Whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all subjected to (varying degrees of) stress fairly often, if not on a daily basis. And, if you’re especially busy (who isn’t?), the thought of acknowledging it or dealing with stress just adds to it. Most of the time it comes down to putting yourself last when your well-being really should come first—without entirely neglecting your other priorities like work and relationships. Fortunately, there are a few easy hacks that can help relieve stress (most in a few minutes or less) and they don’t require putting your life on hold—because who has time for that? Below find three simple stress-relieving practices that will fit into even the busiest schedule.
Try Your Hand at Journaling
By taking just 10 to 15 minutes (usually right before bedtime or after you wake up in the morning) to write down your thoughts and feelings—or even just your stream of consciousness—you’ll find instant relief. Jotting things down on paper frees up space in your mind and puts negative thoughts and feelings behind you, allowing you to take a more proactive and positive approach. Not only does journaling (or thought-dumping) provide relief, reflecting on your writing may also help you identify and understand what is troubling you or causing you the most stress, and in turn, remove whatever that cause from your life or daily routine.
Practice Being Present
The fancy word for this is mindfulness but since that terminology may have an intimidating ring to it, we’ll stick with the approach of simply being present. This means focusing on a specific task without getting distracted or lost in unrelated thoughts. It can be as easy as choose one activity a day to be fully and truly present for, be it a long, warm shower or chopping vegetables for dinner. By remaining focused on one activity without letting stray thoughts intervene, you’ll give your mind a much-needed break from taking you in one million different directions at once.
Sink Into a Simple Stretch
Stretching may be low on your priority list but it can have a huge impact on your well-being both physically and mentally. Moving your limbs and positioning your body into specific poses, especially any variation of a twist, will stimulate fresh blood flow to help re-energize both your body and your brain. Coupled with conscious, rhythmic breathing, holding a pose or stretch while concentrating on your breath will calm your nervous system and quiet your mind, relieving stress on the spot. Start by holding one stretch for 8 to10 breaths per day and incorporate more as you go. Let your body work for you.
How do you de-stress throughout the day? Share your hacks in the comments below.