Many things can cause intense feelings of stress. It might be a meeting or an exam you have coming up. Or maybe it’s something that you’ve been procrastinating on that has a strict deadline and time is running out. It may even be something in your daily life that is difficult to avoid.
Whatever the cause, stress is never a pleasant emotion to deal with. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to reduce stress levels to a manageable level. Hopefully, you will find the following tips useful and be able to use them effectively:
1) Breathing techniques
Breathing techniques are something that most people can use to reduce stress symptoms. There are many variants available to suit your capability and a lot of them have follow-along videos or graphics on YouTube or self-care apps. A recommended one is the 4-4-8 technique. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. The amount of time you take doesn’t matter as long as the exhale is longer than the inhale.
Mindfulness is a category of self-care that focuses on awareness in the present and can incorporate distraction from stress triggers. Examples of mindfulness include coloring, using a stress ball, slime, or fidget toy for various touch sensations, meditation, envisioning a peaceful environment aka your ‘happy place’, and having a positive mindset. Try one of these techniques before your next deadline or meeting and see how well it works for you.
Exercise is proven to benefit symptoms of stress as the movement distracts you from your worries and has side benefits to your overall wellbeing. Going for a short walk before attending class or going to work can motivate you and invigorate you for the day. Try listening to some upbeat music whilst you exercise to boost your mood further and encourage you to get out and about.