Stress doesn’t recognize age, status, success, or failure. It’s a universal emotion that, for better or worse, binds us all together.
We all live with varying degrees of stress, but it’s possible to mitigate its effects by learning and practicing destressing techniques. Understanding how to identify and handle stress can ease internal tension and bring joy to your life.
And you can start right now.
The DeStress Monday Refresh is a series of stress-relieving practices designed to help settle your mind (through deep breathing), center you in the here and now (through mindfulness), chase away negative thoughts (by shifting to the positive), and encourage mental and physical wellness (by getting moving).
Try the practices below and see for yourself how starting your week with the Monday Refresh can help you achieve a greater sense of inner peace, calm, tranquility, and focus.
Deep breath in…deep breath out — these six simple words can work literal magic. If you suffer from unchecked nerves or a racing heart, deep breathing can help soothe your mind and body into a state of relaxation. Sit in a comfortable position, and take a few deep, slow breaths. Focus your mind on the sensation of breathing and pay attention to the rhythmic heaving of your chest. If your thoughts wander, try counting your breaths.
Do you ever pay attention to your thoughts as they weave in and out of your consciousness? Mindfulness is the act of being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. And you can practice any time: Driving, cooking, shopping, sitting in your office chair… The key to success is to focus your attention on one or more aspects of that particular moment.
Shift to the Positive
By focusing your attention on the positive aspects of daily experiences, you are more likely to find satisfaction, happiness, and inner-peace in your day-to-day existence. To shift to the positive, start by making a list of all the things you’re grateful for and remember all the people who give meaning and joy to your life. Express positivity externally by showing compassion and kindness to others.
Stress is physiological. The mind often takes cues from the body and vice-versa. That’s why staying active is such a critical component of destressing. Simple exercises like walking, jogging, cycling, or yoga can dramatically improve our mental well-being. So get moving, and start to reap the benefits of a quieter, more relaxed mind.