Mindfulness Monday: 3 Tips to Reduce Stress

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Stressed at your desk? 

According to the American Psychological Association, “More than half of working adults and 47% of all Americans say they are concerned about the amount of stress in their lives.”

That’s a lot of people stressing about stress. And since we’re talking about half the country, there’s a chance you’re one of those people. (We know we might be!) We understand. There’s a lot going on in this world. We all have too many obligations and too little time.

Some think therapy can help. But maybe you really can’t fit it into your schedule or your budget, not to mention the fact that your therapist may not be available for a chat the moment stress strikes. We personally love exercise as a way to reduce stress, but sometimes it’s also difficult to break into a sweat in the middle of a work deadline. It’s good to have some tools that you can whip out at any place, any time. Check these out:

It’s tea time!

The English may have been on to something with their whole tea and crumpets thing every day at 4pm. Even if you’re a coffee person, you might want to consider adding an afternoon tea to your daily routine. The Telegraph (a British paper, naturally) reports that “even a single cup of tea can significantly reduce anxiety levels after suffering a stressful experience – and in some cases, make people even calmer than they were before.” We couldn’t find any reports on the stress-reducing powers of scones and tea sandwiches, unfortunately…

Chew on it.

Your fifth grade teacher made you spit it out in class. Your parents told you it was impolite. But as it turns out, gum does have some redeeming qualities, aside from freshening your breath and keeping you from eating a million cookies when that afternoon sugar craving strikes. According to Men’s Fitness, “a study carried out by researchers at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, showed that subjects who chewed gum while multitasking under stressful conditions experienced reduced stress and anxiety as well as increased alertness.” Good deal!

Scent your space.

For some, the whole aromatherapy thing may seem a little out there, but apparently it works! As the Huffington Post reports, “Our olfactory response is directly linked to the emotional center of our brain,” which means that using scents to de-stress makes perfect sense! Try sprinkling a little lavender, rose or bergamot (you can also find bergamot in Earl Grey tea – see tip #1) essential oil in a bath, blot some on your wrists, or put some in a diffuser. Before you realize it, stress will be but a faint memory.