Simple stress management techniques

The topic of easy stress management came up in nearly all of my health coaching sessions last week, and I can understand why. We are nearing the end of the summer (I know, I don’t want to admit it either!) and work obligations are ramping back up.  I’ve felt this energy too: even though I’ve been away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, I’ve had lots of emails and people reaching out to plan fall events and workshops.

No matter what you got going on this time of year, here are my top tools for stopping stress in its tracks. You can even do most all of these in your office, without getting strange looks from your co-workers ;)

  • Get away from your desk - Go for a walk or go to the bathroom or go fill up your water bottle (you keep a water bottle at your desk, right???). Whatever you do, just get up from your desk. The act of taking yourself out of the environment where stress takes place can help it dissipate, plus the movement will help relive physical tension that has built up in your body.
  • Focus on your breathing - I’ve shared this breathing technique with you all before and it’s my favorite stress-buster because you can do it literally anywhere. Breathing in this way activates your para-sympathetic nervous system (your rest and digest function), physically calming you down.
  • Visualize your happy place - Okay, I’m about to get a little woo woo on you but trust me on this one because it works: Close your eyes and visualize your happy place. Feel what it feels like to be in that place. For me that’s reading on the beach in Maine, sun shining on my skin, salty sea breeze blowing through my hair, no plans or obligations for the rest of the day. My body is relaxed, my face is at ease. If you know you hold tension in a specific part of your body (brow, jaw, shoulders, stomach, etc), focus on softening that area as you build your visualization. Your mind and your body are connected - when you relax the body, the mind will follow. 

Now I want to hear from you - which of these tools will you try out this week? Or maybe you have another technique that you use to stop stress in the moment? Share with us all in the comments below!

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