Four ways to instantly relax


Breathe in and out consciously: It sounds like a painfully obvious way to deal with stress, but it’s also one of the most effective in the short term. Photo: dpa

There are always times when things become unbearable.

Too many projects at work, struggles with the kids, and maybe worries about your own parents – this kind of stress can make us ill in the long run.

However, our bodies also have an effective countermeasure: relaxing.

These four practical exercises, offered by psychologists writing in industry publication Psychologie Heute in Germany, are some of the best ways to unwind properly.

> Jumping

If you are looking to blow off some steam during working hours, a skipping rope might just be what you need.

The activity requires little space and quickly increases the pulse.

If the ceiling is too low, you can alternatively run up and down several flights of stairs.

Taking two steps at a time increases the effect.

> Breathe properly

The right abdominal breathing helps us to calm down.

Take a minute and breathe in and out six times, with the abdominal wall lifting and lowering noticeably.

Each breath should take about 10 seconds.

> Countermovements

If you are looking to relieve physical tension, it helps to make a movement in the opposite direction.

For example, if you feel stress constricting your chest, it often helps to press your hands into your lower back or to cross your arms above the head and lift the sternum.

If the strain is on your neck, it can be good to stretch and let the shoulders sink.

> Collecting moments of happiness

This trick helps you to become aware of the many happy moments that await you every day.

Just put a couple of coins, pebbles or other small items into your left pocket in the morning, and whenever you experience something nice, transfer one of them to your right pocket.

Counting these few items in the right pocket in the evening will help you to remember the positive moments of the day. – dpa

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Mental health , stress


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