Like most things though when you have too much of it, it causes problems and stress is no exception. Initially, stress helps improve your performance but once the scales have tipped and you are experiencing too much stress it adversely affects your performance.
As with any problem that you want to solve the wisest long-term solution is always to address the actual cause of the problem. However, when you find yourself overly stressed it’s often not the right time to address the cause. You want something you can do to immediately reduce your stress levels.
Here are 3 things you can easily do which will help to lower your stress level.
Have you ever seen when watching a wildlife documentary showing a lion chasing a herd of gazelle that as soon as the chase is over, and the gazelle stop running they shake for a little while? They then go back to grazing as though nothing had happened even though lions may still be nearby.
What happens when we get stressed and don’t have a way of releasing the stress, we end up storing it in our body, particularly in our muscles.
Shaking is one way in which you can quickly and easily release stress from your body. To shake out the stress simply place your back against a wall, arms at your side, with your feet slightly in front of you and your knees slightly bent so that the wall is supporting you. Then start slowly moving your body up and down a little as if you are shaking. While you are doing this continue to keep your back against the wall, arms at your side, your knees bent and feet in front of you.
Gradually start to increase the speed at which you are shaking to a comfortable speed and continue shaking for at least 3-4 minutes. Then stop consciously shaking your body and you’ll find that your body will want to continue the shaking movement. Just allow your body to continue, your body will gradually start to slow down and come to a stop once all of the stress has been released.
Another method of releasing the stress from your body is to tense and relax your muscles. Start by standing and tensing your feet and while holding the tension in your feet tense your calves. Next while holding the tension in your feet and calves tense your thighs.
Continue the process of tensing your muscles and holding the tension moving up your entire body. Once you reach your head increase the tension in all your muscles as much as you can and then relax your muscles. Repeat it several times until you feel the stress is gone.
An added benefit of this exercise is that it increases the energy levels within your body. So, you can use this exercise to naturally boost your energy levels.
As we start becoming stressed our state of mind and also our breathing changes. The speed of our breathing changes and so does the ratio between our inhalation and exhalation change.
When we are in a calm state of mind the ratio between our inhalation and exhalation is 1:1. If we become overly excited or hyped up our breathing speeds up, our inhalation becomes longer and our exhalations shorter. If our emotional state is we are depressed or hypo our breathing slows, our inhalation becomes shorter and our exhalation longer.
By controlling our breath, we can change our emotions.
There are many breathing techniques to help control your emotions. Box Breathing is one of them, no it has nothing to do with breathing in a box. The name comes from a square box having 4 equal sides and with Box Breathing, you have 4 equal sides to your breath. Box Breathing is so effective it is used by US Navy Seals.
To start breathe in for a count of 4 and then hold your breath for a count of 4. Breathe out for a count of 4 and now hold your breath for a count of 4. Keep repeating the Box Breathing for serveral minutes or longer if you wish. You will soon notice you start feeling less stressed.
One of the benefits of Box Breathing is you can do it anywhere even in a meeting and no one would ever know that you are doing it.
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