10 Ways to Destress Right Now

1. Unplug- Did you know that the average person checks their phone more than 150 times per day?  This context stream of calls, texts, emails, and social media notifications makes it impossible to unwind, it decreases our ability to focus and can leave our brains in a constant state of anticipation and anxiety.  Making a conscious effort to unplug for at least one hour per day has been shown to decrease anxiety as well as increasing our ability to focus.

2. Draw a bath-A warm bath can ease muscle tensions, leave your skin more moisturized, and can also stimulate Melatonin production leading to a better nights sleep.

3. Take a nature walk-Studies have shown that people with limited access to green spaces have higher incidences of anxiety, depression, and other psychological problems.  People who spent time outdoors, whether in their own yards or a public park, were shown to have immediately decreased their levels of stress hormones compared to those who had not recently been outside.

4. Read a book-Reading a book for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress hormones by up to 68%.  Psychologists believe the focus required to immerse yourself in a story creates an active distraction from tensions in your muscles and heart, it has also been shown to increase empathy. 

5. Declutter-Clutter breeds anxiety.  If you're feeling overwhelmed by stuff, start by focusing on a single space, eliminating any objects that are unnecessary or don't bring you joy then organize the rest. Read Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to help get you started. 

6. Cuddle with a pet-The act of petting a furry friend release Endorphins, creating an overall feeling of well being and satisfaction.

7. Cut the caffeine- The buzz generated by the caffeine in your favorite drink can create symptoms that mimic panic and anxiety disorders. Swapping your favorite drink with a non caffeinated substitute can help to stabilize your mood.

8. Try coloring- If you think coloring is for kids, think again. Similar to art therapy, the act of coloring has been shown to induce a state of calm, leads to greater focus and can even increase memory retention when done during lectures.

9. Smell the flowers-Smells can have powerful affects on the brain; they can conjure up memories, impact productivity at work, and even make people friendlier to strangers. Scents like Lavender, Bergamot, Mandarin, and Vanilla have been used for centuries to promote a state of relaxation. 

10. Give your brain a workout Brain games like crossword puzzles require lots of concentration which can help us to take our minds off of whatever is bothering us.