In spite of the technological advances the modern era has brought us, people are now more stressed out than before. Therefore, the need to reduce stress in our lives is now more important than ever. We must take responsibility for overcoming the challenges caused by our own, busy lifestyles; otherwise, we may suffer from the following symptoms of stress and can impact our health and productivity:
- lack of sleep
- lack of motivation
Fortunately, there are a number of simple yet effective relaxation techniques that can be mastered in a few minutes, whether you do them when you wake up, after work, or during limited breaks. Here are eight examples:
1. Undertake Light Yoga
Yoga is a diverse hobby and includes numerous poses and stretches that are designed to develop flexibility, suppleness, and mental focus. By learning a selection of poses and practicing these on a daily basis (between 15 and 20 minutes), you can actively reduce stress while maintaining clarity of thought.
2. Breathe Deeply
Deep breathing is actually a basic yoga pose, and is known to lower cortisol levels and alleviate anxiety. The key is to breathe slowly and through your nose, while maintaining your center of gravity throughout to optimize results.
3. Laugh Regularly
Laughter actually releases endorphins into the brain, which help counteract high levels of stress and the onset of fatigue. You can benefit from this by enjoying the company of friends, or watching 10 to 30 minutes of comedy on a daily basis whenever the opportunity arises.
4. Drink Black Tea on a Daily Basis
A recent study revealed that the consumption of black tea dramatically lowers post-stress cortisol levels, while also creating a relaxed and centered mood. Simply make this your regular morning and evening drink and gradually reap the benefits.
It’s never easy to stay healthy with a busy schedule. That’s why you need a program to keep yourself motivated to achieve this goal.
5. Try Guided Visualization
According to sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus (PhD), guided visualization is a technique that reduces stress by triggering a relaxation response in the muscles. Simply lie on your back or recline in a comfortable chair, before visualizing a relaxing scene that is relevant to you and focusing on this intently. Along with controlled breathing, this can block negative thoughts and force your body to release tension.
6. Consider Self-Hypnosis
There are similar techniques that can also induce a self-hypnotic state, which utilizes meditation and the sub-conscious mind to aid stress-relief. You will need to recline in a quiet and undisturbed space while gradually training your mind to avoid common distractions and negative thoughts.
7. Indulge Your Creative Urges
When we engage the creative part of our brains, we begin to focus on something constructive. This takes our mind off intrusive thoughts and has been adapted into a form of self-help therapy. It is also proven to reduce stress-related conditions, so try to identify a vehicle for your creative passion and start a project that you can work on for a few minutes at a time.
8. Make Physical Contact with Loved Ones Whenever Possible
Not only does regular physical contact remind us that we are not alone, but it’s also something that we can use during the normal course of our day. Different types of contact also offer various benefits: Hugging is capable of reducing blood pressure, and a simple kiss is known to release chemical agents that alleviate hormonal deficiencies and lower cortisol levels.
This also reinforces the benefit of forming positive relationships. Like our other examples, it is a simple technique that can alleviate stress and enhance the quality of your life.
Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com