5 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

Modern technology makes our lives easier in many ways, and yet paradoxically has added to our stress like nothing ever before it. While we may not be running from hungry tigers in our daily lives, we are bombarded with news, texts, emails, and “urgent” things that needed to be taken care of “yesterday.”

All of this stress adds up, so we need to consciously work on alleviating it to improve our health and well-being.

5 Quick Stress Relievers You Can Try Today

Reducing stress should not be a big production – in fact, if you are waiting for the “perfect” vacation as the answer to all your aggravations, you may be waiting for a long time. Incorporate some small, easy stress busters in your daily life to make an ongoing impact.

1. Take a Nature Break

Nature is a natural stress reliever. Ideally, take a quick walk or sit in nature on a nice day, even for just a few minutes. If you are unable to go outside due to weather or live in a city without a park nearby, view a peaceful nature video instead. You can find free videos online of sunsets, beach waves, and mountain scenes with snow – often with soothing music or simple nature sounds.

2. Meditate for a Minute

Many people shy away from meditation because they can’t seem to keep their minds still for lengthy periods of time. Actually, meditation comes in many forms and doesn’t have to involve just silencing the mind completely. You can meditate for just one minute by focusing on a slow inhale and a slow exhale.

3. Laugh! Or at Least Smile

This is one of those “fake it until you make it” suggestions. Your body doesn’t really know the difference between a fake laugh or a smile and a genuine one. You can pretend to laugh to start laughing for real – or perhaps you have a favorite comic or other source of humor you can keep nearby. In the least, smile, even if you don’t feel like it. It can change your mood.

4. Count to 10

An oldie but a goodie, and often forgotten these days, the tried and true “count to 10” when you are mad or upset is still a good way to manage stress in the moment. Incorporate some deep breathing to really make it “count.”

5. Be Thankful

Take a moment to be thankful not just for what you have, but for those who support you. Take a moment to internally thank God, your employer, your loved ones…thank the person who made your coffee this morning. Focus on the positive in others, instead of the negatives.

Make Managing Stress a Good Habit

Managing stress works best when it is a habit – or rather, a series of small habits you do during the day. Small little shifts in behavior can help reduce stress and anxiety while increasing peace of mind and overall happiness. Try it!