No one is immune to the effects of stress. Because of this, it’s important to learn how to recognize and handle both stress and stressful situations. The American Institute of Stress published a list of ways to manage and reduce stress including exercise, mediation and coloring! Below you’ll find a list of Cyrano’s favorite stress relief activities!
Do a Quick Exercise
Exercise can help alleviate stress in a variety of ways by activating the body’s production of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Exercise can also provide relief from the effects of stress on the body by improving mood, self confidence, sleep and cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems.
Dance like Nobody’s Watching
Technically, dancing is a form of exercise. So naturally, taking a dance break will provide the same benefits as a quick exercise. Dancing to your favorite song can also provide the extra benefit of triggering positive memories and taking your mind off stress.
Meditate (Or Even Just Consciously Breathe)
Cyrano knows employees can find themselves stressed at any time of the day, even during work. Which is why we’ve created 60 seconds of Calm. While the calming sounds of nature play, focus on clearing your mind or simply slowing your breathing.
Another well-researched practice is meditation or breathing exercises. While some people may be intimidated by the idea of meditation, it can be very easy and effective in as little as a few minutes. Practicing slow breathing has been shown to have benefits for the central nervous system and improve the body’s production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Do Something Tactile
Tactile refers to your sense of touch. Some common things you can do to engage this sense include, popping bubble wrap, squeezing a stress ball or holding a piece of ice.
Focusing on engaging and activating various senses can be a good technique to ground yourself and get out of your head, according to Debra Kissen, Ph.D., the co-chair of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s education committee.
Some exercises can incorporate more than once sense like putting on a scented hand lotion. This way you are focusing on touch and smell and with the high levels of hand sanitizer use, it can’t hurt to get some extra moisturizing either.
Doodle or Color
Anything that can take your mind off of stressful triggers can be beneficial for your health. Consider taking a minute to draw something silly in the margin of your notes. If you can’t find any artistic inspiration, adult coloring books are another excellent way to let your brain recharge its creativity.
Dr. Kissen says doodling can be a great way to relieve stress if it’s something you enjoy, just be sure not to focus on the quality of the drawing as much as you focus on getting out of your head.
NYU’s Dr. Gonzalez-Loman says, “There’s a ton of research about yoga’s role in stress reduction, and even taking 10 minutes to breathe and stretch in any way that feels good to you can be incredibly soothing.”
There are plenty of ways to get a good stretch in, even if you’re stuck at your desk. Don’t believe us? Here’s is a link to 5 Stress-reducing Yoga Exercises you can do at your desk!