When many of us are working 9 to 5 jobs and doing other activities on top of that, like taking some classes, doing some extra part-time work, raising kids, or whatever, it’s pretty darn easy to get stressed out.
But, despite how busy we may be, being able to find stress relief is not something that we have no control over. Creating and maintaining a solid self-care practice can help us go from a stressed out mess to peaceful and going with the flow.
Here are 3 tips that you can start implementing into your life right now to help you find stress relief daily:
#1 – Meditate at least once daily.
Starting the habit of meditating every day has been such a game changer for me when it comes to managing stress. I’ve managed to not only feel less susceptible to stress, but I’ve also found myself experiencing even more feelings of joy, gratitude, and happiness.
Making the goal to meditate every day can be quite intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never done it before (I know I was!) but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Just as little as 3 minutes a day (or even 1 minute!) can really make a difference.
You can start off by sitting in a chair or on the floor with your back straight and to simply focus on your breath. You can count your breath and breath in for 3 and exhale for 5.
Another option could be to say a mantra to yourself. A very basic mantra could be “So hum”, meaning “I am that”. That you can repeat to yourself as you breathe, with the “so” on the inhale and “hum” on the exhale.
When doing a mantra, you’re going to notice a lot of thoughts from your “monkey mind” popping up. When you catch yourself getting distracted by the thoughts, then simply go back to the mantra the second you notice.
Remember that having the thoughts is normal and part of the process. The thoughts come up so that you can process them and let them go. You’re still going to benefit from the meditation whether you have the thoughts or not. This is very important to remember because I think I a lot of beginners can get hard on themselves for it (including myself), so remember that it’s normal.
Finally, if you don’t like those types of meditations you could also do a guided visualization type of meditation as well. There are many people out there with copies of guided meditations, myself included. So if you would like to go that route, grab a copy of my Self and Relationship Healing Meditation if you haven’t yet and get meditating!
#2 – Start each day with an intention to let it all go.
That person that cut you off on the way to work? Let it go. That very traumatic story that someone told you? Let it go. That person who yelled at you and flipped you the bird? Let it go.
By holding on to the things that have happened to us we create this inner distress and tension within ourselves. This doesn’t serve us and it only causes us unnecessary suffering.
One of the keys I think in letting go regularly is to live every day remembering this one main concept: If it isn’t happening, right here, right now in this very present moment then it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t get out of your parking job 2 hours ago, because that was 2 hours ago. It doesn’t matter that you dropped a jar of spaghetti sauce walking out of the grocery store because that was 20 minutes ago. And it doesn’t even matter that you need to call your doctor about some test results on Monday because it’s currently Friday night you won’t be able to do it until then anyway.
When we shift our mindsets to focusing on present moment, we can let go of all the stuff we think we have to stress about now — but it truly doesn’t matter in this very moment.
#3 – Move it!
Sometimes stressful things happen that shift us into “fight or flight” mode and it can throw us off for the entire day if we don’t know how to deal with it.
Let me let you in on something when it comes to fight or flight: We all experience it — and I don’t mean just humans, but animals too.
Have you ever seen two ducks get into a fight? They’ll beat on each other. Maybe even look like the one is going to actually kill the other. But, eventually, they break away. They go separate ways and fly or maybe flap their wings rigorously a few times and then they’re back to floating around on the water all peacefully, calm and content.
They don’t think about how that other duck pissed them off 2 hours after the fact or the one doesn’t try to “get back” at the other in some way. They just let it go and get back to their own business.
If you really stop and watch sometime (which I encourage you to do), all animals do this in their own unique ways. But there’s something you’ll notice across the board: They all move.
So when someone upsets you, pisses you off, or gets you all worked up then be sure to move. Take a walk. Jump around. Flap your arms. Stomp your feet. Do whatever it is that you feel can help you let go of all that tension in your body.
Take action now!
Out of the three tips I’ve listed above, which one are you going to start doing today? Share it in the comments below!