You are certainly well aware of the feeling of anxiety. Your heart is pounding; your breathing becomes shallow, your mind starts to spin. Pretty bad feeling, right? Luckily, 6 techniques can relieve you of these symptoms, and they only take few seconds of your time.
Take a deep breath
Sounds pretty simple but highly effective. Dealing with sudden stress, from a phone call full of bad news, a last-minute errand from your boss or an argument with your spouse triggers a series of physical and mental symptoms that are difficult to stop.
The first thing to do? Pay attention to your breathing rhythm and make an effort to start getting slow, deep breaths. This is the fundamental step in relieving stress.
“Breathing can change the way we feel because emotions and breathing are closely linked. A revealing research study has shown that different emotional states are associated with distinct breathing patterns.”
In a follow-up study, participants began to feel the emotions that corresponded to a particular breathing pattern. “This discovery is revolutionary. We can alter how we feel using our breath. Deep breathing requires more oxygen to your brain and can lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Say thank you
When stress attacks you, you may feel like your whole world is falling apart. Then remind yourself of everything good you have in your life and feel grateful for it. Studies show that the techniques of gratitude, such as counting the things for which you feel blessed, can significantly reduce stress.
Those who use such techniques daily have higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, optimism, vitality and lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Cultivating an optimistic mindset can help you maintain a positive attitude. When you are positive and grateful, you can handle difficult situations better.
Find your happy place
Escape from a stressful situation by remembering a favourite vacation spot or a place where you feel comfortable and at home. Be sure to consider every detail of your favourite part, the more detailed your visualization, the more stressful it is. It can be a beautiful spot on the beach.
Think of the velvety white sand, the blue waters of the sea, the sound of the waves, the feeling of the sun, you walking along the water. You can also associate it with a three-word mantra-like blue-sea-water.
Correct your attitude/posture
A bad posture can be an external sign of stress, not to mention that it intensifies the stress you feel. Overly stressed people often embody their worries. Those who struggle with anxiety usually have a bad attitude or suffer from pain.
They often bend over when sitting or leaning their bodies forward with their shoulders raised as they move or do chores as if carrying their internal weight on their backs.
When you feel anxious, take a few seconds to control your posture and sit up straight (as your mother used to tell you), it can help you feel better. Studies show that poor posture is associated with stress, depression, weakness and irritability, with the chin up and the shoulders back.
Stretch your muscles
You may not realize it, but when you are stressed, every muscle in your body tightens. Taking some time to recognize it and relax every part of your body can help. The most common areas of stress are the jaw, neck, shoulders, back and stomach.
The immediate relaxation technique begins with a deliberate tightening of the whole body, starting from the toes to the head area and continues with an instant relaxation of the accumulated tension. It is an effective way to gain awareness of your muscles and release stress very quickly. As you do this, also visualize all the negative emotion and tension leaving your body.
Shake it off
Stressed? You can shake it off. In Africa and other cultures, shaking therapy is used as emotional therapy, removing the perceived threat of fear, doubt or anxiety.
So the next time you see yourself emotionally charged because of a specific situation that affects your life, imagine anxiety to hit your body and start shaking from the legs to the top of your head.
Imagine an animal shaking after coming out of the water and using the shake to release the emotional attachments that cause you stress. It does not matter if you start laughing during this technique; laughter is always a great mood boost and endorphin!