“Looking forward to something provides calming perspective,” Dr. Elkin says. Buying concert tickets, scheduling a weekend getaway, or making an appointment for a massage are all great ways of managing stress.
Goofing off is another great way of managing stress. It temporarily removes you from a potentially stressful situation. Esther Orioli, president of Essi Systems, a San Francisco consultant company that organizes stress-management programs, keeps a harmonica in the drawer for when she’s feeling stressed out. Bonus: Playing it promotes deep breathing. Don’t miss these 5-second strategies for shutting down stress fast.
When people are under stress, they slump over as if they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. “Slumping restricts breathing and reduces blood and oxygen flow to the brain, adding to muscle tension and magnifying feelings of panic and helplessness,” Dr. Cooper explains. Straightening your spine has just the opposite effect. It promotes circulation, increases oxygen levels in your blood and helps lessen muscle tension, all of which promote relaxation.