Whether you work within the four corners of the office or outside in the hot sun; catching a break is pretty difficult. And when you do get home from work, the chores waiting for you can add up to your already messed up state of mind. A stack of unfinished paperwork to greet you in the early morning, an unsorted mess of equipment and building material, or a pile of dirty dishes and laundry can really do a number on your patience and energy level. This leads to stress which can make difficult work even harder.
Luckily, there is a number of ways to get through those problems, without calling in sick or freaking out. Here are some of the most practical tips for instant mind relaxation.
Tips For Instant Mind Relaxation
- SIP TEA. Tea is rich in antioxidants and is an effective way of fighting stress. A cup of lemon balm tea or green tea will help soothe your tensed nerves and provide refreshment.
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH. It’s not that hard, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth in a slow, rhythmic manner for 2-3 minutes for instant mind relaxation.
- POSTURE CONTROL. Being tired can cause many of us to slouch, and while it seems easier than sitting straight, it actually causes more problems. Pull the chair closer to the desk and sit with your chest out. Ease your shoulders and lean back a little and you’ll feel the weight slowly drift away.
- LISTEN TO MUSIC. Plug in your earphones and play your favorite tracks while sitting in a comfortable position. Studies have shown that listening to music can boost productivity and renew energy, depending on an individuals’ choice. Acoustic fingerstyle guitar or piano music will do nicely.
- HAND MASSAGE. Gently pinch and squeeze the fleshy part between your thumb and forefinger with your other hand, gradually increasing the pressure until it starts to hurt a bit. Massage that area for 1-2 minutes and do the same for the other hand for instant mind relaxation.
- STRESS BALLS. 8 am to 5 pm is a lot of time for frustrations and negative energy to accumulate. In order to relieve stress in a non-violent manner, acquire a stress ball (that small, bright colored, squishy hand ball) and squeeze the stress away.
- ORGANIZE. A cluttered working environment is a stressful working environment. Organize your pens and rulers, straighten paper stacks, clear out crumpled notes, and get rid of pencil shavings. A tidy desk equals instant mind relaxation.
- BRAIN GAMES. Stress is often caused by thinking too much. Doing a crossword puzzle, solving a rubik’s cube, or playing 4 pics 1 word on your phone can help take your mind off your worries.
- SNUGGLE YOUR PET. Unless it’s a fish or a tarantula, pets make for great cuddle buddies. Whether you’re a cat or a dog person, interaction with a pet can ease social anxiety and boost self-esteem.
- BUBBLE WRAP. Popping bubble wrap for a few minutes not only gives instant mind relaxation, but also brings back that nostalgia of being a kid; it takes you back to the time when you don’t have too many responsibilities.
- TALK TO SOMEONE. Striking up a conversation with another person helps lighten whatever burden you’re carrying; especially if that someone is a friend who is ready to listen to you.
- CLOSE YOUR EYES. You don’t necessarily have to take a nap, just close your eyes for a few minutes and imagine being in a pool or by the beach while breathing slowly.
- PLAN A VACATION. Nothing promotes instant mind relaxation like planning a way to reward yourself for the holidays. Browse vacation catalogs or magazines and picture out how you want your day off to go.
- STRETCH. Stand and reach up as far as you can, then try reaching for the ground with your knees straight. Do left and right side stretches and support your back for a back bend. After yawning once or twice you’ll feel instantly refreshed.
- LOOK OUT THE WINDOW. Whether it’s the rain falling on your lawn, or the beautiful city lights, a change in scenery will ease your mind and help you take a load off.
- WATER. Staying hydrated is also an effective way of getting instant mind relaxation. Drink a glass of cool water every once in a while to soothe your throat and calm your head.
- SLIPPERS. Tight socks and shoes result in unhealthy blood flow and can contribute to stress. Loosening your shoelaces and wearing slippers or flip-flops will promote good blood circulation.
- CHEW GUM. Studies have shown that chewing bubble gum can lower cortisol levels, thus reducing stress.
- COUNT. Counting slowly is also a good way of achieving instant mind relaxation. But you can also try counting in an unfamiliar language. I like to do the Korean counting: hanah, dool, set, net, dasot, yasot, ilgop, yadol, ahop, yool. Say it slowly and out loud.
- DESSERT. A small ice cream cone, or a small bite of chocolate will not only soothe the taste buds, but will also leave your mind feeling refreshed and relaxed. Just don’t overeat.
- WALK. Talk a short walk through the hallway or outside the office when it feels like your responsibilities are starting to overwhelm you. This will ease the tension significantly and provide good exercise as well.
- BATHROOM BREAKS. Take time to relieve yourself in the bathroom regularly to stimulate good body functions.
- PLAY AN INSTRUMENT. Guitar, flute, violin, or piano, playing whatever music instrument of your choice will divert your focus from stressful things and will help develop a sense of inner peace as long as you learn to enjoy the music you make.
- AROMATHERAPY. Tea tree, lavender, or scented candles can help alleviate a gloomy mood and stimulate smell receptors linked to the hypothalamus that controls emotions.
- LAUGH. Smiling and laughing promotes healthy blood flow and boosts immunity. Watch funny YouTube videos or vines for a few laughs and you’ll have a better mood and lower stress levels almost immediately.
Image: Asja Boroš