Well, stressed? Anyone who regularly answers this question with yes in everyday life is living unhealthily. Because stress not only gnaws at our mental state in the long run, but also damages the body.
But what is the best way to bring yourself down in moments of inner tension?
“A good start is just realizing that you are energized,” says Christiane Wettig, a relaxation educator from Echzell (Hessen).
The next step is to pause, listen carefully to yourself and ask yourself: what would do me good now?
One often finds that a lot of negative energy builds up in the body under acute stress. “The answer is then: Reduce energy,” explains Holger Kracke, Chairman of the Federal Association for Burnout Prophylaxis and Prevention in Munich.
How best to do this varies from person to person. “Some scream loudly, others go for a run or climb stairs,” says Kracke. Besides that, there is a lot more you can do.
Tip 1: Pay attention to your neck and shoulders
“A lot can be achieved just by stretching and stretching,” says Wettig. This is often possible in the workplace as well.
For example: stand up, stretch your arms up, and then let them dangle loosely as you take a few steps.
Another stretch is this: Bend your head forward while lowering your chin towards your chest. Now both hands come on the back of the head. Then gently push the head down until you feel a slight stretch.
This stretch is held for about 30 seconds before releasing. Now feel the relaxation for another 20 seconds. The exercise is repeated as often as is good for you.
Advantage of such exercises: You find your way back into your own body and into the moment. And neck and shoulders appreciate a little attention.
Tip 2: Breathe deeply – and off to the cinema in your head
“A breathing exercise is also a form of energy reduction,” says Holger Kracke. A possible variation: focus on the heart, breathe in for about five seconds and imagine the oxygen flowing into the heart.
Then exhale for about five seconds, following the idea of the oxygen flowing out through the heart.
Keep breathing in this rhythm while recalling something that makes you feel good. For example, a scent that you like to sniff.
Tip 3: Activate your senses
Just look out the window and see what’s going on outside. “That sounds trite, but it can do an incredible amount when it comes to reducing stress,” explains Christiane Wettig.
Also relaxing: Warm your hands by rubbing them together and then place them over your eyes. Or massage your tense neck and notice how the tissue loosens.
Photo gallery: 11 more tips against stress
If you live near a river, you can go to the bank for some time and concentrate on the movement of the water. And imagine: “The water flows away, as does my stress,” says relaxation educator Wettig.
Alternatively, the stress can also move away with the clouds in the sky.
“A so-called stress ball can also be helpful,” explains Kracke. Crunching and shaping the little ball can help relax you.
The good thing: it can even be kneaded under the table during appointments – invisible to others.
By the way: Strategies against acute stress work best if you are already familiar with them.