Stress Less During National Stress Awareness Month
April 23, 2013
Sometimes– actually, a lot of the time– we might feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to do what we need to do and what we want to do. We end up sacrificing good times like drinks with friends in favor of getting business done, as much as we wish it wasn’t so. And when we place ourselves at the end of an endless list of things to do and things that will end up having to get done by you, you feel tense, anxious, irritable… in other words, stressed.
April is National Stress Awareness Month, so it’s time to stack up on those extra tasks and chores to make sure you’re well aware of that stress you’re losing sleep over! No, we kid, but it is time to reorganize your schedule and life to make time for the most important person in your life, yourself. And if you don’t feel like you’re number one in your own life, it’s high time you take small steps in alleviating some stress. Whether it be some desk toy, a quick laugh, or just something that brings you some momentary relief, the first step in reaching that elusive zen feeling is making some attempt to relinquish immediate stress.
1. Stress Balls
You’ve seen people carry them, but do they really work? Uh, yea, they do! A quick stress reliever like an Anger Management Stress Ball set help to immediately rid some stress by providing resistance to the work of your own hands. Think about it: when you clench your fists from anger, all that happens is you feel worse because that anger hits a plateau and doesn’t have an outlet. Stress balls work against that tension provided by fists so that work is expended in a mini hand and wrist workout. The trick, however, is to focus on the stress balls themselves and not what is stressing you out. Make yourself aware of the stress tools in your hand and focus on them and the work you’re putting in; soon, those other stressors won’t have such a harming impact on your health.
Sometimes, what you need is a good chuckle; besides, it’s sort of a basic fact that laughing helps reduce stress. You might find it in an Emergency Meow Button. Like the soft purring of a kitten, the cat button might bring some relief by inducing at least a smile, and a little happiness is just what you need in moments of stress. Plus, the Emergency Meow Button takes up so little space, you might consider using it as an office toy or a simple relief while stuck in traffic.
It’s also an undoubted fact that stress can have a negative physical impact, such as insomnia and body aches. When there’s more time for a break, a Carepeutic Deep Tissue Neck and Shoulder Heated Massager would be in order to help induce a more relaxing state of mind. Unlike a handheld massager, this massager uses 16 different massaging modes and an optional heating mode that helps to inhibit fatigue by stimulation blood circulation. Stress can cause you to tense up in response to some trigger, and you might not even notice it until later on when you’re unconsciously rubbing your neck or shoulder. The Carepeutic masssager can also be wrapped around your legs and thighs, which would also help to relieve sore muscles and decrease some of the physical effects of stress.
For some people, connecting with nature is what brings a better state of mind to the present. Tabletop water fountains like the ones above bring in just a bit of the outside without taking up too much space. Unlike music, the soft, rhythymic sounds of dripping water help bring brain waves down to a meditative state, where the parasympathetic nervous system (or the half of the nervous systems that regulate unconscious bodily functions) takes over and helps bring blood pressure and heart rate down. Best of all, tabletop fountains easily plug in and take up very little room on a desk, nightstand, or table.
Once you’ve gotten passed the point of destroying something over stress, it’s time to evaluate your schedule: where do you fit in in all the daily melee and push-and-pull of work, home, family, and play? Even if you feel you’ve got no time to take that long-deserved vacay or full body massage, there’s still simple processes that can be done regardless of where you’re at and how much time you’ve got to get back into a neutral, relaxed state of mind. Try your hand (or mind) at breathing meditations:
- The basis of meditating is bringing your mind to the present moment by focusing on your breathing only.
- Sit cross-legged on the floor (or a sit in a chair if it’s more comfortable) and keep your back straight, shoulder blades pushed down your spine.
- Close your eyes and breathe only through your nostrils, paying attention to the natural flow of air and slowing it down by constricting your throat muscles.
- Remain focused on y0ur breathing. If your mind wanders (which it likely will), don’t follow your thoughts and just turn your brain off. Just listen to the rhythm of your own breath.
We don’t need to stress the importance of stress relief (yes, we made a funny there), especially when it doesn’t require a hugh chunk of your time or even your space to tap into. There’s plenty of stress relief options readily available, including the ones mentioned as well as free apps like Calm.com, free nature sound websites like Calmsound, and even free downloadable meditations like those from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Reseach Center. But before you head off onto your own road toward tranquility, let us help you get started: