Learning to manage your stress is a skill. When the situation gets tough and the pressure reaches a boiling point, do you get angry or do you know what to do to lower your stress and aggravation levels in an instant?
Here are some techniques that should help diffuse your tension in just a few minutes.
- Take a deep breath. When you get stressed, your heart rate goes up and your breathing becomes shallow and more rapid, making you feel even more stressed. Slow down your breathing and be mindful of the air you take in. Hold your breath for a moment then exhale slowly. As you exhale, release the tension you are holding in. If it helps, maybe you can even whistle a happy tune. To increase your level of relaxation, close your eyes as you slow down your breathing.
- Walk away. Sometimes, the quickest way to de-stress is to remove yourself from the source of your aggravation. For example, if your child is in a screaming and crying fit, you may need to take a step back until you are able to calm down before dealing with it. if you can’t physically walk away, close your eyes to shut out everyone else, even for a moment.
- Put things into perspective. When faced with a difficulty that is causing you stress, remember this particular issue or situation is merely a speck in the overall scheme of things. Unless it’s life or death, take a step back and remember that there’s always a solution. Perhaps the problem isn’t as grave as you think? Maybe it’s not all up to you to solve.
- Think positive thoughts. Repeat your positive affirmations to help you calm down. If you’re stressed because you are stumped on how to solve a problem, say to yourself that you are smart and you can handle the situation. Repeat your mantra “I am calm and collected” or “I am unfazed by challenges”. Saying positive things to yourself will redirect your destructive thoughts towards something more constructive.
- Listen to some calming music. If you have an iPod, plug your earphones and listen to some soothing music. Download some Zen music and let the soothing sounds of chirping birds and the ocean waves de-stress you. Avoid listening to heavy rock and fast paced music, since the thumping beats may only serve to excite you.
- Go outside and find nature. One of the quickest ways to de-stress is to go outdoors. Being cooped up indoors for long periods of time is unnatural. Touch a tree, breath in the scent of fresh flowers or look up to the sky. Watch a sunset or little animals scamper up the tree. If you live by the water, look at the way the light reflects the water. Communing with nature, even for a brief moment, has a rejuvenating and healing effect on the human spirit, so take it in.
Do any of these tricks when you feel the need to de-stress immediately. You’ll feel the effects within seconds or minutes. You may not be able to avoid stressful situations, but with these methods you’ll be able to deal with your stress in a calmer way.