Stress Relief & Management Tips

Feeling the days close in on you? Can't get anything done? Is there a weight pressing down on your life? Here are some quick stress relieving methods to try that won't take a lot of your time:

1. Listen to music (chillstep or nature sounds). Aural sensation is known to have a calming effect on the mind, lowers blood pressure and cortisol hormone release. Recommended: Perry Como's rendition of Accentuate the Positive, Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry be Happy, and Sister Hazel's Change Your Mind.

2. Slow down. Focus on your senses and take time to notice and appreciate each smell, taste, and touch. Being in the moment can reign in the torrent of chaotic emotion and thought stress brings on. You are also less prone to commit errors when you take your time.

3. Breathe deeply. Follow a cyclic routine of breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth for a few minutes as steadily and slowly as is confortable (we're not trying to suffocate), and then reverse the flow to mouth then out the nose. This will lower your anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure.

4. Get up and move. Stretch, walk around whatever space is available, get active periodically throughout the day especially if you are desk-bound. Getting the circulation going releases endorphins and energizes you.

5. Find the funny. Why so serious? Go ahead and laugh at absurdity, listen to some comedy, tell yourself a joke, smile and let go for a second or two. Laughing releases dopamine and can alleviate both stress and pain. Natural hormones are much healthier than any artificial chemical intake (so, when feeling stressed, avoid caffeine and cigarettes). 

Need more ideas? Check out MayoClinic.org