Stress and anxiety can impact your mental as well as physical health. Many people experience stress on a daily basis. Everyday stresses such as those related to work, family, health, and finances can often lead to higher stress levels. For the sake of one's general health, the stress in daily life should be reduced as much as feasible. This is due to the fact that stress can be detrimental to your health and raises your risk of developing ailments including heart disease, anxiety disorders, and depression. However, there are simple practices that you can use throughout the day when you find yourself off-centre, helping to regulate your nervous system and bring you back to the present moment. (Also read: Mental health: Facts about stress you may not know )
Popular writer, teacher and positive psychology instructor, Cory Muscara, suggested five effective stress reduction tips that only take 30 seconds in his recent Instagram post.
1. Take 5:
Extend your left palm in front of you like you're holding a pizza pie. Place your right pointer finger at the base of your palm in your left hand. Slide it up and down each of your five fingers, breathing in as you slide up and breathing out as you slide down.
2. Shift "What If" to "What Is":
When your mind is caught up in thinking "What if this happens?" or "What if that goes wrong," pause, take a breath, and ask yourself, "What is here right now?" Notice what you can see, hear, or feel in your body. The reality of this moment is often less of a catastrophe than the mind is telling you.
3. 4-7-8 Breath:
Inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Do 5 rounds. To elongate the exhale, imagine blowing hot air on a cold window. Then, do this while closing your lips. This will constrict the airway and lengthen your out-breath.
4. Mental Labeling:
When you feel stressed, say to yourself, "This is stress." When you notice fear, say "This is fear." When you notice a thought, say "This is thinking." Name it to tame it. This engages your prefrontal cortex, connecting the more mature part of your brain to the more reactive part of your brain.
5. 2 Feet 1 Breath:
When standing or sitting, lift and place your right heel on the ground, feeling a connection with the earth, and say 'Right Foot.' Then do the left side, saying 'Left Foot.' After doing both, take a deep breath. 2 Feet 1 Breath. This is a simple way to reground and connect to the present moment.