It may all start with a simple “yes”. A “yes” to that seemingly small project, or to the extra tasks that you underestimate. All those yes’s may end up amounting to a long laundry list of things to check off, leading you to the stress you didn’t sign up for. Before you know it, you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
It goes without saying that stress can have a huge impact on every aspect of your life. Ideally, you would wish the stress away, but in reality it may just come down to learning to manage it.
Here are five practical ways to manage stress then and there, whether it traces back to your to-do’s, or to an unfortunate circumstance.
Focus on breathing
Breathing techniques done right (and often) can calm both your body and mind within just a few minutes!
Breathe in slowly through your nose and watch your belly fill with air. Hold it for one second and slowly breathe out through your nose as you count to three. Repeat.
Breathe in through your se and image that you’re breathing in calm air. Imagine that calm air entering, and spreading throughout your body. And as you exhale slowly, imagine that the air going out is taking out all the stress and tension within you.
Make your body move
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “runner’s high”. The “high” is what runners get after they’ve sprinted a few laps, which results in a rush of endorphins (the brain’s natural mood boosting chemicals). Exercise offers natural stress relief by raising your endorphin levels, while lowering cortisol and other stress hormones at the same time!
Do something creative
Did you notice that whenever your hands are moving and focused on a task, your mind drifts off into utter concentration? Doing something artistic like oil painting, coloring, knitting, building, etc, can do wonders for your state of mind. It goes beyond just being a “distraction” and becomes an outlet for your mind to go to after being in a stressed state.
Drink some tea
We mean herbal tea in particular. For thousands of years, people have used herbal teas to improve their health and to simply enjoy. Herbal teas are known to help with stress, anxiety, and even better sleep. While finding the right tea for you may be a process of trial and error, the search is worth it. Maybe start with chamomile and mint teas — two teas that are especially calming.
We love drinking our tea in our Hasami Porcelain mug!
Write down possible solutions
Sometimes, putting pen to paper does the trick. If there’s a particular problem that’s causing your stress, make a list of possible solutions in detail. Understanding that you have actionable options and even a concrete plan can help reduce the stress at hand.
Remember, the more you practice stress management, the easier it becomes! Best of luck!