Got a grading coming up, or a big presentation at work? Feeling a little stressed? You probably know how to reduce that stress! Read on and see how many of these handy tips you already know but never remember to use.
1. BELLY BREATHING
Here’s the number one secret technique to reduce jitters on the luncheon lecture circuit. Let your belly expand as you breath. In fact, put your hand over your abdomen and push against it as you breath in. Now let the abdomen fall as you breath out. It’s the same breathing method you use for training.
At the luncheon, move up to the table and breath against that.
2. NOSE AND MOUTH BREATHING
In through the nose and out through the mouth. This is how we’re designed, the nose filtering and warming the air, then expelling the waste fully out the mouth.
Breathing in through the mouth tells your body that you are running or otherwise under stress. Breathing out through the nose makes for a more restricted expulsion which creates a bit of stress in the chest.
If you’re off balance physically, you ‘ll feel off balance mentally. Centre yourself between the “box”, make sure your centre of balance and mass is positioned in the centre of the rectangle formed by your toes and heels, or if you’re sitting down, between the contact points with the ground.
Recovering your physical balance helps recover your mental balance.
4. SYMMETRICAL POSTURE
This helps pull your centre of balance into the centre of your body. If you have one arm or leg stuck out to the side it pulls the balance point out that way. This creates a feeling of being “off centre” in the mind. When sitting put both feet on the ground. When standing drop both arms down to the sides, don’t put one fist on the hip and one in a pocket.
5. OPEN CHEST AND BODY
A tight chest and hunched position signals the brain that you just got kicked in the stomach. Open the chest so you can breath more easily. Straighten the back and correct the posture so that you can find your balance point more easily.
6. ALIGNED SPINE
Think of the spine as a pile of bricks tied up with strings. If you lean it to one side or the other the strings have to do a lot of work to keep it from falling apart. Same with your back muscles, if you slouch to one side or hunch over the muscles have to work overtime trying to keep your head from falling to the floor. Straighten up and let the natural S-curve of the spine work properly. In this position it’s like a big spring.
7. MAKE YOUR HEAD LIGHT
Put the head squarely atop the pile of bricks, ears aligned with the shoulders. Now stretch the back of the neck so the face lines up in the same plane as the chest. This creates a sense of lightness in the head, as if it’s being pulled upward.
The muscles that have been fighting to keep the spine and head off the ground can now come out of strain. Less muscle strain, less tension in the mind.
8. DROP THE SHOULDERS
When you expect to get punched you instinctively pull your shoulders up to protect the head and neck. If you relax the shoulders and let them drop back to their proper position the mind relaxes too.
9. DON’T FIGHT GRAVITY
Your body posture should always be relaxed, aligned, and in good contact with the ground. Don’t fight universal forces, work with them. It’s a lot less stressful.
10. SQUEEZE AND LET GO
If you still have some muscles that feel tight, squeeze them as hard as you can for three or four seconds, then let them go, relax totally.
There you have it, 10 ways to reduce stress instantly, and you probably knew them all!