5 Ways To Reduce Stress Super Quickly (Besides Meditating)
There's no shortage of stressors in our day-to-day lives, and one of the most highly recommended ways to combat them is, of course, meditation. But if you've been down the meditation road and can't seem to get into it, rest assured there are plenty of other stress-reducing techniques that may work better for you.
Here are five ideas to get you started:
Not only does exercise help your body produce feel-good hormones (hello, runner's high!), but research shows regular exercise improves the emotional resilience of adults dealing with stress. More emotional resilience means being less affected by stress—and that's a win-win. Try whatever form of movement feels best for you, whether it's cardio, yoga (which has also been found to improve mental health), hiking, or strength training.
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Relaxing essential oils might sound too good to be true, but research shows that certain scents can help calm the nervous system. Our olfactory nerve, which travels from the nose to the brain, plays a big role in regulating the parasympathetic nervous system and, in turn, our emotions and mood. So plug in that diffuser and reach for your oils. Scents like lavender, chamomile, bergamot, and lemon are all recommended for stress.
By controlling our breath, we can start to regain control over our mood. Something as simple as making your exhalation longer than your inhalation can actually "trick" the vagus nerve into activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Breathwork techniques such as box breathing are simple, effective, and can make a big difference in a very short amount of time.
5. EFT Tapping
And lastly, if you've never tried the Emotional Freedom Technique, aka tapping, it's another great (and fast) option for halting stress in its tracks. It involves putting pressure on certain points of the body while thinking about what's stressing you out and saying affirmations to help clear the stress away. It's been found in research to reduce cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) and takes just a few minutes.