4 Tips for Instant Stress Relief
Stress is an unavoidable part of our lives. Although we can’t avoid stress altogether, we can lessen its impact by the way we respond to it. The first step is to identify your stressors and recognize how you react to them. Then try one of the following ideas:
- Consider a number of easy things you can do in the comfort of your home, on the job or out in the community to manage stress. Activities such as listening to music, sighing deeply or yawning loudly while stretching your arms overhead are effective. These simple techniques help release tension before continuing with the task at hand.
- Another technique is diaphragmatic or deep breathing, which focuses your attention on taking slow deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose, trying to bring the air in deep down toward your belly while keeping your chest motionless. Then exhale the breath through your mouth.
- Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that will help you distinguish between tense and relaxed muscles. First, tense your muscles in groups, starting at your head and then move down to your toes, taking note of how your muscles feel when you purposely tense them followed by their release or relaxation.
- Another commonly used stress relief strategy is meditation. Meditation is the practice of intentionally focusing your attention on one thing at a time. Many people use a word or phrase as a point of focus when they meditate.
No matter the technique, it is important to be in a comfortable position for the best relaxation response. Try a combination of these techniques. The approaches mentioned here are some of the simplest to use, but there are many other techniques out there. You have multiple resources to aid in stress management at your fingertips, literally. Free cellphone apps are available to use at your convenience. Give one a try!
Lisa Simpson, LRT/CRTS is a recreational therapist at Inpatient Rehab for Moses Cone Hospital