May 7, 2008 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Help me de-stress and refocus my moods.

How do yall refocus after being extremely stressed for short bursts on end? Any activities, tips, thought patterns you think, stretching exercises, exercises in general??

I try to take deep breaths with some self talk and/or exercise, but it seems to work only about half the time.

I'm also a huge tea drinker as well, but that works sparingly sometimes.
posted by isoman2kx to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You might try those noise canceling head phones, close your eyes and focus on nothing but your breathing for a few minutes. Take a mini-meditation break.
posted by meeshell at 1:22 PM on May 7, 2008

I meditate twice a day using the NSR technique.
posted by brevator at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2008

We just got a wii at work. I'm stunned with how useful it is. The sports games that come with it take three-to-ten minutes to play. Employees (including me) take de-stress breaks by boxing or bowling for a few minutes. It involves mind and body. And ten minutes later, you're back to work -- energized.
posted by grumblebee at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2008

If the tea is caffeinated, you might try switching to decaf or herbal tea.

In terms of practices, I've found meditation and tai chi / chi gung both to be calming, and to have a measurable effect on lowering my blood pressure over a short time. Plain old deep breathing is like meditation but without a focus, so if you find some calming image or idea to focus on when doing your slow deep breaths, it might be more effective.

I also have been a lifelong rabid reader and for me sitting down even for as little as 15 minutes with a pleasurable book can be as effective as meditation or deep breathing.
posted by aught at 1:47 PM on May 7, 2008

Lately I've taken to jewellery making and I've found the whole process of selecting beads, making up a design and then stringing the beads/wire wrapping them to be very relaxing and therapeutic. Maybe something similar that doesn't require a ton of mental activity would be destressing for you too.
posted by peacheater at 2:15 PM on May 7, 2008

i hear knitting/crocheting is very relaxing. i personally like to cook--chopping veggies is a great de-stresser. yoga's nice, too.

taking a walk seems to help. you need to do it for at least 15 minutes, though, and 30 is better.

if you are really hopped up and tense, a hot shower/bath and a valerian tablet will help (don't take the recommended dosage, as that will put you to sleep).
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:38 PM on May 7, 2008

I knit. It requires very little concentration (once you get into the pattern), though enough to keep your mind minimally engaged. And in the end - voila, another scarf, set of mittens, hat... Living in Montreal, this is both a fantastic way to de-stress as well as keep constantly bundled up. If I ever move to Hawaii, I'd probably have to come up with something else. But who could get stressed in Hawaii?
posted by Herman Hermanson at 2:45 PM on May 7, 2008

I put on loud and happy Bollywood music and jump insanely along on a mini-trampoline. It's a crazy-happy cure for whatever ails you.
posted by PatoPata at 4:31 PM on May 7, 2008

I've been more stressed than usual lately, and it causes in me a great urge to knit. And then I go back to studying :(

I'd suggest crochet as well, because only one needly thing! Bonus!
posted by MadamM at 4:48 PM on May 7, 2008

After my first semester of law school I decided to de-stress by knitting a pullover sweater vest. A couple of years ago I came across it in the back of the closet and realized it was knit so incredibly tightly that the fabric was actually stiff. I thought that was hilarious. Maybe knitting is only good for people with moderate stress and not those whose heads are about to go spinning off into outer space.

Here's what I do now that I've regained some of my sanity:

Take my dog for a really fast, long walk

Jump on the elliptical and pedal really, really fast when stressful thoughts enter my head

Have a long soak in a hot bath, put on a clean pair of jammies, and get in bed with a hot toddy and a good novel

Bake a homey cake, like a Bundt cake--nothing too fancy
posted by HotToddy at 7:16 PM on May 7, 2008

I lift weights for at least 45 minutes after work each day. I do this without talking to anyone and try to put all thoughts of work out of my mind. I leave the gym much more relaxed.
posted by charlesv at 8:10 PM on May 7, 2008

I run. If I'm really pissed, I run fast.
2ndng the 'Whoa on the caffeine"
posted by eclectist at 12:18 AM on May 8, 2008

Find something that makes you laugh. Do it. Repeat.
posted by hulahulagirl at 12:57 PM on May 9, 2008

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