When stress gets on top on you, it's good to know that you have a way to relieve it quickly, and luckily there are plenty of options.
This week we're looking at the ways you can de-stress in minutes, so you'll have a few tricks up your sleeve when the pressure is on. In fact, we dare you to try all of these suggestions (every one is extremely doable) and see if you notice a quick difference.
Here are 10 great ways to feel better instantly:
1. Practice Smiling
People smile when they're happy, but research has shown that forcing yourself to smile when not in the mood can actually make you feel better. Go ahead, try to keep smiling while you read the rest of this article.
2. Nature Walk
Okay, we've mentioned this before but it's only because it's genuinely helpful. It helps to ground you and create a sense of mindfulness, reminding you that the demands of life in the city aren't everything. And hey, you'll soon have all that autumn foliage to look forward to.
3. A Small Victory
Setting small goals and achieving them are a great way to quickly improve your mood, because that feeling of success makes you feel better about yourself. Even tiny accomplishments like tidying your room have been proven to provide a big mood payoff.
I'm not saying you have to go join a salsa class or even go to a nightclub, you can do this by yourself. Honestly, dance has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health and moods.
I defy you to dance as ridiculously as you can right now and not feel good afterwards.
5. The 4-7-8 Technique
Here's a breathing technique you should try, it requires that you take a deep breath for four seconds, hold that breath for seven seconds, exhale it for eight seconds, then repeat. This exercise requires you focus on counting and breathing, and as a result prevents you from focusing on anxieties, because you simply can't concentrate on all those things at once.
Give it a few minutes before giving up on the exercise, once you get into the rhythm it's incredibly relaxing. It's also a great technique to try when you have trouble sleeping.
6. Put On Your Best Clothes
It's hard to feel bad when you're looking so damn good. You don't even need to go somewhere in the outfit, just put it on and feel that self-esteem rise.
7. Give Someone A Heartfelt Compliment
This is a mushy one and I can see not many wanting to try it, but it works. In a totally selfless act, just call or text a friend or family member and give them a genuine compliment, then wait for that warm fuzzy feeling to arrive. Remember now, I dared you to try all of these suggestions, so go for it.
Just look how good it makes these people feel.
8. Do A Plank
This is just another example of how caring for your physical wellbeing benefits your mental state. If you're unfamiliar with the plank exercise, it's where you support your body on your forearms while keeping your back straight as a plank.
If you are familiar with this exercise, you'll know a minute spent doing one feels like an eternity, but you'll feel better for it.
9. Switch Off The Computer And Mobile
We know, a stupid piece of advice for a website to give, but important none the less. Switching off your devices helps you properly disconnect and stop worrying, so try it before going to bed tonight.
10. Power Stance
Here's one you should probably try in privacy. Much like how forcing ourselves to smile can cause us to be happy, by forcing our body language into a position of dominance we can feel more powerful and confident. These dominant positions are called 'power stances' and they include holding your head high, pushing out your chest, and resting your hands on your hips. The key is to be physically open.
Research has proven that using 'power stances' for just two minutes can boost the levels of testosterone in one's blood and lower the levels of the stress-hormone cortisol. So before your next big presentation, try doing a Superman pose in a bathroom stall for two minutes.
If you've tried these suggestions for yourself, let us know in the comments.