It is a good idea to monitor your level of stress and do what you can to minimize it during the day. We might meditate, go for a long walk, soak in the tub, or take a nap, but we do not always have the luxury of taking a long break.
Here are a few ways to relax that take little time or allow you to continue what you are doing. They may not all work for you, but it’s likely at least one of them will.
1. Blow Hole Breath
This is helpful when your mind is full of worrisome thoughts. Although it’s best to sit and relax you can do this standing up or while on the move.
- Imagine the top of your head has a blow hole, as does a whale.
- Take a deep breath in.
- To breath out, push your breath through the blow hole at the crown of your head.
- Imagine all the thoughts in your mind getting blown out of your mind with your breath.
Repeat until your mind is empty. Then, enjoy the emptiness. Notice your body relaxing. After using this tip a few times, you may be able to clear you mind with one whale of a breath.
Hum a zippy tune. When humming, feel how your neck and torso vibrate. This is an excellent way to get your body buzzing toward lightness of being.
You can hum whatever you like, but lively tunes with a steady beat seem to be the most helpful. Try humming songs from your childhood. It wakes up the childlike part of you. For example, if you are a baby boomer, hum the Micky Mouse Club song; seriously.
3. Go Slo-mo
We often move faster and faster when under stress, until we finally collapse. Even if you have a lot to do, try moving slowly. Talk slower, type slower, walk slower, and take some slow breaths. A fast pace is the stressor for some of us, and purposely moving at half speed will bring relief.
If you find that moving slowly increases your stress, this tip is not for you.
4. Grounded In the Moment
Stop whatever you are doing and look at the detail of your surroundings. See everything without thinking about what you see. Turn off your cortex and let your head be a video camera. Take a few slow, deep breaths as you observe.
If you are at work, look at the details of your desk, or the entire room. If you are on a train, plane, or even in a meeting, observe the people around you. Do it for 30 seconds to a minute, and then stop or continue.
5. Rag Doll
This is only for those of you exercise regularly and have no back pain. If you’re not sure about this, don’t do it, or consult with your doc.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees barely bent.
- Arch your back and bend forward at the waist; or bend forward by rolling your back.
- Let your torso, arms, neck, and head hang like a rag doll.
- Let your thoughts and tension be absorbed into the ground or floor.
- Hang for at least a minute, if you can.
- Slowly, roll your back up to stand, or slowly, arch your back and stand up.
If you have good tips for quick stress relief, please share.