Everyone feels the effects of stress from time to time. If you feel like you're on the way to getting overwhelmed, why not try out this triangle breathing exercise.
It doesn't matter how you spend your day-to-day life, we all get stressed. It may be because your boss has piled even more work on you, just because you completed the last - difficult - task. Maybe it's because you have had to unload the dishes for the fifth time in a row because no one else will bother. Perhaps you didn't notice the basket of ironing grow and grow until somebody put a sock on top of the pile and it collapses like a clothes Jenga (and you still have to do all that ironing).
Stress is a daily part of life, and you might be surprised it's not entirely a bad thing. According to Psychology Today, a little stress can help you manage a lot of stress; it's like a vaccine that contains a little bit of the bug to immunise you from developing the full-blown disease. You need to learn how to manage that stress, though, to be strong enough to get through the tough times.
Stress is rampant in the workplace, unfortunately, since we spend most of our lives at work. If you work from home in any capacity, the stress can certainly build up there, too. For those times when you feel like you're getting overwhelmed, it might be worth trying this breathing technique before you let it envelop you even more. It's easy to do at your desk or in a calming space and only takes a few minutes.
First, inhale and exhale once fully. On the next breath, count how long your inhale took. As you progress with your breathing, use the length of that count to inhale, hold, and exhale. So, if you counted six, inhale for six counts (one side of the triangle), hold for six counts (the other side, from the point down), and exhale for six counts (the last side of the triangle, to join with the first).
'Draw' the triangle for a few rounds. You can then slowly increase the size of your triangle with one count at a time if you feel comfortable. Return to the previous count if you feel yourself getting breathless. Concentrate on drawing the triangle for at least three minutes. When you are ready to finish, return to your regular breath for a couple of rounds.
This video may help as a guide until you are comfortable with doing it yourself.
Even if a little stress can help manage the bigger stresses, don't ever be afraid to seek guidance if you feel that the stress is becoming too much. Mental health is as important as physical. Look after yourself!
Do you find yourself getting overwhelmed at work or at home? How do you help yourself alleviate the strain?