Low tech life hacks
Stress is like psychological herpes; it’s a persistent little bastard that just keeps coming back.
Over the years I’ve built up an extensive bag of tricks for dealing with it; I already did a post on the most potent of these, ASMR, (https://japanmax89.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/the-magic-of-asmr/) but there’s a lot more where that came from, so I thought I’d share a few of them.
Please note that I am not any sort of medical professional; these are simply the techniques that have helped me to diffuse anxiety attacks.
A handy solution: Try clenching your hands into fists, then totally loosening and relaxing them. It’s actually surprisingly calming, I find.
A breath of fresh air: Slow, deep breathing is one that just about everyone knows, but there’s more to it than that. Try drawing air all the way down to the bottom of your lungs, pushing out just below your ribcage, and trying to keep your shoulders level. Take six seconds for each exhalation and inhalation.
Our bodies change our minds: Here’s a really interesting one, which I learned from a TED presentation by psychologist Amy Cuddy. You can see said presentation here, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc ) but if you don’t have twenty minutes of time (or patience) I’ll sum it up briefly; adopting certain postures for just two minutes actually chemically changes our mood. For instance, when we “close up” and make ourselves smaller, our levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” goes up. When we “open up” and exhibit dominant, assertive body language, our cortisol levels drop. So body language goes both ways; not only do our minds influence our posture, but our posture influences our minds.
Work it out: Another great stress buster is exercise. If you don’t like running/jogging, you could do anything from lifting weights, to push-ups, to zumba. Anything that’ll get your pulse racing and release some of those glorious anti-stress endorphins.
Brain cruise: With the miracle of Youtube, a multitude of high quality guided meditation videos are just a click away.
Obviously, everyone’s different; I can’t vouch that these will work as well for you as they do for me, but if it’s stress relief you need, I hope you find them helpful. 🙂