After a busy day, you may experience stress and its symptoms such as your heart beating faster, a rush of adrenaline and an increase in blood pressure. In time, this can lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain, heart disease, memory and concentration problems. What can you do to relax and calm yourself down? Here are a few tips and tricks recommended by experts to relieve stress.
Wake Up Earlier
It may not sound right, but actually getting an extra 15 minutes before leaving your house can help you feel more energized. Most people usually head out the door like a tornado and they maintain this rhythm throughout the day. Think of caffeine, which can require up to 20 minutes to be metabolized in your system so you can experience its effects. In this time, you can visualize all the things you have to do throughout the day and thus smoothen your day.
Create A Calming Space
Studies indicate that cooler colors such as blue, green or grey work to relax you, while warm colors such as red excite you. Color is said to enter the eyes and can regulate emotions by accessing nerve pathways, which work to regulate emotions. It’s easy to surround yourself with soothing colors throughout the day, with scientists recommending you paint an accent wall at home. At the office, you can take a muted colored scarf and put it on your chair, or change the color of your desktop.
Envision Your Negative Thoughts
When you have a bad day, it’s important to try to disperse your thoughts through a visual mindfulness meditation that allows you to eliminate the unhelpful stuff in your head. If your coworker forgot to do an assignment or a loved one forgot to pay a bill, you need to rid yourself of these negative thoughts.
The next time you’re feeling down, start singing. When sound echoes through your body, the mind relaxes and frees you of the stress that’s taking a hold on you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pop chorus or just humming om, singing reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone in the body), with one study revealing it reduces blood pressure. Of course, you can sing in the shower as well.
Have a Physical Hobby
Scrapbooking is nice as well, but you need something that gets you off the couch. Stress floods your mind with negative thoughts, making you feel overwhelmed. Gardening, for example, helps you get your focus game back on track, while the actual feel of the soil in your hand helps you channel your energy and eliminate distracting thoughts. Running is ideal, of course.
Take Deep Breaths
Whether you’re standing in line at the supermarket or waiting to pick up your kids from school, give yourself one minute to breathe deeply though the nose and into the abdomen. Rest your hands over your abdomen or the bottom part of your ribs as a cue to take deeper breaths. Breathing fully and deeply brings a sense of calm as more oxygen reaches the body’s cells to help it relax. It helps with the nervous system and brings a whole calming sensation in your body.
Touch Pressure Points In The Body
If you’re stuck in traffic and feel like you can’t take it anymore and you’re about to have an outburst, it may be the best time to try pressure point therapy. This is a form of acupuncture that you can do yourself, as pressure to certain points help promote blood circulation and release muscle tension. You can start with the Third Eye Point, which is located between your eyebrows, where your nose meets the forehead. Apply gentle to firm pressure with your index middle and index fingers and hold for 1-2 minutes.