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Three Quick and Easy Ideas to Manage Stress

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While we can’t control what life throws at us, there is a lot we can do to take charge and feel more in control so that stress doesn’t negatively affect us.

Here are three quick and easy techniques which you can use anytime, anywhere.

1. Measuring your Stress Levels

Imagine a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means that you are not stressed at all and 10 means that you are so overwhelmed you struggle to cope.

Either draw it out and keep it somewhere you can see it, or do this in your mind. Answer this question “How would you rate your stress levels?” There is a ‘sweet spot’ of stress, so anything below 5 could be considered as a normal level. If you notice that you are 5 and above, you know that you are edging towards too much stress. Do this exercise daily to analyse your stress levels. If you are out of balance or feel too much stress, try the below exercises to feel better again.

2. Pursed lip breathing

  • Sit comfortably either on a cushion or a chair with your shoulders relaxed and your hands folded gently over your stomach.
  • Close your eyes, if you can.
  • Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5.
  • Breath out, through pursed lips, naturally until all the air has left your body.
  • Repeat for 2 to 5 minutes or until you feel calmer than you did before.

3. HeartMath

HeartMath Institute in the USA has done considerable research into the function of our hearts. They found that we can use our heart to reduce stress and anxiety naturally. Just by taking 5 minutes per day to do this exercise can considerably reduce stress levels and begin to build resilience for future stress.

  • Sit comfortably either on a cushion or a chair with your shoulders relaxed and your hands folded gently over your stomach.
  • Close your eyes, if you can.
  • Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5.
  • Imagine dropping your attention from your head to your heart.
  • Focus on the area of your heart. You might even want to place your hand on your heart if it helps you.
  • Focus on your heart for 2 to 5 minutes
  • Take a few calming breaths at your own time and pace.
  • Open your eyes. Rate your stress levels.