Quick Ways to Manage Stress Levels
When it comes to managing our stress levels, most of us need to learn how to get out of our heads and into the present moment. Being mindful and present can help settle the nervous system, increase our immunity, bring clarity to our thoughts, and soothe irritation.
During this time of isolation, you may find your thoughts centering around the same general categories of worry, concern, anxiousness, irritation, or even boredom. Consuming too much news or listening to the bombardment of stats and outbreak predictions can begin to change the mind's overall default way of thinking. Our thoughts trigger emotions. This emotional state of being happens so often that the body and mind become trained to it. Soon, whether you like it or not, you find yourself drawn to taking in more of the same just to keep the emotional state going.
Thoughts + Feelings = your current state of being
What if you could change this current state of being by continually returning to the present moment? It's like pressing "reset" for your mind and body. How? Try incorporating some of these quick ways to manage stress levels and bring yourself back to what you really want to feel.
1. Breath Exercise - 3:2:3:2
Start shaping your breath and take 3 counts in; pause for 2 counts; then exhale for 3 counts; pause for 2 counts. Try this for one minute. Adjust the counts to your comfort level. Just make sure you pause at the top and bottom of each breath.
Effects: brings focus to the mind and a gentle ease to the body
2. Tense/Release Exercise
Clench your feet and release 2-3 times. Work your way up the legs - tensing and releasing. Then into the torso. Next the arms and hands. And lastly the face.
Effects: further relaxation to all parts of the body (even to places we don't realize we're holding tension).
3. Counting/Naming Exercise
When you feel overly charged, pause for a moment and start numbering and naming all the items you see around you. Example: 1-chair 2-table 3-computer 4-cup... Keep listing out loud. Most people report a change in temperament between 10-20 items.
Effects: calming an over-triggered nervous system or emotional response.
4. Tap into Your Core Desired Feeling
What do you want to feel today? How do you know when you're feeling it? Close your eyes and remember a time when you felt this desired emotion. Where in the body can you sense it? Practice this as often as possible until it becomes natural and easy.
Effects: retrains the brain and body to align to a positive, uplifting emotion; breaks the habit of immediately moving into old thought patterns.
5. Visualization with your Core Desired Feeling
For more practice, close your eyes and see yourself moving through the day with this core desired feeling. Try one of the visualizations in the Veraki app. This active visualization process can have immediate effects.
Effects: relaxes the mind and body; strengthens the immune system; retrains the brain and body to align to a new emotional state of being.
These quick ways are easy to add to your day. Let us know how they work for you.
Find more visualization recordings and exercises like these in the Veraki app - available in app stores now.