With the current uncertainty and adjustments to regular routines, it’s natural for our stress levels to rise. Remember that stress is a reaction to a situation and not the situation itself.
We’ve rounded up four simple stress management techniques that everyone can apply when they are feeling overwhelmed:
- Use nature to nurture
Studies show that spending 20 to 30 minutes enjoying the outdoors can lower stress levels. Even a short moment outside interacting with nature can help you feel more relaxed. Tend to your garden, go for a walk among the trees, or bird-watch in your backyard – just be sure to leave distractions behind so you can fully enjoy the fresh air.
- Take a breath
One of the simplest stress management techniques is to take some intentional, deep breaths. It can help clear your mind, relax your body, and improve your focus. Try this: close your eyes, slowly breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold and count to four, exhale for four seconds, count to four, and repeat until you feel a sense of calm.
- Sweat it out
For most people, exercise is an accessible way to manage stress. The release of endorphins can bring stress levels down. Walking, jogging, climbing stairs, gardening, and even taking a dance break can go a long way in managing stress. An added bonus – physical activity helps you sleep better which further reduces stress levels; win-win!
- Switch up your tasks
Worry and anxiety can increase when a task is too challenging, and our skill level is low. Switching to a task where you feel more skilled can lower the challenge level and give you a sense of relaxation and control. This then allows you to approach the more challenging task from a different angle.
Science Daily | Just 20 minutes of contact with nature will lower stress hormone levels, reveals new study
Medical News Today | The box breathing method
ADAA | Physical Activity Reduces Stress
Wikipedia | Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi