We are all familiar with the “S” word. Not that one, but the other one that creeps into our thoughts at night, at home, or on the drive home from work. That’s right, Stress. Whether it’s expectation from ourselves or someone else, we can easily be brought into a stressful mindset. For many of us we tend to build unhealthy behaviours that temporarily alleviates stress we have in our lives. Whether it’s drinking alcohol, over eating, or smoking these behaviour eventually add up and take a toll on our health.
We wanted to share some obvious, and not so obvious ways, to naturally stave off stress and get into a relaxed mind set. Here’s a couple of things you can do anywhere to start managing your stress in a proactive and positive way.
4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Place the tip of your tongue at the back of your front teeth, at the gum ridge line. Exhale your breath completely through your mouth while forcing out air. With your mouth closed, start inhaling through your nose for four seconds.
Hold your breath for seven seconds and exhale through your mouth while blowing out hard. Continue the cycle four times. This will help you relax and get to sleep.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Focus on using this technique from your head to your toes. Begin by tightening and relaxing the muscles in your jaw, your neck, and so on. By tightening and releasing your muscles you become more aware of what a tense muscle feels like so you can ease tension consciously throughout the day.
Mix it up, start from your toes and work towards your head. Tense your individual muscles for five seconds and relax for thirty seconds. Repeat several times until you feel less tense. A great exercise to practice at your desk or while driving in the car.
We aren’t talking about running 10km a day here. Try starting with a vigorous walk to get that blood pumping. Make your walk a destination like getting a pint of milk or something else at the store to give your exercise time purpose. Swimming is also a low impact exercise you can do which works out all your muscles. Physical activity lessens your stress and helps you manage it throughout the day.