1. Breathe slowly and deeply: Shallow chest breathing makes your heart beat faster, and tenses your muscles, so you feel more stressed. In contrast, breathing slowly and deeply helps you feel much more relaxed.
2. Visualize yourself being calm and relaxed:Imagine all your stress being washed away; or try and visualize yourself in a peaceful scene such as lying on the beach or in a garden, with a book. As you focus on the details, you’ll start to feel less stressed.
3. Smile: Research shows that when we force ourselves to smile it actually improves the way we feel.
4. Don’t grit your teeth: We tend to hold stress in certain parts of our bodies - the teeth and the jaw are one typical part. So when you start to feel stressed, repeat the following exercise: Put the tips of your fingers on the joints below your ears. Clench your teeth - inhale - hold your breath – and then exhale, saying “Ah-h-h-h” . Unclench your teeth and repeat the exercise.
5. Write your feelings down on paper: Writing gives us a way to express how we feel, and it helps to release our pent up emotions.
6. Count to 10: Give yourself some distance and time before responding. If you react right away you might regret it later on.
7. Take a sniff: There are numerous healing oils that can help to calm you down so take a sniff from a bottle of soothing, healing balm. (For example, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rose and thyme.)
8. Go for a walk: Endorphins are released by any form of exercise – and these improve our mood and help us keep things more in balance. Just going for a walk will help to moderate your breathing, reduce your blood pressure, and help to calm you down.
9. Soak in a hot bath: There’s nothing like relaxing in a hot bubble bath to reduce your stress levels and improve the way you feel (especially if you light some scented candles, as well).
10. Turn up the music: We all have favourite music that distracts us from our problems, that grounds us in the present, and helps us feel less stressed.