How to De stress

Three Methods:Relaxing QuicklyFinding Serious RelaxationMaking the Time for Relaxation

Stress is a necessary, but frustrating part of life. It helps motivate us into creativity, helping us achieve at high levels, but it also wears us out. Overwhelming stress has a variety of physiological health effects that can amplify over time, leaving you feeling drained and listless. Learning to de-stress regularly and keep yourself relaxed is essential to moving through an increasingly complicated working world. Learn some quick tips to get relaxed in the middle of work, as well as some more deep-relaxation techniques to integrate, and how to make your relaxation a priority.

Method 1
Relaxing Quickly

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    Walk away from whatever is stressing you out. Whether you're at home, at work, or working on schoolwork, it's important to give yourself periodic breaks from whatever it is that's stressing you out. Even if you're feeling rushed to get something done, even if you're busier than you can believe, you only need to grab 10 or 15 minutes to do a quick de-stress routine and calm yourself down, so you can get back to the task full-strength.
    • It's good to physically leave the space. If you're working on a paper, don't just close the window and start watching YouTube. Get up. Take a walk. See something that's not a computer for a while.
    • If you're busy watching your kids, or you're in a test, or can't physically leave the place that's stressing you out, you can still take a moment or two to center yourself and de-stress. You don't need to move or anything to calm yourself.
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    Breathe deeply. Step back from what you're doing and close your eyes, or look at a blank wall, or through a window outside. Take 5-10 deep breaths, holding it for about 5 seconds, then releasing each slowly. Just doing this for a few minutes helps to bring your nervous system back into alignment, helping to calm the fight or flight response associated with high stress periods.[1]
    • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach and breathe in through your nose, enough so that the hand on your stomach rises, but the hand on your chest moves very little.
    • Exhale through your mouth. Push out as much air as you can and contract your abs. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little, counting slowly while you inhale and exhale.
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    Take a warm bath. Taking a quick soak in warm water can be therapeutic, both in terms of stress and your physical well-being. Sit in the bath, wash your self, and practice your breathing exercises to give yourself a soothing stress-reducer.
    • Baths should be warm, but not too hot, around 100-110 degrees F (37 C). Extremely hot baths actually ramp up your nervous system, and the relaxation is a bit of an illusion. Homeopathically speaking, hot baths do more to misalign your body and mind than a comfortable soak in a gently warm one.[2]
    • Combine warm baths with stretching for added therapeutic effect. Warm water softens muscles through a “thixotropic” effect, softening and making your muscles more pliable, making it easy to work out knots and stress spots with stretching.
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    Have a quiet cup of tea. If you can't take a bath, taking a minute with a hot cup of green or herbal tea can have quick therapeutic effects, and give you a little treat as well, perfect for stress reduction.
    • Green tea has a high concentration of EGCG and antioxidants, helping to fight various cancers, as well as improving cholesterol levels and heart health.
    • Tea with hibiscus has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels in some patients, making it ideal for stress relief.[3] Many teas include hibiscus, so read the ingredients to find one you like.
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    Call a friend and vent. Reaching out to your social network can help you de-stress in several ways. By calling a friend you can forget about your worries or problems for a little while, and allowing yourself to say things out loud can give you the feeling of "releasing" your tension into the world, even if your friend can't do much to solve your problems.
    • If you are stressing about a decision, you can also share what's stressing you and get their advice and come closer to making a decision.
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    Play some ambient music. For many people, listening to wordless music is the equivalent of staring off into space, but for your ears. If you can, try playing some ambient drones or other soothing music quietly to help distract your brain from what's stressing you out, for a few minutes at least.
    • Check out YouTube for mixes of quiet ambience, from fire crackling to static hiss to burbling brooks, you can listen to soothing noises for free, sometimes looped to long sleep-able lengths.
    • Contrary to popular belief, there's no style or genre of music that's more relaxing than others. Some people like to bliss out to Mozart, while others need to blow off some steam with High on Fire or Darkthrone. Find your anti-stress band.
    • Many people have found success relaxing to Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos on YouTube, which feature whispering, tapping, personal attention, and a variety of other relaxing sound triggers.
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    Make some noise, if you need to. Primal therapy, sometimes called "scream" therapy, was famously practiced by John Lennon, among other celebrities, and it involves periodically getting in touch with your primal rage centers, through ritualized yelling and other methods.[4]
    • While it's efficacy is debatable, and it ventures into regression therapy territory, it's true that giving a yell can trigger endorphin release, which can have a euphoric and calming effect.[5]
    • Go to a place where you won't disturb anyone and scream wordlessly for 10 or 15 seconds. But don't do it for too long, you might get a sore throat or damage your vocal chords.
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    Sweat out the stress. If you can steal 30 minutes of time or so, getting outside and exercising is a great way of de-stressing and getting your body primed for getting back to work. Exercise sometimes triggers an effect sometimes referred to as "runners high," exercise has been shown to produce a significant mood enhancement effect, as soon as five minutes after getting some moderate exercise.[6]
    • You don't have to start training for a triathlon to get de-stressing. Taking a brisk 20-30 minute walk can get your muscles moving and your heart-rate up enough to trigger the effect. You can read about more exercise techniques in this article.
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    Try to keep your stress management as healthy as possible. Lots of people think a cigarette break, a shot of whiskey, or other types of relaxation are preferable to the methods suggested in this section. But alcohol, other drugs, and tobacco all have the tendency to raise your heart rate, increase your blood pressure, and otherwise increase, not receive, the physiological symptoms of stress.[7] While it may seem like these things help, they're really making your stress more pronounced.
    • Sometimes, when stressed, certain people tend to overeat, or snack on unhealthy snacks. Having a snack can be a nice way of taking a quick break, but make sure it's something like carrots, or other fresh vegetables or fruits. Overeating because of stress can make you feel worse about your behavior, which will only add to your stress.

Method 2
Finding Serious Relaxation

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    Get a pet. Spending some quality time with a pet can help you relieve the symptoms of stress. Pets offer uncomplicated love, routine, and physical activity and touch that can be a soothing experience for many stressed-out people. Even if you think you're not able to take care of a pet right now, or that a pet may add stress to your life, research reveals that owning pets, particularly dogs, can help boost hormone levels, lower blood pressure, and increase endorphins in the brain.[8]
    • It is important to consider the practicals, and pets may not be for everyone. Make sure you can afford the financial and time commitment to raise a pet the right way. If you'll be constantly worried about a pet, it's maybe not the best choice for a de-stresser.
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    Get a massage. Massage therapy is a proven stress-reducer, helping to improve blood-flow and trigger the release of oxytocin in the brain, which has a calming effect. If you schedule yourself a stress-reduction massage once or twice a month, it'll give you something to look forward to and offer you a great way to treat yourself when the appointment rolls around.[9]
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    Try progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is an easy, stylized way of getting your body physically relaxed by contracting and releasing your muscles in a particular order, usually starting with the feet and working your way up. You can even do it from a seated position, which means you can do it at work, while you're working, to keep yourself from over-stressing.
    • To practice this, squeeze each muscle for a count of ten, as hard as you can, then release the muscle, feeling the tension leave your body, breathing deeply for ten seconds.
    • Start with one foot, then the other, then alternate each calf muscle, thigh, abs, chest, and arm muscles, ending on your face. Try to only tense the muscle you're working, not any others.
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    Try different forms of meditation. If the thought of "practicing meditation" turns you off, there are several different techniques that allow you to slow down and be present, reducing stress, without having to invest in some kind of alternative philosophy.[10]
    • Try practicing regular breathing meditation sessions. Vipassana meditation is sort of like a combination of progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing, in which you sit and focus on the sensations in the body, very closely, feeling yourself breathe in and breathe out.[11]
    • Try visualization meditation. Visualization meditation is about–you guessed it–visualizing a relaxing location, eyes closed, and exploring the relaxing landscape you encounter, focusing on as many distinct sensations as possible. Hear, feel, smell, and taste your visualizations.[12]
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    Try laughter therapy meditation. Yep, it's a real thing. The therapeutic benefits of laughter include and increase in various immune system antibodies, helping to decrease stress hormones and level of epinephrine levels in the brain.[13] Point being, when you laugh, you feel better and less stressed.
    • Cue up your favorite funny movie, or subscribe to a funny YouTube channel that you know can give you a quick laugh. Take 15 minutes in the middle of a stressful day to watch something funny, and you'll be much better off.
    • Laughter therapy itself involves forced laughter. Even though you might feel like a crazy person (who cares?!), try forcing a couple of hard, heavy laughs and see how you feel. You might even start laughing for real, if you feel foolish enough.
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    Pick up a new immersive hobby. Splitting your time between work responsibilities and other meditative tasks that you enjoy can help you to decompress after you've done stressful work throughout the day. If you don't have much to do in the evenings but watch TV, try picking up a hobby that can occupy some of your time a little more actively. Try out digging into any of the following immersive hobbies:

Method 3
Making the Time for Relaxation

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    Set aside at least 15 or 20 minutes each day. It's been shown that regular relaxation can reduce your stress levels long-term, so it's important to make an effort to relax at least once a day.[14] All it takes is a few minutes, done regularly, to help maintain your stress, keeping your body and your mind healthy.
    • It's also good to take extended periods of relaxation time, or time off of work to give yourself a chance to catch up and rest for longer periods of time.
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    Turn your phone off when you don't need it. When you get a chance to yourself, don't let it be ruined by a phone call or an email that could change it all around to stress. Make your private time a priority, and keep yourself stress free by avoiding work-related, school-related, or other social contacts until a designated time.
    • If you've got a day off, tell yourself that you're only allowed to check your phone or your e-mail at particular times. If it's a rule, you don't need to feel bad for "missing something" at a time it's not your responsibility.
    • If you need to be on-call on a regular basis, or if you tend to get stressed if you're not checking your email or phone on a regular basis, it's still good to schedule time away from those contacts to avoid a social overload.
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    Take as much vacation as is available. A recent study revealed that Americans waste hundreds of thousands of hours of unused vacation time every year, and suffer the corresponding stress effects of constantly working.[15] You don't need to be a martyr for the office. Take the time off you've been offered, head to the beach, and take some time you need to rejuvenate and be the best you can be.
    • Most workers say they don't want to be seen as a "slacker" by taking time off, but it's important to realize that working at half capacity isn't doing your company any good. A few days of paid vacation off will make the days you do work even more productive.
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    Reduce the number of time demands in your life. Between work, school, relationships, and time with your friends, even a normal week can start to seem stressful. It's important to keep achievable and realistic expectations of yourself, and not work yourself so ragged that you need to be stressed out in excessive ways. Try to limit your major commitments as much as possible.
    • Try to organize regular date nights, so you can schedule friend time and work time around those dates.
    • Try to get as much of your school work done during the week as possible, so you can keep your weekends free for other things.
    • If you're scheduled for 40 hours, work 40 hours. If you're not getting paid for extra hours, leave and do other things with your time. Work will still be there when you get back.
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    Avoid distractions while you're working. It's a common misconception that playing music or watching television while you do work will help you stay focused and relaxing, or make work more enjoyable. Likewise, many people think that multitasking will allow you to hop around different tasks and avoid stress.[16] Research reports, however, that this isn't necessarily true, and doing more than one thing at a time may actually increase your stress levels.
    • Shifting your attention between tasks takes time, making you less productive and making the work that you are doing more of a time-suck, which can amplify the stress you're feeling. It's better to finish one task, feel a sense of accomplishment, and then move on to the next task.
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    Learn to say "no." Don't take on extra work or extra responsibilities that you don't need, and you won't have to suffer the effects of stress in the first place. De-stress by eliminating necessary stress from your life, before it has a chance to affect you.[17]

Article Info

Categories: Stress Anxiety and Crisis Management