Posted by: Chelsea Hampton | April 20, 2012

Stress Awareness Month – Simple Tips for Quick Stress Relief

  • If you find yourself frequently crunched for time – as many of us do – begin waking up 15-30 minutes earlier in the morning. Use this time as you need to, whether it’s for quiet mental preparation, sipping tea while reading something inspirational, or preparing your agenda for the day to make things less hectic. It’s your time.
  • When work or school becomes excessively stressful, writing out a work plan and/or priority list can be helpful to regain clarity of the big picture. Sometimes things become too overwhelming, so breaking tasks up into smaller chunks or achievable goals can help the workload become manageable again.
  • When working at a computer, remember to take breaks frequently. Staring at a computer for long periods of time can lead to eye strain, headaches and muscle fatigue. According to the Mayo Clinic website, it is advisable to follow the 20/20/20 rule; look away from your computer every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds, and focus on something at least 20 feet away. In addition, take a break every hour or so to move around and stretch.
  • Practice deep breathing. Because breathing can become rapid or irregular during times of stress, it can be helpful to become more aware of your breath. Deep breathing exercises can help regain a sense of calm while boosting refreshing oxygen to the body.  
  • Try aromatherapy. The power of smell can be utilized for relaxation, as certain scents can have a significant impact on memory and emotion. Comforting and familiar scents can be used, or try relaxing aromas such as lavender, orange, mint or eucalyptus.
  • Just as certain scents can induce a calmer and more relaxed state, so can the power of sound. When things become hectic, it can be helpful to take a break and listen to relaxing music or sounds of nature. Try making a CD or playlist specifically for relaxation to unplug from the world and tune into you.
  • Visualization, guided imagery and meditation are great ways to unwind and feel greater self-control over the stress response. Meditation can help you feel calm in the face of stressful moments, and visualization exercises enable you to use mental imagery to relax anywhere, anytime. There is plenty of information available to help you find a method that suits you.  

Below are some helpful videos for stress relief available on the Mayo Clinic website:  

-Mayo Clinic: Meditation http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/MM00623

-Mayo Clinic: Yoga for Stress Management http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga/MM00650

Information obtained and adapted from the following sources:

-Mayo Clinic: Health Information: Eye Strain http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eyestrain/DS01084/DSECTION=prevention  

-The Franklin Institute: Relieve Stress http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/relieve.html

– Helpguide.org: Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

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