With busier work schedules, college, or moving children from activity to activity, our days and environments become increasingly stressful. Here are some tips to help you slow down and regain your calm and focus:
1. Deep breathing. Take a deep breath, hold it, and then let it out slowly. Try counting to 10 while you breathe out. Repeat as many times as needed to get rid of your tension.
2. Self-massage. Massage your own shoulders, neck, head or lower-back. It can be even better if you have your partner do this for you.
3. Take a walk. At work, take time out to walk around the building or block. Try the deep breathing technique during your walk.
4. Exercise. The endorphins running through you after exercise help rid your body of stress. If you choose to exercise outside, you also get the benefit of quiet time to think.
5. Get outdoors. Even if it’s not exercising, head to the park. Sit on your front steps. Enjoy the sun.
6. Sex. Studies have shown over and over that sex can lower stress in the body and help improve mood. A positive sexual experience can lower your blood pressure, which can impact the rest of your day.
7. Take a day off. Sometimes you need a personal day for yourself. Practice the steps above during the day or just veg out.
8. Meditate. Sit somewhere quiet with your eyes closed. Relax and focus on your breathing. When other thoughts come into your head, acknowledge them, and let them leave, then focus again on your breathing. Do this for as long as you can.
9. Read. Pick up a good book that will captivate your attention completely. This will get your mind off that project at work or the stressful conversation you had with your friend.
10. Love. Spend time with those most important to you. Focus on them and forget about all else.
11. Disconnect. Turn off your phone, computer, all electronics.
12. Take a nap. Sleep for 30 minutes and re-set.
These steps will help you slow down and decompress. If you are experiencing anxiety and need to speak with a counselor, please call.
Zenhabits.net, Leo Babauta 2007