If the stress is more mental than physical and you feel your mind looping around itself, give yourself a discrete task, such as organizing your shoes or doing a word puzzle. “When you’re stressed, your brain may be saying, ‘we’ve got a problem to solve’ so it keeps spinning. If you give it a task to focus on, you’ll feel calmer and be better able to deal with what’s actually stressing you out. This is helpful when we have to get in gear to, say, lift a car off a small child or flee an ax-wielding horror movie villain. There are studies that show hugging can reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels.
“Social support is definitely a stress-reliever,” Dr. Saltz tells Health. “Talking with people that you feel connected to, trust and can share your feelings with is important.” This includes a therapist as well if your stress is feeling prolonged. Dr. Saltz recommends doing any form of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or four times a week a is great for stress, anxiety, and improving your mood. Some examples of heart rate-boosting activities include a light jog, dance cardio, or sex.
You’ve probably hear it a hundred times – you can’t make everyone happy all the time. If you have difficulty finding time in your day to do the things that are important to your health and your family, you might benefit from finding ways to cut some things from your schedule. Make time to exercise, relax, and do things mental health that help reduce stress rather than increasing it. Combining exercise with time spent outside can be a great stress reliever. While you’re walking, pay attention to the world around you. Listen to the sounds of nature, look at all the color and texture, touch leaves and flowers, feel the ground beneath your feet.
Take a walk, go for a hike, spend some time in your garden, or just simply sit in the sun — but try to spend some time in nature. When you start noticing that stress is affecting how you feel or behave, it might be time to step away and spend a few minutes just focusing on yourself. Do something you enjoy like reading a book or listening to music, or find a trusted friend or colleague that you can talk to about how you’re feeling. As strange as it may sound, vocal toning is a special technique that reduces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Try sneaking off to a quiet place to spend a few minutes toning before a meeting with your boss and see how much more relaxed and focused you feel.
Lie down and relax, and then tighten, hold and then release each muscle in your body, one at a time, starting with your toes and moving up to the crown of your head. Do this slowly and methodically, and don’t forget the muscles of your face. It may be more relaxing to listen to someone else walk you through the exercise. Visitthis link to find audio, video, and scripts that you can record and then playback to yourself.
Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines which may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. Deep breathing is another simple strategy psychotherapy for alleviating in-the-moment tension. “When you feel anxious, your breath starts to get shorter, shallower, and more irregular,” says Gonzalez.
Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety . Gratitude may help relieve stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts on what’s positive in your life. Train yourself to recognize “your physiological signs of stress,” says Gonzalez. Perhaps your neck stiffens, your stomach clenches, or your palms sweat.