How to Help Relieve Stress in 90 Seconds
Stress can appear suddenly and randomly. It can impact our relationships, influence our work, cause changes in sleeping habits, activate headaches, and lead to a variety of different outcomes. When our lives change or an unexpected event occurs, even if it is positive, it is often challenging to cope with our emotions and assess the unknown without experiencing some form of stress.
First, it’s important to remember that stress is normal. It’s okay to not feel okay. While everyone reacts to stress differently, there are certain tactics that can help reduce it without investing a lot of time or money into restoring your calm self.
So, here are several easy stress reduction techniques for short-term relief:
- Identify and acknowledge your stress – The first step is recognizing when your stress levels have elevated. Abnormal changes to your mind (such as moments of confusion, memory loss, or poor judgement) and body like shortness of breath, chest tightness, increased heart rate, or sweat may indicate stress. It’s up to you to listen to your body. If these conditions cause serious discomfort, pain or concern, don’t hesitate to get immediate medical help.
- Mute notifications – A notification has to be processed by your brain, meaning it activates a reaction–for better or worse. Between work emails, Slack messages, Twitter notifications, and whatever else you’ve got going on, it can be overwhelming. Try muting your notifications for an hour each day. You can also step away from your electronic devices and get into nature for an added boost of serotonin.
- Play music – Music has long been used to improve one’s emotional wellness. Slip on your noise-canceling headphones and lay down with your favorite comfort playlist. If music isn’t doing the trick, try affirmations or a recorded meditation; or turn your attention to another activity such as stretching, drawing, or reading that will distract your mind for a few minutes. Distraction can be a helpful tool temporarily too.
- Try 4-7-8 breathing – The 4-7-8 breathing technique teaches a person how to focus their attention on breathing. It’s an incredible strategy to master if you’re traveling, in the office, or outdoors away from home.
- Empty your lungs
- Breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds
- Exhale forcefully through the mouth, making a “whoosh” sound for 8 seconds
- Repeat the cycle up to 4 times
- Write a positive affirmation – Affirmations are positive statements that can help you get through negative self-talk. Positive affirmations help to reprogram our pattern of thinking and re-prioritize what really matters to us. Try keeping a journal of positive affirmations that you can turn to during moments of heightened stress. And consider making a list of what you are grateful for as gratitude is an effective stress reliever too.
One Last Thought
We recommend experimenting with different techniques to build a routine that works for you. This is not a one size fits all approach. Rather than forcing a single strategy, sample many to experience greater benefits.
P.S. Learn more about Vibrant and how we can support you on your journey to achieve emotional wellbeing.