Yes, stress is bad for you. Long-term stress can exacerbate headaches, heart disease, weight gain, anxiety, depression, and even cause some cognitive impairment. Doctors, psychiatrists, and friends are always telling you to take it easy . . . but how, exactly, do you do that when you’re so stressed that you feel like your mind is about to explode?
Check out these quick, in-the-moment 10-minute de-stress ideas.
Music really does tame the savage beast. It doesn’t matter whether you pick classic hard rock, dubstep, or Mozart piano sonatas, so long as the music is something you love and has the power to influence your mood.
In the middle of the workday, you may not be able to take a jog in a nearby park. But there are other ways you can exercise, such as:
- Dance in your office for ten minutes (like nobody’s watching)
- Take a brisk walk around the block
- Do twenty push-ups and twenty jumping jacks
- Perform some yoga poses
Regular meditation has been shown to have immediate as well as long-term effects on your mental and physical health. If you’re already in the habit of spending some mindful time during your day, then taking an extra meditation break can go a long way to lowering your cortisol levels.
Take A Deep Breath
Nothing will make you tense up more than having someone tell you to take a deep breath when you’re anxious, angry, or just worked up. Yet deep breathing techniques can help lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. The goal is to fill your body with oxygen as well as return your breathing to the easy, slower pace of when you are calm and relaxed.
Have A Healthy Snack
Eating shouldn’t be the first response to stress. But if you tend to lose your temper when you’re “hangry,” stopping to consider the fact can help you manage the stress before it arises.
Phone A Friend
Unburdening your woes to a trusted friend or family member can help, so long as that good friend knows how to listen emphatically and not escalate the situation.
Kiss And Tell
If you’re at your wit’s end and within walking distance of a loved one, take advantage of the contact. A quick hug and kiss can work wonders.
Go For A Laugh
Laughter is nature’s organic stress reliever. You may not be in the mood to watch that 10-minute internet video reel of newscasters dorking out on TV, but by the end of it, you’ll likely feel better.
Do Mindless Tasks
Cross-stitching, knitting, and Rubik’s Cubes occupy your hands and give your mind a repetitive task on which to concentrate. These kinds of tasks direct upsetting thoughts away, at least for the moment.
Buy A Stress Ball
Stress balls work in the same way exercise works. They’re subtle, can fit into your pocket, and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials.
Stress is inevitable, but how you handle it can be modified. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the stresses of everyday life, contact a mental health professional. They can provide you with tips and techniques to better cope.