Stress can sometimes be a good thing – giving you that final push to make it through the end of your workout or finish a project before the deadline; however, intense or chronic stress can wreak havoc on your physical, emotional, and mental health. The best way to manage stress long-term is to make lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, sleeping enough, and regularly checking in on your physical, mental, and spiritual well being.
All of these are great practices, and can help bolster your resilience against stress; however, if you’re in the middle of a busy workday, halfway through an exam, or struggling to meet a project deadline, checking out to sleep 8 hours, eat a healthy meal, or fit in an hour long sweat sesh is usually anywhere from impractical to impossible. In this way, it’s good to master a couple of quick stress-busting exercises to employ when you need a fast fix for your stress levels. We’ve rounded up several practical stress relievers that take less than 5 minutes – try out several to find the ones that work for you!
Try these tips to manage your stress levels
Stress isn’t always a bad thing. In the short-term, low level stress can help us focus and improve our performance. It can give us the boost we need to finish a big project or make an important decision. However, I think we can all agree when we say that an overabundance of stress is the absolute worst.
First, a quick primer on stress: Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. When your brain perceives a threat (anything from a fast approaching deadline to a fast-approaching wild animal), it signals your body to release a burst of hormones that increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. This “fight-or-flight” response fuels you to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Once the threat (or stress-inducing trigger) is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal, relaxed state. However, given the nonstop complications of modern life, many of us rarely return to that relaxed state, merely hopping from one stressor to another.
It’s easy to get stressed out from day-to-day demands. Luckily, there are healthy ways to manage your stress.