1-Minute Routine to Reduce (or Eliminate) Stress
#Stress is inevitable. It infiltrates our system whenever it pleases (or at least when we allow it to). There seem to be days when we feel oh-so-alive, while there are some when we just can’t get out of bed for no reason whatsoever.
Eottoke, eottoke? (What to do? What to do? in Korean) Here’s a one-minute routine to alleviate stress (or even make it go away)!
Duration: 15 seconds
Technique: #Deep breathing exercise
Inhale. Exhale. Feel your diaphragm expanding and contracting. The diaphragm, by the way, is the major organ responsible for your breathing. It also allows you to sing your heart out like a jukebox queen!
Deep breathing is also one way for you to relax your mind. Focusing on the process of inhaling and exhaling is very powerful, most especially as you develop mindfulness. Instead of thinking of other unproductive stuff, you get to control your mind to ‘think about thinking’.
Duration: 10 seconds
Technique: 1 item on your Gratitude List
What’s on your Gratitude List right at this very moment? Think about it for 10 seconds, or better yet, list it down. You’ll definitely feel more alive by doing so.
Saying thanks for even the smallest of things does wonders to your mind. Are you feeling healthy despite the winter season? Were you able to come out alive after crossing the street? Did you just pass your much-awaited thesis defense? There are definitely a lot to be thankful for!
Try checking out Gratitude Journals out there (online or the old-school ones) and get more inspired in giving thanks.
Duration: 15 seconds
Technique: Greeting your significant other/friend/loved one
Taking away stress does not only involve “alone time”. It may also involve other people. I find this technique really effective, especially if you haven’t been in touch with this friend or loved one for quite some time.
15 seconds may not be enough for a full-blown conversation. But to start with, just try typing or dialing on your phone (which will only take 15 seconds or less) and you’ll get your #happy hormones up and running again.
Think about how you’ll make your friend smile — considering how you’ve spent time asking her about how her day went, how she is feeling, and lots more. The more you make this a regular habit, the more you’ll experience the joy that simple heartfelt messages bring.
Duration: 20 seconds
Technique: Playing your favorite tune
Music is therapeutic, that’s what experts say. True! Ever felt more vibrant upon hearing your favorite beats? This is brought about by dopamine.
Have you ever experienced smiling after listening to a tune you just can’t get out of your head? Music does wonders to your soul. Just feel the vibe and get lost in this music madness. According to a study from Nature Neuroscience, dopamine levels increase when we listen to music we like. Other stimulants (money, food, and other pleasurable factors) also trigger it to produce a feel-good state.
So there you have it. One minute of pure stress busting! Got other techniques in mind? Feel free to share below!