We all know that it’s super important to slow down and de-stress our hectic lives. But once you’re on the freight train of a busy life, how do you actually do that? There is a lot of advice out there – but what actually works? And how can I start to incorporate some healthy stress management habits into my own life in order to slow down that freight train, decrease the stress and increase the joy?
These are the questions that drove me to start some research – I needed some practical, quick, easy advice on where to start my stress relief journey.
Survey says… Being an analytics type of person, I decided to survey what is “out there” deemed as top de-stressing techniques. I read every ‘top stress relief’ article I could find, and noted which strategies were most often cited as the best.
There were some really surprising tactics that consistently made it into these ‘Top 10’ lists. I was kind of expecting them all to be about setting aside an hour a day to meditate, requiring the right gear and complete ability to disconnect from reality — which really just isn’t practical now, is it?
Although meditation did show up regularly, there were a LOT of other stress management techniques that were cited that were truly practical and doable for people like you and me, with zero time and energy to invest in complicated tactics. Every one of the ideas that made my ‘survey says’ list has super-easy, 5-minute approaches to achieve.
So what are these super-easy magical approaches? Well, to give you a taste, two that made the list that were complete surprises to me:
Stress Management Tactic #8: Chew Gum
Chew Gum (#8). Researchers have actually found evidence that gum chewers feel less anxious in moments of stress, and have 18% less cortisol (the stress hormone) in their saliva. Another theory of why it works is that chewing gum causes brain waves similar to those of relaxed people. It also promotes blood flow to the brain, which has a positive influence on calmness and contentment. Its so easy, it’s totally worth a try to see if it helps you.
Stress Management Tactic #9: Massage your ears
Massage your ears (#9). Massage counteracts your body’s negative response to stress, relaxing muscle tension and allowing your heart rate, blood pressure, and circulation to return to normal. Serotonin and dopamine are also released through massage, which provides a feeling of calm relaxation. And who knew, massaging your ears releases endorphins! Another super-quick tip to get you some instant stress relief.
For all the rest of the practical 5-minute strategies, I hope you’ll subscribe to get my free eBook that has all of the top 10 (actually 20 when you count the ties), as well as suggestions for how to incorporate each one into your daily life.
All the best, and happy de-stressing,