Have you ever wondered how some people can be so calm, even when that important deadline is looming or when Murphy’s Law is kicking in? Maybe you are that relaxed person. Most of us, however, are the on-lookers: the envious, stressed-out people who wish we could be more “chill.” Don’t worry; you’re not doomed to be a worrier all the time. Try out some of these chill-promoting strategies to calm yourself down and gain some perspective:
Studies find that people who interact with their friends during stressful situations tend to have lower cortisol (the stress-causing hormone) levels. So make friends at work, in your classes and at home, so you always have someone around who you can talk to.
2. Find your center
To find your center, pause, reflect, and stay in the moment. Many people try to find their “moment of Zen” by meditating, which is beneficial in many ways. The way finding your center helps you de-stress is due to stillness. When your environment, mind, and body are still, you can truly let go of what’s troubling you.
3. Don’t try to keep it together all the time
Life is hard; we all know that. Sometimes, however, we don’t let ourselves cope with stress because we think we should be able to handle it. Next time you’re stressed, take inventory of your habits, the good and the bad. Some stress is normal, and can even be a motivator in small doses, but try to develop healthy strategies that reduce stress, such as exercising, making a healthy snack or writing in a journal.
Let yourself be away from your phone or computer for a few minutes each day. There is no reason to feel tethered to your technological devices. Zen people give themselves permission to reply to emails and texts within the next couple hours, not the next couple minutes.
Studies find that people who get a regular 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night are calmer during the day. Having an irregular or interrupted sleep routine can weaken your immune system, and make you less productive throughout your day. And as if you need another excuse to take a nap: naps that are less than 30 minutes can increase creativity and keep you relaxed
6. Take advantage of time take off
If you’re lucky enough to get some vacation time, take advantage of it! The most chill people realize that “mental health days” aren’t just for catching up on your favorite TV series on Netflix. Giving your brain a break actually decreases your blood pressure and strengthens your immune system.
7. Be thankful
Expressing gratitude for what you have not only makes your feel better mentally, but actually reduces cortisol in your system by as much as 23%, according to researchers. This makes you feel happier, more energized, and obviously, less stressed. Researchers also find that those who show their thanks also tend to exercise more, which also reduces stress levels.
Bonus Strategy: Get a Massage at the Rec Center!
Visit this link for more information on massage therapy at the Rec. Also, keep your eyes open for Winter Semester drop-in seated chair massage dates.