Simple Ways to De-Stress

May 25, 2017

We often get this million-dollar question: How can I relieve stress? Especially after a long workweek, it can be difficult to unwind. Here are two proven effective methods for destressing without needing to go out or spend money.

Mindfulness

One of the most researched topics in the field of psychology in the past ten years has been mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness – nonjudgemental awareness of what is – has been shown to not only reduce stress, but be associated with a host of other positive outcomes as well. Take 10 minutes when you arrive home to sit quietly; notice your sensations and present experience with acceptance, without trying to change anything. This is a transformative way to destress without spending money that might add more to your life than you anticipate!

When you spend this quiet time, you might focus on your breath, or perhaps on some emotions or physical sensations. Simply being neutral and welcoming with these sensations is enough to reap the benefit, but if you want to take it to another level, you can even try being nurturing to yourself about whatever you perceive in your present experience. You might immediately notice your stress, for instance, and actually feel caring and compassion for yourself. This process not only decreases stress, but creates actual healing.

If you need some guidance to walk you through the process, check out these meditation tracks created by one of our psychologists, Dr. Charlotte Howard!

Stress-relieving Movement

Another nice relief and reset to your nervous system can be accomplished by rolling around on the floor asymmetrically! It might feel similar to how you would stretch or twist in different directions at once when you first wake up in the morning. The asymmetry brings us back into our body and lower brain, in contrast to the highly ordered upper cortex that we rely on all day, and the rolling provides a relaxing massage. Give it a try!

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