What happens then?
You can’t effectively do your work or manage your day, which ends up making you even more stressed! It’s a vicious cycle, but you can get out of it quickly and easily by using one of these 10 easy tools to relieve stress and bring your body back to a relaxed state.
How to Get Rid of Stress in 10 Minutes or Less
1. Unfold the helix of your ears
Your ear has dozens of acupuncture points that can all bring your system back into a calm state. To access many of them, all you have to do is unfold and gently press on the helix of your ear. The helix is the edge of your outer ear that “folds over” on itself. Pinch the top of your ear, right where it attaches to your head and gently unfold and press on the helix. Keep unfolding a gently pinching until you get to the part where it no longer folds over. Continue tracing the edge of your ear, gently pressing between your fingers, until you reach the earlobe at the bottom. Repeat with the other ear.
2. Get grounded. I mean that literally – go stand on the ground.
When we stand on the earth with bare feet, we absorb electrons from the ground, which can rebalance the electrical systems in our body. This calms the nervous system and brings a sense of peace and calm to your whole system.
This one is excellent for relaxing and for helping you to fall asleep, too. Sit with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Place the tip of your tongue against the back of your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout the whole breathing exercise.
- With your mouth closed, inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7.
- Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of eight, keeping your tongue against your upper teeth (this can take a little practice)
- Repeat three more times (for a total of four breaths)
4. Tapping for stress relief
Tapping resets your nervous system by stimulating the flow of energy in your meridians and chakras. There are lots of different tapping points, but the ones I like to gently tap 5-10 times are:
- The third eye, just between and slightly above your eyebrows
- Halfway down your nose
- Just above your lip
- Just underneath your collarbone (doesn’t matter which side!)
5. Lazy 8 breathing
Put one arm straight out in front of you and slowly draw a big sideways eight (or infinity symbol) in the air in front of you. Take a deep breath in as you draw one loop and let it out slowly as you draw the other. This exercise has two benefits in one, it slows down your breathing and reconnects the right and left sides of your brain.
6. Eye movement
Take a deep breath and close your eyes. While they are closed, slowly start to roll your eyes in a clockwise motion for two full circles. Do the same two slow circles in a counterclockwise motion. Now move your eyes slowly side to side a few times and finally move them up and down a few times. *Note: if you feel dizzy when you do this, it just means you really need this one! Slow your circles way down and maybe start with only one circle.
7. Tense up and shake it off
Breath in and tense up your whole body, your shoulders, your back, your face, your legs, your hands and even your feet. Hold for a count of five. Then breath out, release and give a little shake. This sends a signal to your body that you are ready to switch from fight or flight to rest mode. If you watch animals in the wild you’ll see them do this — once the gazelle has finally outrun the lion, you’ll see it give a whole body shake to release the tension.
8. Let your eyes sink back
Lean your head back, close your eyes and release your eye muscles. Feel your eyes relax and sink back deep into your skull. If you want to, you can gently press on each eyelid to relax the muscles more (don’t do this if you feel any discomfort!). We keep a lot of tension in our eyes, especially if you’ve been staring at a computer screen for hours. Time to release it!
9. Trace your cranial nerves
There are several highly sensitive nerves that run from your brain to your face. You can calm the brain by gently tracing these nerves. Take one finger and gently place it underneath your inner eye. Trace along the underside of your eye until you reach the side of your face. Then, trace downwards along the edge of your cheek until you reach your chin. Move your finger up and trace along your lower and upper lip. Repeat starting on the other side, under the other eye.
10. Practice ho’oponopono
Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian practice of forgiveness. It’s amazingly powerful and if your stress is caused by another person, or by feelings of your own worthlessness or self-deprecation, this can shift it almost immediately. To do this exercise, think of the person that is causing you stress or think of what your inner critic is saying to you and say:
I forgive you
I love you
Repeat until you feel your heart soften and some of the stress melt away. Ho’oponopono is one of my favorite tools and I find a reason to practice it almost every day.