I am often very busy, but I rarely feel stressed because I use a few easy, quick secrets to stay relaxed. Even as I am juggling many responsibilities and interactions with all kinds of people, I can tap in to the following toolkit of 10 ways to instantly shift into a more relaxed and energized state of mind.
#1) At the first of overwhelm, stop the task and take three deep breaths. I know that we all hear about the importance of breathing deeply and the power of the breath to relax the mind and body. The reason that we hear this is simple: it works.
#2) Drink a glass of water. When we are dehydrated, even slightly, we feel worse. The link between water and stress reduction is well documented. Our brains, and the rest of our organs, need a proper amount of water to function properly. Many studies have shown that being dehydrated by just half a liter can increase cortisol levels, leading to more stress.
#3) Smile and Laugh. When we smile, we instantly feel more optimistic and other people respond more positively to us. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter is a very powerful stress-reduction tool. Laughter has now been proven to soothe tension, stimulate organ function, activate the calming response in the body, fire up the immune system, and relieve pain. So go watch a comedy, meet up with friends, or learn a new joke, and you will feel less stressed.
#4) Go out and play! Really, even 10 minutes playing with a child, pet, soccer ball, or hula hoop will help your body release ‘feel good’ chemicals and shift you into a calmer and happier state.
#5) Get in some water. Think about it, what do parents often do with upset children? They bounce them around in a pool or give them a bath with some toys! Water has a calming effect and it has always worked for me. Take a warm bath or shower. Hit the pool and sauna at the gym. Go to the beach. Sit near a river or lake. Water is relaxing for the body and spirit.
#6) Look at something beautiful. Often, we can shift to a relaxed and blissful feeling simply by purposely gazing at something that is beautiful to us. The next time that you feel stress, try looking at the face of a loved one, a photo of a lovely landscape, or piece of artwork that inspires you.
#7) Talk to a friend. Really, sometimes just telling someone who cares about you that you are feeling stress is all it takes to feel better instantly.
#8) Give yourself a mini-massage. Put a little massage oil or lotion or the back of one hand and rub your own hands deeply. This can feel very relaxing. The jaw, and forehead can often be tense when we are feeling stress, so it is also very soothing to rub your own face and purposely relax the muscles of the mouth and jaw.
#9) Listen to a song that you love. Listening to music decreases the levels of adrenalin and increases serotonin. It is well-established that listening to music has the power to reduce pain and relieve depression. Let a beautiful song carry away stress and transport you into a feeling of peace.
#10) Imagine a place you love. If you cannot actually get to your ideal hike, beach, or spa in the moment that you feel stress, you can always use your powerful imagination to visualize how it would feel to be there! How does the sun feel on your skin? Are you near the ocean or in the mountains What do you see? We know that our bodies respond quickly to our thoughts. When you visualize yourself relaxing in a loved location, your body will actually feel more relaxed.
In 1997, Stacey Shaw, M.A., began her career in education in Basalt, Colorado. She is a dynamic and inspiring instructor for both children and adults. In addition, Stacey has successfully owned and operated her own business. She brings this teaching and business management experience, along with 15 years of application of principles of success to her coaching and retreats. Stacey is highly intuitive and can provide a personalized coaching experience that will meet you where you are on your own path.