· Breathe your way to a calmer mood. While this seems too simple, it’s true. Deep ‘belly breathing’ is the brakes to the stress system. And you can do this anywhere. To start, sit in a comfortable place and close your eyes if you like (please don’t do this while driving!). Place your hand on your lower abdomen and take a deep breath in, allowing you belly to move outward. Most people breathe from the upper chest, so this can take some practice. (When you breathe in this way, you get more air into your lungs.) Now take a few deep breaths and pay attention to your breath as it moves in and out. There! Don’t you feel better?
· Music is another great tool to shift your mood. Pick something that has a calming effect, hard rock is probably not a good choice here. But just having a bit of music and really help. For fun try Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” or Bobby McFarrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, they both make me smile.
· Hug somebody. I have to admit, I am a hugger so this may not work for everyone, but hugging does help release stress. Now if you don’t like to hug people; hug a horse or your dog – they like it too!
· Stop and smell the roses or lavender or sandalwood or whatever scent you prefer. I love cinnamon and ginger, it reminds me of my grandmother baking. A few drops of essential oils on a cotton ball or tissue can derail stress and put you in a more peaceful frame of mind.
· Get outside, go for a walk, and spend some time with the sun in your face. This greatly increases your energy and mood, which decreases stress.
· If stress is really getting the best of you, give me a call. There are other options to get this under control and enjoy your life again!