Your day is hectic. It feels like there’s too much to do and too little time. Stress builds as you forget to relax.
According to a 2014 nationwide survey by the American Psychological Association 42 percent of U.S. adults say they are not doing enough to manage their stress.
Consider when you are the most stressed: sitting in traffic, running up against a deadline at work, etc. It’s not like you can whip out your yoga mat in the middle of a meeting.
So what can you do to relieve stress in the moment?
The answer is simple: All you have to do is slow down and breathe.
This easy breathing exercise can be done anywhere, anytime. Consider it a mini-meditation.
How-To Relax and Reduce Stress in 30 Seconds or Less:
- If possible, close your eyes. If you prefer to keep your eyes open, focus on one visual spot.
- Breathe in slowly for 10 seconds, relaxing every inch of your body. Envision a wave of relaxation working its way from the tip of your head down to your toes.
- Breathe out slowly for 10 seconds while basking in your relaxation and smiling.
- Repeat twice more for a total of three full, deep breath cycles.
Add a layer of happiness by saying this smiling mantra silently by Thich Nhat Hanh while doing this relaxation exercise:
“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.”
The first 30 second cycle will help you feel instantly relaxed and rejuvenated. The simple act of smiling during each exhale will bring joy into your day. Repeat this exercise as many times as needed until you feel calm and uplifted.
Stay tuned for the next post on deeper meditation to take your relaxation practice to the next level. Sign-up for the Dashworthy e-newsletter to get happiness reminders sent right to your inbox.
I would love for you to try it and share how it made you feel in the comments below!
(photo via Flickr)