This morning I woke up smiling and refreshed, with a clear goal in my mind: I’ll try to stay calm the whole day.
I scrolled a bit on my phone and left the bed to start my day.
On my way to the bathroom, I thought about 3 things I had on my to-do list. No, 4 or maybe 5 if I count the laundry which was being washed (scheduling the washing machine to start before I wake up it’s pretty cool!)
So before I even brushed my teeth, my mental to-do list already had 5 things on it.
And guess what? It didn’t stop there. Slowly but surely the things I had to do were piling up.
I quickly wrote them down on a post-it, to not think about them anymore and to go on with my day. I prepared my nourishing breakfast, showered and started my work day.
The usual things went on, meetings, talks, long hours in front of the computer, more lists, more tasks.
While I was queueing up to grab my hot water for tea, I remembered about the tasks I had on my mind in the morning. And the post-it. Where did I put the post-it? What was on the list?
I began stressing about the importance of these tasks. They always seem important if you don’t remember them, right?
Having too many tasks pending, makes you feel the tension raising. You feel like you’re slowly drowning in the big pile of things to do “right now”.
How to relieve stress
When you’re having such a crazy day, you wish you’d have a reset button to continue with a fresh mind, without so much stress. We all wonder sometimes how to relieve stress fast because it feels like we never have enough time.
Well, guess what? There’re ways that actually work like a reset button. It might take a bit of time for you to get used to how they work. But once you got the hang of it, you’ll be able to benefit from their magic at any time during the day.
Do you like dancing in front of the mirror when no one is watching you? Moving your body like there’s nothing to worry about in the whole world? Doing that instantly shakes your stress away from your body and mind.
How do you feel after dancing on your favorite song?
Refreshed might be the word you’re looking for.
Let me tell you this: you can do the dancing and many other activities while you’re at work. Some of them without even getting up from your desk! Although, I do recommend that you get up and move as often as you can. It’s good for both your body and mind.
You might ask which stress relief methods are most helpful. In my opinion, the ones that you practice are the most helpful. If you never get to do them, just knowing they exist won’t help you in any way.
17 easy ways to reduce stress
Stress relief with music
Music is an easy way to reduce stress. Pick your favorite songs, make a playlist and pop on your headphones. Work at the computer will feel less of a burden. Extra bonus? You won’t hear all the noise around you. Your colleagues won’t bother you with questions unless something is really important.
We don’t go outside in nature as much as we used to. But our bodies still crave for that connection. Nature is healing and purifying. A simple way to bring nature to you is with house plants. If you don’t already have some in your office, just bring a plant and put it on your desk. Don’t forget to water and to keep it alive!
Take a deep breath whenever you feel overwhelmed. Before beginning a new task, answering the phone, sitting down at your computer. Use these moments to give yourself a few seconds to reduce tension with deep breathing. There are many deep breathing techniques you could try, read more about them here.
Did you know that you can actually trick your brain into thinking that you’re happy? Put a smile on your face even when you don’t feel like it. Smile with intent, don’t use a fake smile. See how that makes you feel. Do that in front of a mirror if you can.
Instead of rapidly typing things on your computer, pick a notebook and write your notes in there. Handwriting can have a calming effect on your mind. It slows down your thoughts and it gives you a moment of peace. Try to slowly write down your thoughts and it will have an even bigger impact.
Read one page
You might not have a physical book around but you can always access a digital one. It can be on your phone, laptop, Kindle. Just keep a book around you and allow yourself to read one page of it. Offer your full attention to that page and deep dive into the story on that page. By immersing yourself into the storyline, you’ll forget for a moment about your stressors.
The sense of smell can make you appreciate what surrounds you. Notice what smells you have around. Make a cup of your favorite tea and enjoy the subtle aroma.
Watch the sky
Unless you’re underground, you’ll have at least one window around. Take a look outside and see the sky. If there are clouds, watch them for a few seconds or just enjoy the bright blue color of the clear sky.
Write yourself an encouraging message
Open your email and write a few sentences to encourage your younger self. Think about a time when you really needed to be encouraged. This shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes. Schedule to send the email to yourself in 2 weeks from now. Your future self will feel so supported and happy to receive that email.
Remember to be grateful
To quickly shift your perspective towards the positive things in your life, think about 3 things you’re truly grateful for. This is a good reminder that not everything in life is stressful. Combine this with the handwriting tip and write down what you’re grateful for.
Organize a bunch of notes
Do you have a lot of places where you keep your notes on? You probably already know the saying “messy desk messy mind”. If your notes are on paper or digital format, just pick some and organize them. Cross what’s no longer needed or was already done. Prioritize what’s left and enjoy the fact that now you feel better about yourself. Even if it was a really small step, you still feel more organized now than you felt 5 minutes ago.
Read a poem
Do people still read poems these days? Not too many. But starting to read poems can improve both your state of mind and your cultural knowledge. A well-read person like you would surely like to know more about what Rumi wrote. Or any other poets.
We’re all attached to our smartphones nowadays. That makes it very easy to recollect good memories. Grab your phone and look for pictured from your favorite holiday or when you spend time with your best friends. Take a minute to look at a picture when you were having a good time with people close to you. Thinking about happy times will make you feel better.
Watch the ocean waves without leaving your computer.
Ocean waves are particularly soothing but you can just pick any nature sounds you prefer. Just do a quick search and pop on your headphones. This can be great background music for when you’re working.
Stare at a wall
Ok, that might sound weird but it works. Look at the white (or any color) wall in front of you. Keep staring at it for a few seconds and feel how your thoughts are melting away. Let your mind become as clear as the wall.
Cross some things on your to-do list
Nothing to cross? Add something on the list that you already did today and isn’t there already. Then cross it. It might sound silly but it will make you feel better. It’s not cheating. You did actually do that task, it was just not mentioned there.
Melt the stress away
Imagine stress melting away like an ice-cream in the hot summer. Need a bit of help with that? You can try these stress melting mantras.
Effects of stress on your body
Stress can affect you in so many ways. Our bodies are smarter than we give them credit to be. If you pay attention, your body will let you know when you reached an unhealthy level of stress. In time, this can affect your physical and mental health. If you want to learn more about the symptoms and effects of stress read this article.
How do you realize that you’re stressed and overwhelmed?
Here are some stress symptoms:
- you find yourself clenching your teeth
- your shoulders are tense
- your face looks like you already murdered someone in your head
- stomach pain(that is a serious sign!)
- you feel an inner buzzing all over your body like you’re filled with electricity
- you have headaches and your head feels like it’s in a very tight helmet – 2 sizes smaller
Let me tell you one thing. When you feel like that, it’s definitely time to take a break and use any of the above to hit reset.
Congrats for taking the time to read this! You’re one step further in your stress-relief journey.
Go back to the list above and pick one thing to do it now.
Let me know down below which was the first action you took for you today!
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