Wellness Focus: Stress Relief with Super Quick Fixes

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Put your focus on stress reduction

Often our busy lives fly by in a blur. And usually that blur is fueled by extra stress. We examine our routine only when things start to deteriorate. How can we easily incorporate wellness and stress reduction practices into our daily lives? Most likely by taking simple steps and by adding little changes here and there. I prefer a simple but multi-faceted approach to eliminate stress:

Stress Reduction: Quick Fixes...

1) Strengthen your defenses. It's been said before but self-affirmations or self-talk does help. We need to counteract all the negative things we hear or tell ourselves. Think of it as de-programming. Keep it simple. One statement-everyday. When you get up and go to bed. Keep it personal and positive. Make it your daily mantra. "I am here and I am strong"

2) Do a periodic check on your breathing pattern. This is a big one. Breathe big, breathe even, breathe from your diaphragm. We all need more oxygen. If you are taking time to check on your breathing you are re-connecting with yourself and what you need in the moment. It's a good time to re-center yourself and bring yourself into the present. It's an instant stress treatment.

3) Organize, unclog and beautify your environment. You set the stage and your stage affects you on a cellular level. Organizing does not have to be complicated. Give up on perfection. Straighten your piles and get rid of the trash. Just spend 5 minutes a day on throwing a few things away. I'm a visual organizer so I like to have everything in view. Not hidden away. The key is just to limit the extras or the not needed. I recently invested in a shredder because my number one problem is paper. Keep the colors around you muted and soft. Let light in and listen to music that lifts and inspires. Our bodies respond on a cellular level to both light and music. All of these small changes will help to decrease your stress at work or at home.

4) Add Human Connection: We are social animals (mammals). Some more than others but none the less it is very important. In my opinion loneliness is the number one cause of wellness deterioration. I always recommend taking a fun class, joining a gym, or doing volunteer work. It's not enough just to attend these things. You have to talk to people. In addition to talking don't forget the listening part. Barbara Walters emphasized in her book on conversational skills that people LOVE to talk about THEMSELVES and their CHILDREN. Words are powerful. Choose them wisely. Just a smile and hello are very effective. Don't forget to contact the people you already know. Check in and have that long overdue chat. I realize that initial contact with people you don't know very well can be stressful but in the long run the added friendships will greatly enhance the quality of your life. Start with the weather!

Instant Mood Elevators:

1. Place a back scratcher in your desk. Take a mini break and indulge in a back scratching session. Doing a quick hand or foot massage with lotion is great too.

2. Go find an attractive clear glass jar or vase and fill with M&M's. Place within your view at work. Place a framed photo of a loved one or favorite place or pet on your desk.

3. Find a friendly dog and rub it's belly. (Ask for permission first) This works great for both parties. Closing your eyes and just imagining this will lower your blood pressure.

4. Light a scented candle. For me a sugar cookie scented candle evokes images of my mom or grandmother in the kitchen making cookies. Or try a tropical candle like mango or coconut to bring up images of being on an exotic tropical beach. Discover what your favorite candle scent is and surround yourself with it..

Hopefully these few things will give you a start on your own wellness program. I purposely kept the list short. I think you'll notice a change right away in your own stress level and well-being by just following these few suggestions. Start simple and build on that foundation and wellness will be a part of your day to day life forever.

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