Techniques That Will Lower Your Stress Levels

stress and laughter

stress and meditationEveryone suffers from stress, it’s just simply a part of life. Some people handle stress much better than others and they are a lot better off because of it. If you are someone that tends to have difficulty dealing with it, we’ve got a few suggestions for how you can learn to lower your levels of stress. You don’t even have to take off for a spa weekend or go to a retreat. Each of these suggestions can help you lower your stress in just 15 minutes.

Meditation

Just a few minutes of meditation each day can help to ease your stress and the anxiety that comes with it. Research has suggested that if you meditate on a daily basis it can actually alter your brain’s neural pathways. Meditation can also make you more resilient toward stress.

Meditation is quite simple. All you need to do is find a comfortable spot with both of your feet on the floor and sit as straight as you can. Next, you’ll want to close your eyes and then focus all of your attention on reciting silently or out loud some sort of positive mantra like “I feel peaceful.” or “I really love who I am.” You will also want to put one hand on your stomach to make sure that your mantra is in sync with your breathing. Also, make sure to let distracting thoughts just float away like clouds in the sky.

Deep Breathing

You can take a five-minute break from your schedule to do some deep breathing. During this five minutes making sure that all you focus on is breathing. You will want to sit up as straight as you can and make sure that you close your eyes. Take one hand and put it on your stomach. Next, inhale slowly through your nose. Make sure to feel your breath start in your stomach and feel it as it works its way to your head. Once you’ve done that reverse this process when you exhale through your mouth.

By breathing deeply you can counteract the effects of your stress because it slows down your heart rate and in turn can lower your blood pressure.

Be Present in the Moment

You can combat your stress by slowing things down a bit. Just take five minutes to focus on just your behavior by being aware of it. Pay attention to how the air around you feels like on your face when you are walking around. You may also want to become aware of how your feet feel when they hit the ground or floor. Another thing you can do is when you are eating try to enjoy the food’s texture and how each bite tastes.

Often when you spend a little time in the present moment and then focus on all of your senses, it can make the stress feel much less tense.

Reach Out to Someone

Your own personal and social network can be a great tool for handling your stress. It always helps to be able to sit down and talk to other people. Online and over the phone are good but it’s really much better if the conversation is one that’s face to face. It’s important to share with someone that you trust what’s going on in your life. By doing this, you can get a fresh perspective. It also helps to keep this connection with a friend or loved one, much stronger.

Pay Attention to Your Body

By mentally scanning your body in order to get a sense of how your stress affects your body every day. Take a few minutes to lie down on your back. You can also sit in a comfortable spot with your feet comfortably on the floor. Next, you’ll want to start from your toes and gradually work your way up to your head. The whole time pay attention to how your body is feeling.

Make sure to become aware of the different parts of your body and whether or not these areas feel loose or tight, but, don’t change anything. Take a couple of minutes to imagine every breath flowing to each of your body parts. Make sure to repeat the process as your focus moves up your entire body. Make sure to pay close attention to all the sensations you notice.

Take Some Decompression Time

Take a 10-minute break and put a warm wrap around your shoulders and neck. While you have the wrap on make sure to close your eyes and try to relax the muscles in your face, upper chest, neck, and your lower back. Take the wrap off and then take a tennis ball or a roller made of foam to massage yourself with.

Put the ball or roller between your back and a wall. Next, lean into this ball and then put some gentle pressure on it for 15 seconds. After that move the tennis ball to a different spot and apply more pressure.

Make Sure to Laugh

Laughter truly can be the best medicine. A really good belly laugh is a great way to lighten your mental load and relieve stress. Laughing lowers cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that your body produces. It also helps to increase your endorphin levels. Endorphins help to boost your brain and help your mood immensely. You can also watch your favorite TV sitcom or what a funny movie you know will make you laugh.

Turn On the Music

Studies have shown that by listening to music that is stress and musicsoothing and that you enjoy will lower your heart rate, blood pressure and ease the anxiety that can be caused by stress. Sit down and create a list of songs that includes nature sounds such as a bubbling brook, birds singing, ocean waves or a list of soothing instrumental music. When you listen to this music, make sure that you let your mind focus on the various melodies, singers if there are any, and the instruments that you hear in each piece.

You don’t have to stick with soft music or nature sounds. You may be the kind of person that would rather blow off some steam by doing a little bit of rocking out to your favorite upbeat music or consider singing as loud as you can while listening to your favorite songs.

Move Around

You don’t have to be a jogger or a runner in order to get that “runner’s high”. Any kind of exercise like walking or yoga can help to relieve your stress, anxiety or depression. Exercise of any kind will help your brain release your natural “feel-good” chemicals. It also gives your body the opportunity to practice dealing with your stress in a positive manner. Just take a quick walk around the block, climb some stairs or just do a few stretching exercises such as shrugging your shoulders or head rolls. Even those simple exercises can help relieve your stress.

Don’t Forget to be Grateful

Finally, it’s very important to be grateful. You can do this by keeping a “gratitude journal” in order to keep a list of all the things that are positive in your life. Writing them down will make it easier for you to remember to be grateful on a daily basis.