Knowing how to calm down is what saves you from making an embarrassment out of yourself. Whether you’re looking to get rid of stress at work or home - knowing effectively how to do that… quickly… keeps you from ruining relationships. Be it your spouse, friend or colleague.
Today’s world is fast-paced, almost cutthroat, and it seems like everyone is competing with each other. Sometimes, life feels like it keeps piling on and on and on, we’re always seconds away from blowing a gasket.
Let’s take a look at 10 easy stress-relaxing techniques you can instantly use when you’re fighting to unclench your fists and loosen your jaw.
Don’t keep what’s bothering you bottled in. Otherwise, the negativity amplifies and leaves you anxious, depressed and angry. Find someone you can trust, who appreciates you and takes time to listen to you.
Talking it out with a close friend not only helps you vent your frustrations, but they can also help you come up with a solution to whatever’s bothering you. (Friendships for the win!)
2. Stress-Free? It’s A GuaranTEA!
(An ex told me that joke. I’m sorry.)
Chamomile tea is a powerful pain-reliever. (It’s the main ingredient in sleepy-time tea). It’s many calming properties help me unwind after a hard day of “climbing through the mud” and going to war.
Not a fan of boiled tea? Not a problem! Stick four or five bags in a pitcher, fill it with ice and a tsp. Of sugar (for flavour) ... and you’ve just made iced tea! Trust me, the sugar doesn’t affect the calming qualities of chamomile. This “special concoction” is my go-to drink for calming down and unwinding for bed.
3. Plan Accordingly
This means not actively putting yourself in stressful situations. Take, for example, the commute home from work. Instead of heading straight through a route you know will be lined with cars… take an alternate route. Instead of dealing with aggravating co-workers, ignore them. (Revolutionary, I know.)
Based on the way people act, you could almost say we love looking for ways to make ourselves angry… just so we can complain about them. (How stress loves making us complain!)
4. Relax Muscles, Then Release
This technique (developed in the ‘30s) is widely recommended for relaxing your body. Remember: our bodies and minds are entwined. Thus, eating healthy foods has you feeling healthier… while eating junk food makes you feel like… well… junk.
By building tension in your muscles, then releasing them, you’re putting them through a positive stress-test. This test wears your muscles down, thereby relaxes you - and your mind.
5. Do Yoga and Meditate
Yoga is the key to all locks when it comes to any psychological weakness, whether it is stress or recovering from addiction. Practicing basic yoga poses whenever you are stressed or making it a part of your routine can benefit you immensely.
Meditation should never be undervalued. Whether you’re stuck in traffic or a waiting line, take the moment to breathe deeply and concentrate on the moment. Keeping calm is a matter of looking at the stressor/event objectively. Meditation is a phenomenal practice for centering us and helping us develop patience.
- Inhale through your nose, slowly, until your stomach moves out
- Exhale through your mouth, slowly, until you feel calm
Believe it or not, there are a lot more forms of meditation than you’d think!
6. Treat Yourself
How great do you feel after a hard day of work? Don’t you feel on-top of the world on your birthday, surrounded by free cake and ice cream? Why not treat yourself! We feel the happiest when we spoil ourselves - treating ourselves to tasty treats is a great way to say goodbye to stress.
7. Soak in the Hot Tub
The joys of hot water can never be exaggerated. You don’t need to be reminded of how your body just melts away when you lounge back in your tub, with the hot-scalding (or warm) water filling up. It seems like our bodies were made for hot baths.
Hot tubs, too. With their nerve-pulsating jets that blast across your body… They are heaven. Hot tubs are a phenomenal way to reduce stress in your muscles and relax. Let’s be real: they’re like liquified massagers!
Feel free to spruce up the hot tub soak with a bottle of wine (I’m partial to Cabernet-Sauvignon), perhaps a good book or some relaxing ambient music. (Or, even better, a long soak whilst underneath the stars. Mm.) I can’t think of any other quicker way of feeling peace so rapidly and easily.
The reason exercise improves your mood is due to exercise raising your serotonin levels, which reduces your heart rate and blood pressure.
These three ingredients are all tied into cortisol - the dangerous stress hormone responsible for… everything getting on your nerves.
But… 40 minutes?! Do you have 40 spare minutes? I don’t. Seriously. (Which is sad, when you think about it.) That’s why dancing is a powerful form of exercise - it gets your blood pumping and breaks out a sweat. (“Woaah! I feel good.”)
Some personal tunes I prefer to work up a sweat and dance my butt off are…
- Just Dance, Lady Gaga
- Houdini, Foster the People
- Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand
Can you think of some songs that get your blood pumping and you can’t help but FEEL the beat? Next time you can feel “the volcano” starting to bubble, reach for your phone and blast your favorite tunes.
9. Grab Some Zzz’s
Seeing red usually means you’ve gotten a lot less shut-eye. Depending on your bio-clock, if you don’t snag your allotted 5-9 hours of sleep (the length depends, as everyone is different) ... expect everyday life to feel a little more “vicious.” Sleep keeps us from being susceptible to every “single little bad thing.”
Sleep deprivation hampers our ability to think clearly, logically, and handle certain situations with responsible maturity. (This is why a lot of researchers have problems with all-nighters.)
Even a simple 20-minute nap can boost your productivity and get you back to your former, rested glory.
10. It’s Time to Be Annoying with Your Affection
When times are rough, affectionate displays are tremendously effective for annihilating stress. (Who doesn’t like hugging? C’mon) One study proved that a lot of hugs from a partner lowers blood pressure. This means that you are officially allowed to hug your honey-bunny to death. (Snuggle-time just became fun again!)
While these are quick methods to overcome stress, they don’t address the problem. These super-powerful techniques are a band-aid. Stress will never completely have removed from your life, as it depends on who you are as a person. If you want to lead a happier life, it’s crucial to reconsider your mindset and perception. Unless we get to the source of evils, evil never disappears.