How to Decrease Stress Instantly
First of all, what is stress? I’m sure it’s a feeling most of us are familiar with. Especially during times like these where things seem more uncertain than usual, it is completely expected that some of us are going to be under immense stresses from work life or even life at home.
Stress vs. Distress
Strictly speaking “stress” is any visceral response to any situation. What we refer to as stress can more accurately be described as distress (Stress Without Distress). This is the emotional and sometimes physical response to situations that may be overwhelming for an individual.
Stress is often caused by prevailing, frequent or long-standing issues. Maybe you’re struggling to balance work life and private life; or, maybe you’ve got a very important presentation coming up. Whatever it is, it may seem like there’s no quick fix because a quick fix seems too good to be true. But there are some ways by which you can calm yourself when it just gets a bit too much to bear.
Mindfulness tackles the distress problem by grounding the user in the present moment and making them aware of the world around them; thus, one worries less about the things that cannot be controlled.
The main idea of this technique is not merely to distract you from the things that are playing on your mind, but rather it seeks to re-contextualise them so you can view them from a different perspective and approach them with more rational thinking.
Overall, a calmer mind will help you achieve the goals you need to much quicker and easier than if your mind was in a state of unrest. Below is a mindfulness meditation exercise:
Mindfulness in Practice
- Firstly, ground yourself. I mean that both figuratively and literary.
- Sit down and sit back in a chair or sofa, or really anywhere where you can get comfortable.
- Now take a couple of deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Next, close your eyes as you breathe out through your mouth. During this out-breath “sink” into your seat and then start breathing normally again.
- Note all the places where your body comes in contact with something else; your feet on the floor, your back on your chair, your hands and arms on your lap or armrest, or anything else that you note. Just note it and feel it.
- Continue to breathe normally and think about what’s going on around you before focusing on yourself again; What can you smell? What can you hear?
- Now gently shift your attention to yourself again. In particular, pay attention to the movement of your abdomen as you breathe in and out. Count to ten following the rhythm of your breath.
- Now take another deep breath in and one last breath out and open your eyes again.
This technique is particularly effective in reducing stress levels in a very short amount of time. From start to finish, it can take as little as 2–3 minutes, making it ideal for application during the workday and even in a working environment. This technique is also used in the practice of mindfulness.
Often we worry about things that have happened in the past or about things that have not happened yet, but these are often things that we cannot change, and this makes us feel powerless and stressed, but this isn’t the only way to life. Through the practice of mindfulness, you can become more at rest instantly, but you will also experience stress less frequently if you commit to practising mindfulness more frequently.
Written by Matt Wilkinson
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site wellbe.global for more information.