Whether you’re drowning at work, your to-do list is never-ending, or it feels like you’re being pulled in a million different directions, in today’s fast paced world, it’s very easy to start feeling intense stress.
And, while small amounts of stress can be healthy and productive, it can easily start to spiral out of control, having a serious impact on your mental and physical health.
The good news is, there are lots of simple yet effective techniques that can help reduce stress…get ready to say hello to the calm new you!
Meditation has been proven to ease anxiety, depression and insomnia whilst helping improve mood and concentration. Meditation can also help reduce your blood pressure and heart rate variability - a metric that tells you how you handle stress. Reaching a meditative state takes practice so don’t worry if you find it difficult at first, that’s totally normal! There are plenty Apps and online resources that can help, my personal favourites are “Calm” and “Omvana”.
The mind is powerful. Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of calm, whether that’s somewhere from your childhood or your dream holiday destination. Allow the positive feelings to soothe you and your stress levels should start to fall.
While we’d highly recommend deep breathing all the time, but when we’re feeling anxious or stressed, our breathing changes, and we often over-breathe, resulting in higher levels of anxiety. Deep breathing helps your mind and body to slow down and return to normal. Try to reset your breathing by taking a deep breath in through the nose for 4 seconds, hold it for two seconds, and then exhale slowly through the mouth for 4 seconds.
Did you know that humming can dramatically slow down your heart rate and ground you? What’s more, it also has a relaxing effect on your face, neck and shoulder muscles. So, when you’re feeling stress, start humming your favourite tune!
It may sound cheesy and improbable but starting everyday with positive affirmations really does set the tune for the day. Change your mindset and focus on the positives by repeating positive affirmations to yourself, I suggest you make them personal and write these to yourself.