04 Jan 21 Evidence-Based Stress Busting Tips for Crazy Times
via Psychology Today by Tamara Goldsby
Feeling stressed and a bit overwhelmed by current events? Unless you’re a monk in the Himalayas, you’ve probably been pretty tense lately. Even those normally even-keeled and mild-mannered folks find themselves snapping at family members, irritable and depressed.
If that’s not enough to incentivize you to reduce your stress, look in the mirror. Is your face looking akin to a saggy roadmap lately or your eyes raccoon-like? Stress has unfortunately also been linked to increased aging. If you want to look “Forever 21,” try these stress reduction tips. Enjoy and breathe.
Relaxation and Meditation
1. Deep breaths — Speaking of breathing, here’s an easy one you can do anywhere, anytime: Take four deep breaths. Make the in-breath four seconds, hold the breath seven seconds, and out-breath for eight seconds. Deep breathing activates the body’s Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), a counter to our perpetually keyed-up “fight or flight” response.
2. Yoga — I know you’re thinking: “Oh, that just for hipsters and flakes,” but give it a try. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, studied extensively, and found to reduce stress and anxiety. Numerous types of yoga exist, from gentle and slow to actively sweating your cares away. If you cannot find in-person classes right now due to COVID-19, try online classes.
3. Meditation or quiet time — Often we live frenetic lives, with our minds racing to the next obligation, grocery shopping list, or work task. There are numerous ways to meditate, such as mindfulness meditation, that can reduce your stress.
4. Music and sound healing — Music can be soothing and relaxing. There’s an even deeper musical experience called “sound healing” which has been proven to decrease tension and anxiety, which is my research passion. The effects are undeniable. In-person sound healing is most effective, but virtual sound healing may help decrease stress.
5. Gratitude — We can feel a positive emotional shift when we try an exercise like the following for seven continuous days: Write down three things for which you’re grateful, written as “I am grateful for ___,” “I am grateful for ____,” “I am grateful for___.” (It’s even backed up by research.)
… keep reading the full & original article HERE