How to Reduce Stress
Although going on vacation sounds like the perfect solution to “how to reduce stress” and chill for most of us… we can’t always take one, unfortunately. Like most, you probably have a very busy life and very limited time or opportunity to do so.
However, you should be able to spare 10 minutes of your time during your day to work out the best way for you to reduce stress.
There are many ways that you can reduce stress in 10 minutes or less. If you can do a few of them several times a day (yes – during breaks that you should be taking) you’ll notice dramatic changes in your state of mind & wellbeing as well as reduced stress levels.
Use these practices to reduce stress in a short period of time:
1/ Entertain yourself to reduce stress
Listen to music you love
I know you’re thinking; I knew that! But the question is, do you use it?
Music has an amazing ability to alter our mood.
Its vibration literally changes ours if we let it. Think of songs that always put you in an amazing mood and have them at the ready for whenever you need a pick me up. It’s a simple enough trick, but it works wonders.
Try it now. If you don’t have the song available right now, you could go to YouTube until you do. There you will be able to easily stream songs to listen to right away.
Choose your favourite entertainment
If music isn’t your jam, it’s fine. Just find or chose an activity that can be done in small sessions, and that you really enjoy, and do that. It could be reading, playing an instrument, painting etc…
Ultimately, the activity itself doesn’t matter as much as the joy it produces in you. so focus on that and you’ll be golden.
2/ Socialise to reduce stress
Talk to a friend or make new ones to reduce stress
Call up a friend and if you can do it via video so you can see them.
Face-to-face is better but nowadays, video will have to do.
A few minutes spent chatting with a good friend can really boost your mood and reduce your stress levels right down. You’ll also be maintaining your relationships by keeping in touch regularly. Win-Win-Win!
Spend time with your pets to reduce stress
Did you know having pets not only benefits them but you as well?
They really are a blessing. Most are low maintenance, yet you bring us lots of joy.
If you treat them well, they’ll always be happy to see you.
All you need to do is cuddle up with your furry friend and notice how much better you feel.
Plus, your pet will relish the extra attention.
Don’t have a pet? No worries, borrow one! Lol. You could consider getting one or just move on to another relaxing technique to reduce stress.
3/ Physically Move to reduce stress
Take a Break and physically move yourself. So you can re-energise, through exercise, a change of activity or a change of scenery.
Go for a short walk – reduce stress
Long walks are great to clear your mind,
but if you only have 10 minutes, a short walk will still help a lot in reducing the stress you might be feeling.
Take the time to look at your surroundings as you walk, as if you were exploring a new area. It will keep your mind off your challenges for a few minutes and will become key to shifting your state and feelings.
Eat a chewing gum – reduce stress
I found out recently that chewing gum has been shown to be an effective cortisol reducer, which is the primary stress hormone. Who knew right?
Of course, most people like to blow bubbles with them, but the real key benefit is chewing.
So make sure you pack your shopping bags with your favorite brand and flavors so you can chew away whenever you need to. You’ll be lowering your stress and enjoying yourself at the same time.
Sit outside in the sun. reduce stress
This is a favorite… On a sunny day, go outside if you can.
Take that time to relax for a few minutes on this nice day and enjoy the sun.
I highly recommend finding an empty spot on the grass or a bench.
Lie down if possible and then let each part of your body relax while the sun slowly warms you up. This alone can be a great mood booster.
Plus you’ll also get the added bonus of a good dose of vitamin D.
4/ Meditate to reduce stress
There are many benefits to meditating. This is a very ancient technique, despite its only recent popularity. But the reason it has been around for thousands of years is that it works. It’s just not practiced enough.
Experts often claim that even just one minute of meditation per hour is enough to gain benefits. And that’s definitely true. You don’t need to be meditating for hours to reap some of the benefits.
Of course, the more you do it, the better…
There’s a learning curve. It’s not innate for most of us, but it is truly powerful when you know how.
If you’re new to meditation, you can start simply with this:
Control your breath – reduce stress
Your breath is one of the few parts of your physiology that you can control.
Purposely taking slower, deeper breaths will help you relax. This is also how you reduce stress when you need to.
Focus on the sense of your breath as it’s passing through your mouth and nostrils.
It might be helpful to count your breaths if you like, however, the amount itself is irrelevant. Go as long as you can, put a timer on if it helps, then take the time to observe how you are feeling after.
Start small, then increase the length over time.
You can also start engaging your imagination with visualizations.
Imagine a peaceful scene
As our mood follows our thoughts, we need to aim to work on improving our thoughts. Now I’m not judging anyone here. I’m just pointing out that we all tend to not have thoughts that always benefit us.
Since our thoughts influence our mood, it’s only logical to conclude that if we had nicer thoughts about ourselves. About others & about the situations we find ourselves in, we would be in a better mood. Resulting in a better experience and results in our endeavor and, of course, less stress, which is what we want.
I know that was a mouthful, sorry. Hopefully, it made sense.
So go ahead, focus on thinking about pleasant things throughout your day, and you can expect to experience a more enjoyable mood.
5/ Journal daily to reduce stress
Write down everything that worries you.
Journaling is a powerful tool. Under-used in my opinion, but honestly, you don’t need a journal to start benefiting from it.
Writing brief notes on paper here and there can be a significant starting point. It can help you with stress relief too, as one way to be less stressed and anxious is to write down what’s bothering you.
This way, you can get it out of your system and down on paper.
Basically, give yourself permission to rant on paper, let it all out.
By externalizing it, you might find that things aren’t quite as bad as you thought or you might just feel better than your frustration lessens after saying your piece.
So if you ask how to reduce stress?
To answer your question on how to reduce stress, choose one or several of these quick practices. And use them several times a day if you can.
When feeling stressed becomes a regularity, it’s important to do something about it. You cannot let it go unchecked. – reduce stress
Each day, ten minutes is all it takes and it can be enough to take the edge off your stress levels. See in your calendar where you can take 10 minutes just for yourself and use them to relax, that’s how you’ll reduce your stress levels.
Further help on how to reduce stress
For a more permanent solution, download “Develop Positive Habits on how to Reduce Stress“, which outlines habits that you can easily get used to reducing negative stress in your life.
Negative stress or less known as “Distress” not only makes you feel miserable all the time, but it’s also, and most importantly, terrible for your health.
As our mood follows our thoughts, we need to aim to work on improving our thoughts to reduce stressMaria Duckhouse