Mental hacks to naturally lower stress

Sometimes stress can creep up on us in ways we wouldn’t think. Do you seem to get headaches, clench your jaw or feel tension in your back during demanding times? These could all be red flags that stress has crept into your life.

Thankfully, there are many natural health hacks you could implement in your lives, whether it be part of your daily routine, or when you feel it coming on – you can train your mind to find its happy place no matter what life throws at you.

Let’s do the time warp (again)

It might sound a little unusual, but a time warp exercise could help regain a better perspective of a situation.

Try and reflect back on a stressful time that happened at least a year ago. It highlights how resilient you were when faced with adversity in the past and realise that you can do it again. It can put worries into perspective and help realise that the uncertainties we face are rarely the big deal our minds tend to make them into.

Reconceptualise your idea of stress

Changing your mindset and approach to stress can help through giving gratitude for it. It’s also important to remember that not all stress arises from a negative situation. We can also feel stressed in large, positive events or times of change, such as weddings, promotions or exciting travel.

A healthy amount of stress can also sharpen our concentration and drive us into taking action.

Imagine your parallel universes

A quick exercise you could complete is to take a piece of paper and write down your current stressful situation. On one side, write down what you think could be the worst outcome (for example, losing your job or becoming homeless). On the other side, write down the very best imaginable outcome, no matter how far-fetched or ridiculous.

Looking at both scenarios usually demonstrates how unlikely either of these outcomes really are, and that you might find yourself somewhere in the middle.

Mindfulness and mind tricks

If you’re able to take a step back from continuously looking into the uncertainties of the future and focus on the ‘now’, you start becoming present in the moment. This could help you to experience your life fully and enter a situation without an expectation of the outcome.

Pump up the positive tunes

Ever had the perfect song play at the perfect time and it just felt amazing? It’s remarkable how music can make you feel in the moment.

Using this to your advantage can help to reduce your heart rate, regulate blood pressure and lower the levels of stress hormones in the blood.

Journal your worries ‘write’ away

Think of writing as a debriefing session with yourself. It can be a powerful tool to notice any worries and connect deeply with yourself. Sometimes, you just need to ‘say it out loud’ to put a situation into perspective.

Hold your breath… and let it out

When we feel stressed, our bodies tend to alter some of the basic processes such as breathing. Our breathing can become shallow, or we can start to gulp in more air than we expel.

Taking some time to practise long, slow and deep breathing can significantly help reduce the feeling of stress as you are showing less physical signs of it.

Next time you’re feeling that tension in your jaw, lower back or have a headache coming on, give these hacks a go to naturally help reduce the feeling of stress.

Show us what your mental hacks look like on Instagram, using #MCmentalhacks.

Posted in: Lifestyle