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Everyone’s got a lot on their mind these days, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to take a little time for yourself—here are 4 interesting tips to help you reduce stress on a budget.
1. Guided Imagery
When you need a quick break from reality, try engaging in some guided imagery. Close your eyes, and go to your happy place: the beach, your grandma’s house, a comfy chair by a crackling fireplace, whatever spot in the world makes feel you most relaxed.
As you imagine your scene, pay special attention to each of your senses. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Allow yourself to be totally immersed in your scene, and when you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and ease back into the present.
If you’re new to guided imagery and are having a bit of trouble, you can also try listening to a recording of someone else guiding you through a peaceful scene.
One of the tried and true methods of stress relief is meditation, and it’s a great way to reduce stress on a budget. Meditation is all about being in the present moment—don’t be plagued by the past and don’t fret about the future.
There are many different forms of meditation, from rhythmic breathing to mantra repeating. Find a style of meditation that works for you, or develop your own! However you meditate, you’ll be engaging in short-term stress relief and learning long-term stress management skills.
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another way to relieve the stress in your brain is by releasing the stress in your body through progressive muscle relaxation. The idea is to systematically tighten and relax each of your muscle groups, starting with the top of your forehead and ending with the tips of your toes. With each release, a sweeping sense of relaxation should spread throughout your body, and as you practice more, you’ll become better at recognizing the tension in your own body, so you’ll know what areas to focus on.
Finally, one of the best and simplest ways to reduce stress while on a budget is to breathe. The good news is that you can breathe anywhere, whether you’re stuck in a meeting or cramped on a railcar.
Count to three as you inhale through your nose, hold onto the air for a second, and then count to three once more as you exhale through your nose—you’ll be surprised at how calming such a simple exercise can be. And there are so many different breathing exercises to explore and practice, so do some research, and find a simple breathing technique that works for you.