What to Do to Decrease Stress Instantly
We’re definitely going through a tough time and perhaps the world will never be the same. A deadly and invisible virus has put life on Earth as we know on hold, and that alone can trigger a myriad of negative emotions.
Maybe you lost your job or you were forced to close your business. Maybe you’re struggling with your finance or you’re just done with this whole thing and want the world to get back to normal.
I get it. I feel you.
Just like most humans, I had to deal with stress in some moments of my life, not only during the pandemic. But my relationship with stress has changed dramatically after I’ve changed some habits.
There are ways to decrease stress instantly. But to do that, you have to become aware of certain things.
Awareness is the first step
To be able to change your mood right away, you need to know why you’re stressed in the first place. What’s causing you to feel this way? Are you overwhelmed with work? Are you eating properly? Sleeping enough hours? Are you restless?
Make yourself the right question and become aware of what and why you’re feeling bad. It might be just one thing or can be several things.
Pause whatever you’re doing and take inventory. If necessary, take a piece of paper and a pen and make a list of those things.
Next step: become present
Eckhart Tolle says that the eternal present moment is all that is; the past is gone and the future doesn’t exist yet.
If you’re anxious, worried, or stressed about something that happened in the past or a future event, chances are that you’re not fully in the present. This also means that if you indeed were in the present moment, you wouldn’t be so stressed about things, circumstances or people you have no control over.
That said, take the list you’ve just written and ask yourself if being worried or stressed will help you to solve the problem.
Shifting your energy
Now, it’s time to shift your energy from the problem to the present moment. Become aware of your breathing, the sounds around you, the smell or any other sensation. Bring your attention to your thoughts. What are they saying? Is it the truth? Or unfounded?
If you’re under heavy stress, just stop whatever you’re doing, sit down and close your eyes. For a minute or two. Take deep breaths in and out. Count your breaths. One round of inhaling and exhaling. Then the second round. Then third. Keep going like this until you hit 10. Then start again.
Meditation for stress management
The benefits of meditation are many but bear in mind that they are long-term. If you’d like to start a meditation practice, you’ve got to be committed and disciplined.
You can start with just 5 minutes every day or 15 minutes 3 times a week. See what’s best for you and what fits your daily schedule in a realistic way.
Then you can think about what kind of meditation you would like to try. There are nine popular types of meditation from mindfulness to movement meditation.
You can start with a guided meditation from the app of your choice or try mindfulness by yourself, where you just pay attention to your thoughts as they pass by your mind.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. At first, it might be hard but with practice, you’ll find your own pace and the type that works best for you.
“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.” Ajahn Brahm