Everyone deals with stress in their lives, whether it comes from school, home, or work. So how to deal with it to prevent burnout? Here are 10 exercises to do at your school or work desk that could stop your stress reaction.
- Close your eyes. Move the situation giving you stress to the big screen. Imagine sitting in the cinema watching the movie with you starring in it. What do you see? How do you feel? Watch the movie for 5-10 minutes.
Stepping back from the situation will reduce the negative reaction. It will give you more neutral ground to look at the situation. It also gives you a new perspective.
- Close your eyes and imagine a wonderful city or a holiday destination you’ve been to or want to go to. Imagine being there and sensing the environment: how does it feel and smell, and how do those sensations and emotions feel on your skin? Take in the view and the atmosphere with your whole being. Take this vacation for 5-10 minutes.
Traveling in these wonderful thoughts reduces stressful feelings.
- Breathe ten times in and out close your eyes and concentrate. Imagine when you breathe in that it reaches all the way down to the bottom of your stomach and lifts up to your chest. When breathing out, let the air come all the way from the lower abdomen. Do this ten times slowly.
Stress makes us breathe only with our diaphragm and only the chest and top part of our lungs. This way the body isn’t getting enough oxygen and it is tense, which affects our personal strength.
- Relax the entire area around your head one part at a time: Cheeks, ears, tongue, nose, teeth, jaw, mouth, eyes, scalp, and forehead. Relax your face totally for a couple of minutes. If it is difficult for you to relax, try grinning big with your whole face then relax your face.
Stress can often produce pressure around your head. With the relaxation of these muscles, you will feel more calm and relaxed.
- Write down a list of things you like about yourself and things you excel at. Take a moment to notice all the great things you are and can do. You can do the list with the help of this question: if you were someone else, what things about you would you want to have?
When you pay attention to the good things in yourself, you don’t just make them stronger but also feel more accomplished and more confident. If you only pay attention to the things you do not have, you will feel incomplete and unsatisfied, which adds to the feeling of stress.
- During your break from work, or when switching classes, try walking intentionally extra slow. The busier or more stressed out you feel, the slower you should walk. Pay attention to your surroundings, even what you are walking on, and take mental notes on how the walking feels.
When you act calmly, your body will calm down.
- Close your eyes and breathe normally. Whenever breathing in, imagine breathing in good feelings and power. You can imagine the feelings and power in different colors and lights. Breathe this way for 5-10 minutes.
Every breath charges you like when you charge your phone, and peaceful breathing relaxes your body.
- When you start to do an assignment at work or school, concentrate on that one thing only. Although many like to make a to-do list of what needs to be done, it is good to make one only at the beginning. When you choose one thing on that list, forget about everything else. Whenever you start thinking about something else, just move the thought aside and focus all your attention on what you are doing now.
When you get rid of all the other thoughts, doing that one assignment will get you to the next and then the next.
- Write down all the things that you are amazing at. All the things you have heard from your friends, family, and all the things you think you know how to do well. They can be big and meaningful or even small and seemingly meaningless. When you are finished with your list, read it and thank yourself for achieving and keeping all those skills.
Gratitude and love add to positive reactions in our body, helps you be more present and reduces the feeling of stress.
- When you are overwhelmed with your work, stop everything for a minute and take a little walk, either outside or inside. Look around you and breathe slowly- this way you can get your mind off things.
Giving your mind a 5-minute break decreases the feeling of chaos and lowers your stress levels. You will see more clearly and will be able to work more effectively.