3 Simple and Quick Steps to De-Stress
The term self-care is thrown around a lot these days, but too often, it can feel like one more thing to add to our already-packed schedules. The reality is that most of us are on sensory overload; external distractions are constantly vying for our attention – and winning.
One of the most significant external distractions is our phones. The average person spends more than 4 hours a day on mobile devices, according to mobile-analytics firm data.ai. This constant stimulation reduces our attention span, interferes with our memory and negatively impacts our brain’s reward pathways so that we want more and more – not unlike those addicted to drugs or gambling.
If you are looking for ways to manage your stress better, try these three simple strategies that take less than five minutes a day but, if followed consistently, can yield tremendous stress-reducing results.
3 strategies to better manage our phones, our breathing, and – ultimately – our stress
1. Try to reduce the number of times you pick up your phone
How many times do you pick up your phone? Aim to reduce this by at least 20% for the next 10 days. (Don’t be too hard on yourself; Molly’s daily average is 59 pickups, with the highest this week at 90 pickups).
Find your personal pickup history:
- iPhone users: settings => screen time => see all activity, then scroll down to see pickup data.
- Android users: settings => Digital Wellbeing => show your data.
2. Add Focus Time to Your Mobile Device
Focus time is about minimizing distractions. It temporarily silences all notifications—or allows only specific notifications (for example, ones that match your task) - and lets other people and apps know you’re busy.
3. Breathe with purpose with the 4-7-8 breathing technique | read more here
The 4-7-8 breathing technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This deep, mindful breathing can be a powerful stress management tool, helping us clear our minds, improve anxiety symptoms, reduce blood pressure, pause before we react and may help us fall asleep.
Aim to incorporate 4-7-8 breathing at least twice daily, especially during moments of stress or pressure and at bedtime.
While these three steps won't completely rid us of stress, they are a positive step in the right direction.
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Editor’s note: This originally appeared on WGNO’s “Get FUELED with Molly” segment.