Stress Relief

You can practice it along with breathing exercises and guided imagery. Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol anxiety or eating too much. These actions may seem to help in the moment, but actually may add to stress in the long run.

Relaxation techniques like these can slow your heart rate and breathing, lower your blood pressure, and bring your mind and body into a more balanced state. They’re usually free, can be practiced almost anywhere, and don’t require a huge time commitment – as long as you do them everyday. Keeping a gratefulness journal or just spending a few minutes each day thinking about what you’re grateful for can have numerous benefits and enormous health effects that can protect your heart health and reduce stress. It can improve your mood, boost your immune system, reduce the effects of aging on the brain, help you sleep better, and reduce stress. One study showed that people who were grateful had about a 25 percent reduction in the stress hormone cortisol.

Breath focus can be especially helpful for people with eating disorders to help them focus on their bodies in a more positive way. However, this technique may not be appropriate for those with health problems that make breathing difficult, such as respiratory ailments or heart failure. Autogenic therapy also combines guided imagery and breathing exercises to reduce stress and your heart rate. Stress serves an important purpose—it enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness.

Health spoke with several experts on how to relieve stress nearly instantly or over time using a variety of methods. Here are 15 things you can do right now to help you start feeling calmer. Social interaction is your body’s most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system.

The method works best in conjunction with social support. Did you know your body practically has a stress-release button? There’s a spot between the tendons—about two or three finger widths above the center of your inner wrist—called the pericardium 6 . Just like in children, stress can affect our emotions and how we behave, as well as our physical and mental health. Stress might make you become irritable or short tempered, easily upset or agitated.

Yoga, tai chi, and qigong.These three ancient arts combine rhythmic breathing with a series of postures or flowing movements. The physical aspects of these practices offer a mental focus that can help distract you from racing thoughts. But if you are not normally active, have health problems, or a painful or disabling condition, these relaxation techniques might be too challenging. Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever that can work in minutes.