5 Ways to Reduce Stress in Minutes

Photo © Thought Catalog 

Stress is one of the most unpleasant emotions we go through and is practically a leech that absorbs anything positive from our minds for an unforeseeable amount of time. Between work and family, it is so easy to be overwhelmed by stress; leaving many of us unaware of how it can affect the body. 

High blood pressure, insomnia, severe migraines, rapid weight gain or weight loss, heart complicantions, a slew of mental health problems, and chronic illnesses are just some of the physical effects ongoing stress has on the body and mind. 

With your health at stake, doesn't that end up only adding more stress? To prevent these and to bring back peace into your life, here are some easy ways you can reduce stress while adopting new habits for better self-care. 

 

1. Take Deep Breaths. 

Studies show that how deeply we breathe matters a great deal due to the passage of oxygen to our brain and heart. When done correctly and often, it could lead to lower blood pressure and a slower resting heart rate. 

The best technique, according to a guide from WebMD, involves sitting up straight, closing your eyes, and lightly pressing a hand to your abdomen. Continue slowly breathing in and out your mouth until you feel relaxed.

 

2. Listen to Music. 

A group study found that participants who were told to listen to classical music when conducting their daily routines had lower blood pressure levels than those who either listened to other music or none at all.

Classical music has a positive effect on the brain. Specifically, the part used for cognitive understanding or reasoning, which helps with focus, promotes better sleep and improves mood. If Mozart isn't your style, research has proven that low-fi, ambient beats have a similar effect on the mind, which is why many recommend it to young students who suffer from problems with anxiety, memory, and focus.

When all else fails, make a playlist of nature sounds. There's a reason why some swear by whale calls or the sound of the ocean waves as their favourite way to relax before going to sleep.

 

3. Talk to someone. 

Reaching out to friends and family does more than maintain the connections you have with people. It supports your health. With everyone on social media, it's practically impossible not to get in contact with someone you know and like at least once a day.  Send a text. Call. Ask to meet up for tea or coffee to talk face-to-face.

Talking with others allows us to vent our frustrations, laugh, smile, and serve as a distraction from whatever may have been getting on your nerves. Sharing is caring, for your mental health needs. 

 

4. Move Your Body. 

This is the most dreaded wellness advice because it consumes your time and the effort it takes, which I can completely understand.  However, you don't have to dedicate half of your week every week to becoming a marathon runner to destress. 

All forms of exercise have been cleared by doctors and researchers alike to help the brain release the feel-good chemicals that lessen the effects of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.  

Taking a few minutes a day or throughout the week to walk around the block, taking the stairs at work, or letting your best friend drag you to the yoga class is fun habits that can stick when often done.

 

5. Write.

Bullet or gratitude journals are more than just the latest trend. Writing things down have been proven for years to be one of the best ways to promote positive memory retention; so why not write down good things that happen during your day?

Write down an accomplishment, a goal, or a joke someone told you that you couldn't stop laughing about, these are just a few examples of what you could write about in your journal. 

Referring back to those moments of happiness reminds you of what matters, even when times are tough and it will get you through stressful times.