10 Effortless Stress Relief Techniques

By Alice Boyes, PhD. | Uncategorized

Effortless stress relief techniques for busy people.

1. Accept offers of help.

For example, if you’re catering a big event, ask your children to help you. Recruit help if necessary.

2. Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend.

If you’re harassed and harangued, or having self-critical or self-doubt thoughts, recognize that you’re having a moment of suffering, that suffering is part of life, and give yourself all the kindness you need. Be tolerant and accepting of your flaws and inadequacies.

3. Do five minutes of stress relieving green exercise.

Research has shown that five minutes of green exercise boosts mood and self esteem better than longer amounts of time (not in terms of average boost per minute, but actual total benefit).

Green exercise just means near trees etc. Green and blue exercise (near water) is even better for stress relief than plain green exercise.

4. Do the corpse pose.

Corpse pose.

You can also do Child’s Pose.

5. Daydream. Spend some time not focusing.

If you’ve been working hard on something and you’ve lost the “feeling of knowing” (the feeling that you’re going to solve the problem and that you’re heading in the right direction), then you’re more likely to have an epiphany, or at least clearer thoughts, if you do something relaxing that stimulates alpha waves than if you keep trying to focus.

Daily downtime (letting your mind drift and not requiring concentration of yourself) is important for neural integration.

How creativity works.

6. Stress busting slow breathing.

Do three sets of four slow breaths. You can take your heart rate at the beginning and then again at the end. If your heart rate is high you are in fight/flight response mode. Slow breathing will bring your heart rate down and you’ll feel much better. You can take your heart rate using your iphone and watch it decrease as you breath slowly. Your heart rate will increase a bit on in-breaths compared to out-breaths so don’t worry about that.

7. Get a Long Hug

Long hugs stimulate oxytocin and serotonin and are great for stress relief. You can even hug yourself and get a similar stress relief effect.

8. Take a Humor Break.

Browse funny cartoons. Find a joke you like and tell it to a couple of people (confidently).

9. Do one thing mindfully.

Do something you would normally rush through mindfully instead e.g., your shower. Pay attention to what your body feels like doing the activity and let other sensory info rise up into your awareness from your external senses as you do the activity.

10. Do a half smile, it’ll boost your mood.

Faking a full smile won’t boost your mood because it uses different muscles than a genuine smile. A fake half smile uses the same muscles as a genuine smile. Your face will give your brain the message you’re happy. Try it 🙂

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