Combat Daily Stress In Five Minute Increments

Do you ever notice how good it feels to see the sun shining and feel a gentle breeze? How about the uplifting feelings that springtime brings with the clouds floating carefree across the enormous blue sky? What about the cleansing feeling after a hard rainstorm, when the air smells clean and the rainbows tarry? Or the brisk cold of a winter’s night when your breath lingers in smoke patches on the crisp air?

We spend too much time working, too many hours in a cold office building that insists on keeping the temperature uncomfortably hot or unbearably cold, with too few breaks to smell the roses. Americans are stressed out, yet  simple remedies to alleviate stress levels can be found in two of God’s greatest creations: the human body and nature.

Try these short, manageable ideas to release the daily stress, one moment at a time:

  1. Even a five minute break in front of an open window, feeling the outdoor air and hearing the outdoor sounds can alter the chemistry and physiology in your body. That, coupled with a series of deep yoga style breaths, arms reaching up and out and a gentle fold at the waist is all it takes to instantly change the trajectory of your day … or at least that hour of your day.
  2. Get up for a stretch break. Try to go outside or in the room with the most outdoor lighting streaming in. Take a few deep yoga style breaths and move your body in whatever way releases and opens up your tightness. This will also infuse your cells with much needed oxygen.
  3. You might want to make sure you’re alone for this one. Smile a big, toothy grin and hold it for five full seconds. I know it feels crazy, but do it anyway. Release and do it again, this time giggle quietly. Release and do it one last time and gently pinch your cheeks as you hold that smile. When you finish, you will notice feelings of happiness and a few spontaneous, automatic smiles to accompany you for the next part of your day.
  4. Lean back in your chair, straighten out your legs and stretch yourself, arching your back a few times, tightening your abs. Then sit up straight and hunch over a few times sliding your hands down to your knees.
  5. Step outside and feel the breeze (even if it’s cold) and take a few deep breaths to invigorate yourself. Then think of at least 7 things for which you are thankful. Now comes the important part – don’t skip this part: say thank you out loud for each of the things on your list. You can whisper it if you’d like, but make sure you can hear yourself in your ears, not in your head.

Challenge:  Try these short stress relievers over the next week and observe how you feel. Notice which ones work best for you and then add them to your daily routine. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s