110 million people die every year as a result of stress. Although this isn't a bad form of population control, if you're not ready to take one for the team, reducing stress levels is crucial to improving your overall health. There are many ways to achieve this, but making the effort to do one simple thing every day for less than 1 minute, will help to reduce your stress significantly and potentially keep you out of jail. Just sayin'.
1. Listen to a calming piece of music.
Most pieces of music are longer than 1 minute, but 1 minute alone will calm you down. Consider new age, classical or meditative type music, but if Megadeth makes you happy, that will work too.
2. Focus your attention on positive thoughts, even when the situation seems negative.
If you are stuck in traffic, instead of focusing on the traffic, start planning your weekend or a vacation, visualize a situation or location that makes you happy or listen to an inspirational audio. It only takes a second to switch out a negative thought for a positive one. You'll be home in no time, road rage free.
3. Do 30 seconds to 1 minute of high intensity activity.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Do jumping jacks for 1 minute.
Do as many pushups in a row as you can.
Squat down and touch the floor - then stand up and jump (watch your back).
Having an increase in blood flow and circulation to areas of your body helps promote cell growth and organ function.
Your skin also benefits from an increase in blood circulation. Healthy skin is better able to fight off bacteria and infection.
When your heart pumps at full force, your heart rate lowers, heart muscles relax and your blood pressure flows evenly and smoothly, in turn reducing stress.
High intensity, short bursts of activity can also help you to shed a few unwanted pounds, "but that's another story".
For those of you old enough to remember Hammy Hamster, you'll remember this great quote. Who knew a hamster could be so inspiring? Who?!
4. Take 5 deep, slow breaths - 5 seconds to inhale, 5 seconds to exhale.
Deep breathing brings in extra oxygen to the body. Some of the most toxic poisons in the body can only be "burnt up" and neutralized through oxidation. This is the job of oxygen-rich red blood cells that circulate from the lungs and into the deeper organs and glands of the body.
Removing toxins from the body reduces overall stress on the body.
Focusing on counting also calms the mind.
The next time the guy in the cubicle beside you slurps on his coffee, instead of reaching over the wall and punching him in the head, try breathing combined with some white noise or calming music loud enough to drown him out.
5. Hug a friend or family member (or a stranger at your own discretion).
Hugs strengthen the immune system.
The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keeps you healthy and disease free, thus reducing your stress levels.
If you can't find a friend or family member to hug, try a tree. Trees have feelings too. Lord of The Rings proved it.
I hope this little blog was helpful and mildly amusing. Laughter! Another great stress reducer.
If you got anything out of my ramblings, please comment (below), Like, Tweet, Post, Bark, Cough, Vomit, whatever it is people do to share stuff.
Spread the love and let's make the world a better place. Ahhh, that was nice Les, that was nice.