5 Tools You Can Use to De-stress Right Now
5 SIMPLE & EFFECTIVE TOOLS YOU CAN USE TO DE-STRESS RIGHT NOW
Taking time to pause can help us be more productive and feel more refreshed and focused. Many times, we avoid these things thinking it will interrupt our workflow. Studies show that it does the opposite.
Take time to breathe
By taking 3 – 5 deep, diaphragmatic breaths, we can drive oxygen to the prefrontal cortex portion of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is the area that supports functions such as planning and decision making. The extra oxygen allows us to hone jumbled thoughts that can result from a heavy workload or tight deadlines. Take a few minutes to reconnect with your thoughts, and you’ll feel the benefits.
Do a body scan
We often get so caught up in our heads that we forget our bodies. Take 30 seconds to check in with each part of your body going from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Is there an area that feels achy, tight or numb? Give it a little love by pausing to rub it or flex that part of your body as tightly as you can for 5 seconds and then release. Feel the sensation of blood flow, and the muscles begin to relax.
We spend most of your workday staring at a screen in a highly focused state. Take 1 minute to “step back” and notice the whole. Take this minute to get out of your seat and look out the window. If you don’t have a window, find an image of nature and put it on your wall or desktop. Research has found that even looking at an image of nature can reduce stress and tension. * Tip: To remind yourself to do this regularly, set an alarm on your phone or computer.
Even better than looking out a window or at an image, is to take 10 minutes and go outside. You’ll notice that when you come back, you’ll be more refreshed and productive. Nature is a great healer!
What makes you laugh? Take a 5-minute humor break to connect with something that makes you smile. Whether it is a joke at the water cooler or watching a snippet from your favorite comedy show. Laughing reduces stress by releasing endorphins into your body, helping you to feel more relaxed, centered, and calm.