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5 Stress Reduction Tips for Busy People

October 7th, 2016

5 Stress Tips

Tense shoulders. Racing thoughts. Sweaty palms. Busy people recognize the physical symptoms of stress. Busy people are also a lot less likely to have time for daily 90-minute yoga classes, standing massage appointments and mini-breaks to beachy locales. If you count yourself among the stressed-out masses and you’re ready to take a breather, check out these medically proven tension reduction techniques and get your Zen on, fast.

Breathe Smarter

The next time you feel anxious or tense, pay attention to your breathing. Is your breath shallow and focused in your chest, or are you taking air deep into your diaphragm? Deep breathing is among the most recommended and effective stress reduction techniques, but make sure you’re doing it properly. Inhale deeply and slowly into your gut and place your hand over your stomach. Your belly should rise and fall alongside your chest. Repeat 10 times slowly. Bonus points if you light a candle scented with a relaxing aroma. Great choices include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and thyme.

Fit in Exercise

Multiple independent studies prove that regular exercise reduces stress and boosts emotional and physical fitness. If you can’t always fit in your favorite 60-minute spin class, you can build up a sweat in shorter bursts. All it takes is 10 minutes of physical activity to gain a cardiovascular benefit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from your destination. Make a habit of taking a brisk walk at lunch. Add activity in where you can and reap the mental benefits immediately.

Don’t Stew

Once your brain starts turning, it’s easy to keep tense feelings wound tight. If you’re frustrated or upset, release your thoughts instead of stewing in them. Start a journal, and keep it handy on your phone or computer. Accomplish a much-procrastinated task on your to-do list. Pick up the phone and talk to a trusted confidant. You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel when you let those nasty feelings go.

Make a List

Feeling overwhelmed? Worried you’ll forget an important task, or wondering how you’ll accomplish everything? Make a list of what you can and can’t accomplish, and assign yourself time to complete your goals on your calendar. Repress the urge to check email or Facebook while you’re working. Don’t forget to cross your to-dos off when you’re finished. You’ll love the sense of accomplishment, and appreciate the freed mental space.

Start Saying No

There’s an old saying “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Unfortunately, when you’re the busy person, you probably find yourself saying “yes” when you really want to say no. Never agree to a new commitment — especially if it’s an ongoing task, such as volunteer work — without referring to your calendar. If you’ve stacked your days with other must-dos, you can’t take on more to the best of your ability without damaging your reputation. It’s that simple. If you have the free time, consider carefully whether you have the drive to accomplish the task well. If you don’t, say no — and don’t look back.