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Written by Shae Iddles.
“I never get stressed,” says no one ever.
Let’s face it, stress is a normal part of our life. It creeps up on us in a number of different ways, sometimes good and sometimes bad.
In small doses, stress can actually help you to perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But if you’re constantly in a state of frenzy, it can take a toll on your mind and body, sometimes leading to serious health problems.
If you’re reading this and thinking “this sounds like me…”, then it’s time to take a step back and take some small actions to bring your emotional health back into balance.
So, what can you do? Listed below are four simple and proven tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to reduce your stress:
1. Roll out that yoga mat
Despite the awkward poses, yoga is a form of mind-body exercise that is becoming an increasingly popular choice to help reduce stress. Research has shown that in addition to enhancing muscular strength and body flexibility, it significantly decreases stresses and/or anxiety symptoms when it is included as part of your regimen. While there are no concrete guidelines around the frequency of practice, the more you do it, the more you will benefit.
2. Take a deep breath
When we are under stress, our breathing often changes – we take smaller, shallower breaths which disrupt the balance of gases in our body. Diaphragmatic breathing (also known as deep breathing) is something you can do to counteract this. This means that your breathing should be marked by the expansion of your abdomen rather than your chest. Research has shown that this practice is capable of inducing an effective improvement in mood and stress. Try to deep breathe for 10 minutes or until you feel relaxed.
3. Use your imagination
Find a quiet place, close your eyes and use your imagination to either picture a person, place or time, that makes you feel relaxed, peaceful and happy. While guided imagery may sound like a silly thing to do, research has shown it can be incredibly effective in lowering your stress levels. With practice and time, it will get easier to immerse yourself fully in your imagined scene and you’ll be able to enter a relaxed state more quickly.
4. Download a mindfulness app
Our phones which often aid our internet addiction can also provide us with daily peace through the use of a mindfulness app. Research has shown that mindfulness apps can measurably reduce stress and improve mood when used for more than 10 days in a row. The best part? There are so many different (and free) ones to choose from, depending on what best suits your needs. My personal favourite is Calm.
This post was written by Shae Iddles. Shae is a digital marketer, blogger and also slightly obsessed with anything related to health.