No matter what time of the year it is, stress always finds us. The National Stress Institute reports that 80 percent of us feel stress at work and nearly half of us say we need help learning how to manage stress. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are a few ways to help manage stress, both at work and in your personal life.
Practice deep breathing
Breathing exercises help reduce stress and calm an anxious mind. The ancient practices of yoga and tai chi use breathing as the central force to find balance between the body and mind. Perform the technique below once or twice a day, or whenever you start to feel your stress levels reaching maximum capacity. Throughout the exercise, breathe from the abdominals so that more oxygen reaches your lungs.
- Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
- Exhale through the mouth, taking a slow, deep breath through your nose. Hold for a count of seven, if possible.
- Slowly exhale through the mouth for eight counts. As you’re doing this, contract your abdominal muscles.
- Repeat the cycle four more times for a grand total of 5 deep breaths.
Another great way to achieve relaxation is through meditation. Give it a try by listening to one of the links below:
Read inspiring quotes
When you’re running low on positive vibes, there’s no better way to give yourself a boost than peeking into the minds of great people. It helps to know that even the more privileged among us have experienced similar struggles. Start with these well-organized sites: ThinkExist, BrainyQuote and GoodQuotes.
Engage in feel-good activities
Stress has a nasty habit of making us feel bad. When you start to feel bad, do something that makes you feel good. Set aside 15 minutes each day to do something you enjoy: read a book, take a walk, do a crossword puzzle, play an instrument, etc.