literally chill out. If your temperature levels are rising and you are feeling the burn of stress, step into a freezer or fridge for five minutes and take some deep breaths. If you don’t have one large enough, a cold shower will suffice. Just don’t stay in too long — you wanna be cool, but not icy!
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com