Mini De-Stress Techniques
Stress experienced over a long time can contribute to insomnia, high blood pressure, ulcers and weakened immune systems, as well as foggy thinking and poor judgement. Regular, small amounts of stress can mount up during your day. When stress gets away from you and suddenly you find yourself at work and totally panicked, there are things you can do. There are several mini de-stress techniques that you can use to deal with this onslaught of tension before you say something you shouldn’t or you run for the nearest exit screaming.
Relieve Those 'Reading (or Computer) Eyes'Sometimes at work or school, you can begin to feel the strain of reading and working with computer screens. One way to help your eyes recover and give yourself a mini break is to do this simple exercise.
- Rub your hands together to generate a little heat within your palms
- Gently cup them and put them over your closed eyes
- Leave your hands there for ten seconds and concentrate on the warmth of your hands
- Breathe deeply in and out while you are concentrating on your hands
- When you take your hands away, slowly open your eyes. You will often feel a lot calmer, and your eyes will feel rested
When you get home - When you get home from work, if you are still feeling tension in your eyes, make yourself a pot of tea, using two tea bags. When the tea bags are cool, lie back on the couch and place the tea bags over your closed eyes. Let them remain in place for ten minutes while you breathe deeply and concentrate on your breathing. The cooling bags feel good on your eyes, and the tannins in the tea will reduce swelling under your eyes.
A Quick & Regular Fix: Deep BreathingDeep breathing is a great on-the-spot relaxer:
- Close your eyes and begin with a deep breath, pushing your abdomen out as you fill your lungs with air
- Inhale gently through your nose
- You can exhale either through your nose or through your mouth
- Sit quietly and breathe for ten completed breaths
- This is usually enough to get you back on track, but you can sit and breathe for as long as you need to
StretchingAnother quick relaxer is stretching
Head and Shoulders - This can be simply moving your head to each side and up and down, slowly, feeling the stretch. You can then shrug your shoulders up toward your ears and then let them relax. Next, you can move both arms across your chest, crossing over each hand alternately. Then, move your shoulders back toward your spine.
Wrists - If you have been working on a computer for a long time, you should also put your palms together as if in prayer and press gently. This will relieve tension in your wrists.
Stand and Stretch - Don't forget to stand and stretch. Bring your arms high above your head and reach alternately toward the sky. Then drop your arms and reach toward the floor. Finally, extend your arms above your head and arch your back slightly.
When you have completed this sequence, you will have done novice yoga asanas or postures. These stretches gently move your spine into alignment and relieve the tension in your head, arms, and shoulders.
Visualise a Mini-HolidayCreating a relaxing place in the mind, is a form of meditation, though many people would call it simple daydreaming; it can leave you feel relaxed and reinvigorated though:
- The place can be one that you have been to, in nature or one that you would like to go to
- For many people, that place is a beach on a tropical island or a cabin in the woods
- You can make this place as real in your mind as possible
- Note exactly what colour the sky is or what colour the sea is
- Imagine the warmth of the sun or how the sand feels beneath your feet
- You could even put in bird song or the sound of wind chimes
- Make the place as real as possible
While you are in this exotic locale, you are actually taking a short holiday from the cares of your life. And, just like a holiday, you can open your eyes refreshed and recharged.
Mini Self MassageThis last de-stressor can make you feel wonderful though the technique is really quite simple. With the thumb of one hand, massage the palm of the other hand. Make small circles with your thumb, working every area of the palm, and eventually work your way up each finger. Switch and do the other hand. This is similar to the hand massages that massage therapists do for their clients. If you add positive thoughts or affirmations to your massage, it will deepen your relaxation and reinforce it every time you massage your hands.
Any of these mini stress-reducing exercises can help you relax when you need to calm down or maintain your peace within.
Investigate more about individual aspects of the article on our website here:
On External sitesThe NHS has ten stress busters, here
An explanation of stress, on the BBC website