Train delayed again, internet crashed at a vital moment, tight deadline at work, not to mention the pile of unopened bills on your doormat; it’s going to be another one of ‘those days’. When life feels like an uphill struggle get back on track by following these 7 tried and tested tips to lower stress instantly.
7 Fast and Surprising Ways to Lower Stress Instantly
1. Eat More Cake
OK, admittedly we’re talking oatcakes rather than the chocolate and fresh cream variety! Oats are the magic ingredient you need more of. Eating oats is a traditional remedy for anxiety because of their calming effect on the nervous system. Like all wholegrains, oats are an important source of B vitamins which help boost the body’s immune system and raise energy levels.
They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates which stabilize blood sugar. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can increase irritability and cause you to panic under pressure, mimicking stress symptoms. So to help avoid the nervous exhaustion associated with prolonged stress snack on oatcakes or have a healthy bowl of porridge to start your day.
2. Imagine Your Boss on the Loo
When pressures at work are raising your stress levels, thinking funny thoughts can help you to lower stress instantly. If you don’t fancy the thought of your boss in this embarrassing situation then imagine yourself thin, successful, on that beach in Bali, you get the picture.
Visualizing yourself and your life in a more positive way can lower stress instantly. You can harness the power of your mind to relieve stress using hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is extensively used as an effective treatment for stress caused by anxieties and phobias. It is basically deep relaxation coupled with visualization and it can give you the tools to put yourself into a more positive mental state, and help you learn to relax in stressful situations.
Read also: How to Visualize What You Want
3. Tickle Your Toes
Research suggests the flexibility of people who can touch their toes means they are less likely to have stiff arteries, which are linked to high blood pressure, a symptom of stress. Long term stress can raise blood pressure so to help lower it and improve your flexibility try a relaxing Pilates or yoga exercises.
Both disciplines help promote harmony of body and mind to leave you with greater mental and emotional balance. In fact, any form of exercise can help reduce the stiffness and tension that builds up in our muscles and burn off the negative chemical effect stress has on our body. So instead of sitting at your desk this lunchtime, why not pull on those walking boots and get outside for a brisk 10 minute walk for a stress busting boost of endorphins.
4. Have a Few Drinks
So, sorry to break it to you, those few drinks need to consist of good old fashioned water as even slight dehydration can sap energy leaving you feeling more stressed and run down.
A glass or three of wine relieves stress by helping you to unwind, right? Wrong. Many people deal with stress by drinking alcohol but it can aggravate stress. Although it helps you to relax initially, a long-term high intake can cause sleep disturbance and mood swings. If drinking to unwind has become a habit and you’re finding it difficult to cut out that after work drink, maybe you need help to treat the cause of your habit.
At places such as The Therapy Lounge you can find help to unlearn negative patterns of behaviour that can lead to over reliance on alcohol and other ‘crutches’ such as cigarettes and caffeine .
Read also: Health Benefits of Drinking Water Daily
5. Quit Your Job
Not permanently of course, we all have to make a living, just try to quit work at the end of your working day by leaving work at the workplace. In other words try not to regularly bring paper work and work worries home with you. If you work from home set work-time boundaries and stick to them.
Finding the right work-life balance is critical for your physical and mental well-being. Try to accept you’ll never get everything done and set aside blocks of time for all the competing demands on your life. Make social engagements well in advance so you can organize your work to accommodate them. Try keeping a detailed diary for a week so you can see which areas of your life need re-balancing. Prioritize by writing a to-do-list ordered in terms of importance and urgency and there is a good chance you are able to lower stress instantly.
6. Ditch the Duster
A clean and clutter free environment can help calm the mind, so this is not a suggestion to let your home go to rack and ruin, just don’t let your precious spare time get gobbled up by household chores.
Stop striving for domestic perfection and get yourself a new hobby. Try a hands-on hobby, even just DIY, as doing things with your hands obliges the mind to focus and can help remove worry as you simply won’t have room in your brain for it.
If you’re feeling artistic try something creative like drawing or painting as developing your creativity can lower stress and give you a sense of accomplishment to boost yourself esteem. A hobby can help you relax, keep your mind active and stave off stress related depression by keeping you interested in what’s going on around you.
7. Be Unfaithful
Well, to your group of friends anyway. We often adopt the mindset of those we spend a long time in the company of, so maybe spend less time with that negative friend who’s always offloading their worries and woes on you and try to spend more time with positive, upbeat people.
Building new relationships can help you explore your identity and communicate emotionally. Studies prove that those of us with a close family and wide circle of friends tend to have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels and higher immunity to disease. People with a good support network are less stressed and live longer than those without, so pick up the phone and plan a get together.
Just remember, where your stress levels are concerned, having fun can only ever be beneficial. At the very least, if these tips have made you smile, your blood pressure will be lower, your muscles more relaxed and your mind eased…maybe laughter really is the best medicine after all!
How do you lower stress instantly – feel free to share your tip in the comments below.
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