People who claim to have found the secret to a stress-free life, please contact me ASAP. I would love to know your secret— as long as drugs are off the table!
For the rest of us who struggle daily with heaps of responsibilities and are pitilessly slapped by technological entrapment, I have found that these four tricks do help me release some of the bottled-up stress. Try them, but don’t stress over them not working immediately. Give it time, and relax!
Take a bubble bath
Your kids might be starving—despite just having finished their dinners— your hubbie is asking for nowhere-to-be found items, and you’re trying to finish that phone call. Sound familiar? Instead of sinking further down into despair, proudly and assertively walk out of the room and into your bathroom.
Hot baths are the most enjoyable way you can fight stress. If bubbles and heavenly fragrances are included, all the better! Your body surrenders to the joy of relaxation and you cannot help but feel calmer as you de-stress and enjoy the warmth and perfume. The setback is that it will only last for as long as the water is hot, but it is definitely a great stress-reliever.
Get better at what you do
No, I’m not kidding you. Most of our stress springs from our inability to complete a task, or our mediocre performance at it. For instance, if you need to write an essay for school, or a report for work, and your reading pace is slow or average, you’ll find that the time stress added to the project stress makes the task harder than it needs to be. But if you’re a speed reader, and you know how to read whole chapters in minutes, and entire books in only a couple of hours, then instantly your stress level will decrease, and you’ll have more valuable time to focus on your writing.
If you’re not currently a speed reader, what needs improvement? Do you need improved speed reading skills, or to get better at your grammar, or a better vocabulary? Identify the skills that could use some refining, and work on the things you can improve, see how your reading speed will lead to becoming more efficient at work – and how your stress level will lower substantially.
When you’re at the office and your workload just keeps getting bigger and bigger, stress seems inevitable. But think again. You’ll be 200% more productive if you can take a minute to relax and then get back to work with a stress-free mind, right? So take a quick break and call up something funny to watch – maybe the one your friend forwarded to you that you haven’t had a chance to view. Whether it’s a cute cat video, a make-you-wince fail video, or a funny prank, there must be one video that you always watch to feel better.
Beware of getting too absorbed and forgetting all about the world— yes, it happens to the best of us! Pinning humorous memes for two hours straight when you should be doing reports and preparing presentations is not what we have in mind. Just remember that laughter is a natural stress-killer, so don’t forget to make it part of your life.
Don’t forget to breathe
When stress is too overwhelming to even handle, just go outside. The concrete cities we’ve built somehow magnetize stress. Go to places where your eyes don’t meet skyscrapers but are able to see far ahead.
Open spaces give us a sense of freedom and control, something our packed office spaces don’t; they tend to suffocate us and make us panic. Go out and just breathe. Be conscious of how air fills up your lungs and then slowly eases out. This will release most of your stress and allow you to get back to whatever it was that you were doing with a different approach.