In our increasingly stressful world it is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out. In the United States, over 77% of people report regularly experiencing physical symptoms caused by stress. These symptoms undoubtedly leave a negative imprint on our health. In order to stay positive and productive it is important to know how to relax your mind. Fortunately, there are some self soothing techniques that can help you relax and calm down by practicing them for just 10-15 minutes a day.
1. Start Meditating
Businessmen, athletes and top managers of almost all areas of business practice meditation in order to relieve anxiety. Scientists confirm that meditation is an effective tool in dealing with stress: psychiatrist Elizabeth Hodge found that after two months of regular practice of meditation, people have shown reduced quantity of cortisol, a hormone that is produced in response to a stressful situation. The good news is: you don’t need to go through a special training in order to start meditating. At first, it is enough to sit down in a comfortable position, stick to a certain breathing rhythm and concentrate on your physical sensations. Today, there are many smartphone applications that offer guided meditation, and they allow to and practice it anywhere — during your commute, in the office or at home.
2. Take a walk
Numerous studies have confirmed that taking a walk in a park or a forest (or any place with an abundance of trees and relatively few people) helps fight stress, improve sleep quality, and normalize blood pressure. However, research points out that walking in the forest should be following a few rules. For instance, try to refrain from checking your smartphone, inhale deeply, and don’t rush. And most importantly, try to take such walks on a daily basis, even if each of them lasts no longer than 15 minutes.
3. Spend more time kissing
Kisses serve as not only an expression of affection and trust, but also as a powerful weapon against stress. There are dozens of studies that prove that kissing lowers your body’s cortisol levels and boosts the production of oxytocin, the so-called love hormone. Scientists from the University of Santa Clara in California have found that the effects of a kiss can last for long time. For example, if you spent 15 minutes kissing in the morning, the likelihood that you will be acutely stressed during the day is significantly reduced.
4. Distract yourself
Sometimes, when you are feeling the physical symptoms of stress it is best to do something with your hands for stress relaxation. For instance, using your hands to perform easy and repetitive tasks can significantly reduce the amount of stress that you’re experiencing. You could try drawing or, if that sounds too complicated, simply coloring. Other things you could try to distract yourself with could be knitting, sewing, crocheting, playing with a stress ball.
5. Write it down
In times when we experience stress, we are most often left alone with our negative thoughts and emotions. Psychologists say that telling someone about your feelings can help you get out of a nervous situation with minimal losses. But what if it’s not always possible to share your feelings with someone else? A good alternative is to pour your emotions and thoughts on paper. Writing down what you think and how you feel on a regular basis, especially in acute situations, can significantly reduce your levels of stress and anxiety.