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Stress is a lifestyle issue that can cause very real health issues, and it is worthwhile to know and practice ways to relieve stress.
How do you respond when you face challenging situations like your car getting stuck in the middle of nowhere or you cannot finish a task by the given deadline? Do you feel tensed and stressed due to these events and cannot cope with these everyday stressors? If your answer is yes, you are at the right place. Here we will discuss 10 easy ways to relieve stress. With the help of these tips, you will be able to understand why you feel stressed and how you can cope with the negative effects of stressors.
However, before we get into details, let’s understand the types of stress.
There are different reasons due to why one might experience stress. Here we list the common reasons.:
Emotional – When an individual faces challenges in a relationship, at work, money-related issues, experience discrimination, the death of a loved one, natural disasters, or a major change in life.
Physical – When the person is mostly sick, in pain, facing difficulty sleeping, recovering from an injury, and other physical challenges that affect the day-to-day working.
There are different types of stress. However, according to the studies made on stress in psychology, they can be divided into three major categories:
Acute Stress – Short-term stress experienced due to the body’s reaction to new or challenging situations or as a result of experiencing something enjoyable like an achievement, etc. In this stress, the individual quickly comes back to a normal state.
Episodic Acute Stress – When a person starts experiencing acute stress regularly, episodic acute stress is felt. It can be due to work deadlines or the job pressure seen in caretakers. In this stress, the person doesn’t get time to come to a calm state affecting individual mental health and makes them think the crisis is never-ending, and they keep on facing them.
Chronic Stress – This third type of stress makes it difficult to see a solution or change the situation. For example, living in high-crime neighborhoods and constant arguments with loved ones.
Physical activity has been proven to help relieve stress. When you are physically active and practice activities like walking, cycling, or any other that involves physical work, the body releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones. It helps lower stress levels and releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This helps contribute to better sleep quality, which helps regulate stress levels and supports overall emotional well-being.
Furthermore, as you exercise, you are distracted from stressors and worries, allowing you to temporarily shift your attention away from sources of stress. Increased blood flow also promotes clearer thinking and reduces the mental fog often associated with stress.
Some might think eating, and stress aren’t related, but this is the biggest misconception. Both are interconnected; this is why some individuals overeat, and some lose their appetite when stressed. Eating healthy and staying hydrated is one of the best ways of relieving stress. When there is an intake of a nutritious rich diet the body is able to build resilience against stress. Also, whole foods and complex carbohydrates, help maintain blood sugar levels preventing energy crashes and mood swings associated with fluctuations in blood sugar.
Another one of the excellent ways to relieve stress is to meditate. During meditation, you focus on a particular object, thought, or activity to bring mental clarity, relaxation, and heightened awareness. This helps manage and reduce stress. Meditation triggers the body’s relaxation response, leading to decreased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and reduced levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Also, it allows you to observe your emotions without reacting impulsively, helping you respond to stressors in a more balanced way.
Lack of sleep heightens stress levels, making facing everyday challenges more daunting. Therefore, to cope with stress, set a sleep and wake time. This will help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve sleep quality. Also, you can engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading, gentle stretching, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
Another way to manage and reduce stress is journaling. Writing whatever you are thinking on paper helps reduce stress as you get a way to outlet your emotions. It is a cathartic release that allows viewing situations from different angles, leading to a more balanced perspective. Journaling is creative and therapeutic as it helps gain insight into what is happening, and you can manage emotions that make us uneasy. When you write down everything you are going through without the fear of being judged or analyzed, you can think clearly and see what and why you feel negative. It helps find a sense of relief from stressors.
Caring for self is crucial when looking for ways to manage stress. Most of the time, we stop paying attention to what our body is saying and signaling during stressful situations. To manage and reduce stress, you should prioritize your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This will make you understand how to stay calm in difficult situations and positively react, improving the overall quality of life. Activities such as proper sleep, taking breaks, and practicing relaxation techniques, will make your body and mind feel better and help you recover quickly from stress.
Reducing caffeine, nicotine, and substance abuse positively impacts stress management. While high caffeine intake can lead to increased anxiety and restlessness, making it difficult to manage stress effectively. Moderate caffeine consumption is generally considered safe. Also, you can replace it with beverages with water, herbal teas, or decaffeinated options to stay hydrated.
Feeling stressed is natural when you let others run over you. Therefore, you need to learn the essential management techniques that explain how to say no and set boundaries. As soon as you start practicing these habits and prioritize your needs, you will no longer feel low on confidence. You will feel empowered as now you will have control, and you will decide what you want and don’t want to do.
Setting boundaries will help you manage time efficiently, and you can align with your priorities. Also, as the distractions will reduce, your focus will be shifted toward your goals. This means you can accomplish more in less time and reduce stress.
Delaying things and making excuses is of no good because the more you miss the deadline, the more the chances you feel guilty, anxious, and frustrated, all of which elevate stress levels. Therefore, try to finish the task in time by creating small and achievable goals. Create a to-do list, use time management techniques, identify and eliminate distractions, set deadlines, reward yourself for every action you take, and practice the 2-minute rule.
Mindfulness means being fully present in the moment without judgment. You can be fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions when you practice them. As you pay attention to these sensations, the body relaxes, reducing the production of stress hormones like cortisol. Also, when you disconnect yourself from the stressors, their impact on your emotional response is reduced, and you can think clearly about how to respond without getting overwhelmed and emotional.
Engaging in these activities will not only help relieve stress and pay attention to what’s important in life but also increase attention span. After a stressful situation, when you can come to a normal state of calmness, you are more dedicated toward your goals in life. In addition to these tips, you can even practice deep breathing and enroll yourself in some hobby classes; however, if nothing seems like working, talk to a counselor or therapist. These professionals provide you with the needed guidance and support.
Image source: a still from the series Average Ambilli
Hello, I am Aditi work as content writer at CalmSage, Which gives you information on mental health to help you lighten and brighten your mood with mental wellness tips.
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