This was also the week prior to finals. When we sat down to brain storm ways of getting the message across an acronym came to me. I don’t know what it is about acronyms but they’re easy to remember and fun.
5 ways to stop stress.
S: Stop and take a break every 90 minutes. Taking a break gives you a chance to step away and refresh yourself. When you return you’ll find that you’re more productive, more energized, and ready to take on the task at hand. This works for studying, working on a big project, making phone calls, laundry. Whatever the task at hand may be…set a timer for 90 minutes and when it goes off…walk away. This break can be anywhere from three to thirty minutes. However long you feel you need to rejuvenate yourself. Just a 5 minute break can help stop stress.
T: Turn in with Meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting cross legged on top of a beautiful mountain top. It can be done wherever you are. Meditation is the increase in awareness or focus on what you are doing. When your timer goes off maybe you decide to step outside and get some fresh air. Bring awareness to your breath, your body, the sights and sounds. This can be meditation. Or sit or lie down, close your eyes and count your breath. If you go grab a snack or a drink, notice the food and how it feels, the sensation of chewing, the saliva flooding the mouth, how it feels as you swallow. This is a form of meditation and any form of meditation helps stop stress.
O: Open your lungs and breathe. Since focused breathing is a form of meditation you can kill two birds with one stone here. Check out this post ‘Do You Breathe Right?’ and follow the breathing exercise and it can count as meditation AND opening your lungs. Breathing helps stop stress by helping you be more present. Stress is largely caused by living in the past or worrying about the future. There is nothing more present than the breath. You can’t breathe for the past and you can’t breathe for the future. Breath only happens in the present moment.
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P: Physical Movement is so important in helping you stop stress. Our bodies were made with a ‘fight or flight’ response to stress. In the caveman days this was beneficial when faced with a saber tooth tiger and we had to fight the tiger or flee. However, in todays society, our saber tooth tigers are piles of unpaid bills, an angry boss, an upset child, traffic jams, and other things that we can’t necessarily fight physically or flee from. Sure you could punch your boss or your kids (though not recommended) or run away to the Bahamas and change your name, these aren’t acceptable and responsible solutions to the stressors. Physically moving your body helps relieve that ‘fight or flight’ stress response in your body. 20-30 minutes a day of simply walking will help stop stress in a BIG way.
E (silent in this case): Eat high energy food. High energy foods that are alive will rejuvenate your body. When your body feels alive and well your mind can focus more clearly on what is needed to maintain a stress free life.
There you have it…5 Ways to STOP(e) Stress! Simple and effective! Please tell me below how you’ve incorporated any of these steps in your day and how they’ve helped with your Stress!