Have you found yourself dreading this time of year? Are you wondering how you’re going to finish all of your To-Do’s in time? Are you so busy that you can’t even relax and enjoy time with family or friends?
Have no fear! With these 6 quick tricks, you’ll be able to instantly lower your stress levels and begin to enjoy more of the holiday season with your family.
1. 15 Second Refresher
Try this 15 Second Refresher from Stress Management & Biofeedback Services
2. Laugh it Up
While this may seem obvious, laughter has been found to not only reduce stress in the moment, but it also provides your body with long term benefits. Laughing actually tricks your body into thinking you are happy and reduces cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress). So even if you have to “fake it until you make it”, suddenly, that which you found stressful will no longer feel so because your body will be better able to manage stress even into the future!
3. Take a “One Minute Vacation”
In order to reduce stress, sometimes we need to step out of our normal thought patterns. Choose a place that you associate with feeling at ease and relaxed. Next, close your eyes and imagine yourself at the place you have chosen. Think of all the sights, sounds, and smells. Picture yourself taking off your shoes and really enjoying the space. The more you practice, the easier it will become!
4. Drink Peppermint or Chamomile Tea
Research shows that one of the compounds in chamomile helps improve the immune system and is found to be a mild sedative or relaxant.
Other research has also found that the smell or taste of peppermint oil is correlated with reducing stress via muscle relaxation. So drink up!
5. Time to Yourself (Prayer)
Just a few minutes per day can help bring calm. “Research suggests that daily meditation (or prayer) may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress,” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman.
6. Create a Stress Relief “Toolbox”
Make a list of things you enjoy and try to do at least one each day (even if you’re having a good day). It can be anything: gardening, journaling, reading, exercise, time with friends, etc. Go to your “toolbox” when you’re feeling stressed and find something new to enjoy for that day.
Why is it important to manage stress?
Stress is something we all encounter and have to deal with. However, that does not mean you should ignore it. Unaddressed stress can cause serious physical and mental health concerns.
Mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness. It also has to do with how you manage stress. High stress levels over time can lead to a disruption of our mental clarity. The better you are at managing stress, the more mentally healthy you become! By implementing some of these strategies, you can reduce your own and your family’s stress.