Looking for some quick tips for reduction of stress? Take a few minutes from your busy schedule to read through (and implement!) these quick stress reduction techniques we have compiled from experts…
In his 2009 book Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination and invigorates the soul, psychiatrist Stuart Brown explains that play is particularly important during times of sustained stress. Without it you could find yourself living a joyless life of rigidity and routine. If you’re not sure what to do to get into playing, Brown suggests you think back to what you enjoyed as a child. The chances are there may be something that you would also enjoy now (Shooting hoops? Climbing trees? Riding horses?).
2. Stay Active
According to University of Alabama associate professor Jane Roy, exercise, even a single bout of aerobic exercise, seems to affect a neurotransmitter that has an antidepressant effect on the brain. Staying active has the bonus effect of helping to avoid health issues such as weight gain and other physiological symptoms that can go with stress and inactivity. Fitting in exercise could be as simple as taking a lunchtime walk during your work day – you may even find this boosts your focus for the afternoon!
3. Use Mind Relaxation Techniques
Techniques such as meditation or creative visualization have been used for years to help calm and relax the stressed mind. Latest research now indicates that mind relaxation techniques can even help reduce chronic pain. Massachusetts General Hospital’s Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine reported that some test subjects even reduced their pain by up to 85% and were able to come off some of their medications.
4. Get Outside
A simple technique, but research indicates that getting out into the natural environment can be a great de-stressor. Try heading to the beach or out for a hike – even spending time at a park could help.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Apart from the added psychological stress that being overweight or unhealthy can add, it also causes physical stress to the body which can lead to conditions such as hypertension. Eating a balanced diet high in vegetables and fruits will not only help you to maintain a healthy weight, but to boost your immune system and help avoid illness.
6. Stay Connected
Sometimes we can get so busy that we neglect to keep up our connections with friends and family, yet these connections are an important part of being able to manage stress. Having social support is a great help when you are trying to manage issues – even if it is just to get out and do something together or talk on the phone.
These tips are just a quick taste of what the researchers are saying will help you to manage stress. The point is, there is something here that everyone can try so there’s no need to wallow in stress! One or two simple changes could make all the difference…