There are a lot of things to be stressed about in life. I get it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything going on. It can be even more so when you have your own business. Not only do you have every day life things to get stressed about, but you may be worried about making enough money, getting and keeping business, and more. The good news is, while I can’t make the stress go away, there are many things you can do to reduce the stress in your life. None of these things take very long to do, and can help lower your stress levels, reduce your cortisol levels, and bring down any anxiety that you have.
1. Go for a Walk
Most of us spend too much time sitting. Going for a walk does multiple things for your mind and your body. It’s good exercise. Walking also helps clear your mind and get you physically away from the stressful situation. If you can take a walk outside, you’ll have even more benefits. Being in nature and breathing the air outside both help you lower your stress levels. On top of that, the sun helps make you happier. So when you’re feeling stressed, if you can go for a short walk outside, you’ll really be helping lower your stress.
2. Listen to Music
Listening to music is a great way to help relieve stress. Try to listen to something upbeat. You’ll notice that it helps change your mood for the better. Listening to your favorite music helps as well. You probably can’t help but want to sing along when you hear your favorite songs. If you’re in a public place, you can always put some headphones on so that you can listen to the music that you want to without disturbing others. You’ll see that it helps you be happier and become more relaxed. It’s hard to be unhappy while you’re singing your favorite songs! (Or at least listening to them, if you can’t sing out loud.)
3. Do Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing is something that you can do anywhere, and only takes a few seconds. That makes it a great thing to try when you’re really stressed. If you can, sit in a comfortable position, and take a deep breath through your nose. Breathe in until your stomach expands and you can’t breathe in anymore. Then hold your breath for a few seconds. Then, slowly exhale through your mouth. If you repeat this a few times, you’ll find that you’ll be less stressed and ready to continue on with what you were doing.
4. Try Guided Meditation
A short meditation can help lower stress levels. There are many out there online that you can use whenever you get stressed. Download an app to your phone, and you’ll find that there are many that are about 5 minutes long and can help you de-stress and relax. You may think that you can’t meditate, but there are many different types out there, and I’m sure you can find one that works well for you. If you’re not sure where to start, some highly rated apps include: Headspace, Balance, and Calm.
5. Talk to a Friend
Friends can make it all better. Spending a few minutes talking with a friend can help lower your stress levels. If you can vent to them about what you’re stressed about, that will help even more. You’ll get it out, plus your friend might have some ideas and might be able to help you. Even if they can’t help and are listening to you vent, it will make you less stressed. Plus, spending time with friends (even on the phone) make people happier anyway, so you’ll still be better off.
6. Write it Down
Another great way to reduce stress right now is to get out a pen and piece of paper. Write down everything that is stressing you out. Write down what you’re upset about. Write down what’s on your mind. Even if it’s a list of things that you still have to do today, get it out. Write it all down. You don’t need to spend a lot of time for this, 5 minutes at the most should be more than enough. Once you’re done, you should notice that you feel a lot better. You got it all out, and your stress levels will be lower. Then, you can decide whether to throw the piece of paper away so no one else sees it, or to keep it so you can take action on it later.
7. Use Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This is a method that lowers stress by reducing muscle tension. It involves tensing and relaxing each major muscle group one after the other. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Breathe deep and tense both your feet. Hold for a few seconds. Exhale and release the tension. Repeat with your calves, then your thighs, and so on until you’ve done this with all the major muscle groups from your toes up to the top of your head. It’s also a good way to calm down for sleep if you have issues falling asleep.
This one may not work if you’re around a lot of other people. But laughter can help you relax. A good session of laughing can keep you more relaxed and less stressed for quite a while after you’re finished laughing. It will also increase your immune system, because it lowers your stress hormones. It even physically makes you feel better, as endorphins are released when you laugh, causing you to be happier. Don’t have anything to laugh about? That’s not a problem. Go to YouTube and search. I’m sure you’ll find quite a few things to laugh about.
9. Chew Gum
This one sounds a bit odd, but works. The physical act of chewing gum, even for a few minutes, has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and lower anxiety. So keep some gum handy, and the next time you start to feel stressed, start chewing. This is something easy that you can do whether you’re alone or around other people. They won’t even need to know why you’re chewing a piece of gum.
Stress is unavoidable. We’ll never be able to get rid of it completely, so having things you can do to get rid of it can help you when you do get stressed.