Every time I turn on the radio I hear, “It’s the hap-happiest time of the year!” Hearing that song raises my blood pressure. Are you feeling stress from the demands of work, family, and the holidays? Today’s blog post provides some stress management techniques to help you relax.
Do you enjoy reading? Can you get ‘lost in a book’? If your answer is yes, then today is your lucky day! A recent study indicates that immersing yourself in a good book for six minutes is more effective than taking a walk when it comes to reducing stress. Scientists believe that it is the act of focusing on the book that helps to relieve stress. The sustained focus of reading gives our busy minds a break from emails, coworkers, phone calls, text messages, and multitasking. It also gives us an opportunity to escape our daily lives for a few minutes.
Using focus to relieve stress is nothing new. People have been using meditation for thousands of years as a stress buster. There are many different forms of meditation. It is a quiet time, eyes closed or open, sitting, standing, lying down, or walking. Slow deep breaths for as little as 60 seconds can calm and focus the mind. Try setting a timer for 60 seconds, sit in a comfortable, quiet space, close your eyes and breathe deeply for a quick stress buster. If you are interested in a deeper meditation practice, there are many free smart phone apps to assist your meditation. Insight timer even offers guided meditations.
Friendship is a treasure and connecting with others is a wonderful way to beat stress. Take time for lunch or a coffee with a friend. Silence your digital devices and focus on the conversation. If you are feeling holiday stress, chat about your dream vacation to allow an escape from the frantic pace of the holiday season.
These are three techniques to help manage stress. Are you using stress management tools not listed here? Feel free to share in the comments section.