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Stress can hit you hard in your personal or professional life. If it gets bad enough, you need to take drastic measures like changing your job or getting out of a bad relationship. But sometimes, stress is about timing. In those, all you need is a little relief.
Scientists, researchers, and artists have put loads of their studies and remedies online for anyone to use for free. You only need to find them. Or well, you need this article since we already found them for you.
The key to managing stress is identifying how bad it is, and using a remedy accordingly. There’s no point in going to the doctor for a common cold, is there? Pound Place created a flowchart based on research findings so that you can identify your stress level.
The flowchart starts by asking how you slept last night, and then takes you step by step. Don’t skip ahead, go through it as guided. Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Remember, no one is judging your results but you.
At the end, you’ll find out if you’re calm, a little stressed, stressed, or very stressed. The flowchart has recommendations for what to do based on your state of mind. You could maybe even print it and hang it in your office.
Marconi Union, a leading ambient music band, are the proud composers of the world’s most relaxing song, according to a scientific study. Mindlab Institute, which conducted the research, found that the eight-minute song slowed the heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and decreased levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone that is released in response to stress.
The video, accordingly, features peaceful and relaxing settings. But you don’t really need the video. Plus, your boss might not be too happy to see you on YouTube. Shut your eyes, pop in some headphones, and let Weightless melt away all that stress.
This isn’t the first study to locate stress-relief songs. In fact, scientists have a list of the most relaxing songs, which you can use as a playlist for a bad day.
When you’re stressed, you don’t make the best decisions. You know you’re supposed to do breathing exercises, but your mind is so muddled up that you forget about it. Maybe you just need a snack, but when you’re feeling low, it slips your mind.
“You Feel Like Shit” is an informative and interactive self-care game to take you step-by-step towards feeling better. It’s all text, with multiple-choice answers to click based on your current status.
It’s not as simple as “do this” or “do that”. The guide explains why you need to make time for something, and how it affects your moods. And it suggests alternatives too. For example, a shower can help refresh you, but that might not be an option. So, the guide will tell you to wash your face or change your clothes, or any other self-care activity.
Most of it is obvious and simple advice when you’re in a good place. But when you’re struggling, do yourself a favor and play the You Feel Like Shit game. It’ll help.
Stress can make your entire body shut down, sapping all your energy. You need to kickstart things, but before you reach for that cup of joe, think again. More sugar or caffeine might cause more havoc internally. Instead, try this breathing exercise, also known as “Yogic coffee”.
You can do this standing at your desk if you need to, or find a quiet corner somewhere in the office. It’s a quick self-care idea you can do anywhere. The method is to breathe in through your nose and extend your arms fully upwards, then breathe out and bring them down to your shoulders with clenched fists. It’s kind of like standing in one place and mimicking the movements of a pull-up.
Do this rapidly for two minutes to feel an instant boost in your energy levels. As the instructor in the video says, close your eyes and focus on yourself through the process, observing your body and the thoughts in your mind.
5. Get the All-in-One Pacifica App (Android, iOS, Web)
Pacifica is an all-in-one tool for anyone who needs to an app to manage stress and anxiety levels. It has all the advice you read in different publications, condensed into one app that sits in your phone or desktop browser.
Pacifica has psychologist-designed audio lessons and activities that take you through the basics of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is also loaded with relaxation techniques that vary from physical or breathing exercises to meditation. The app prompts you in the day to record your mood periodically, so that you have a mood journal to identify patterns. Similarly, you need to set daily goals and challenges, and track how you do.
If you’re ever a little more stressed than normal, Pacifica has a wonderful community of peers who are facing the same troubles as you. Sometimes, all you need is someone to talk to, who truly understands what you’re going through.
What’s Your Stress-Busting Secret?
Everyone takes care of their stress levels in different ways. Some have red balls to squeeze, others go for a run. I have found that playing mobile games (especially logic-based games like Drop7) always puts me in a better space.
What’s your secret to relieve stress?