The world we live in has evolved so much over time, introducing us to various forms of technologies, all trying to make our living better, easier, and much more comfortable.
Unfortunately, it has come with an opportunity cost!
Having 24/7 access to the entire world through our mobiles and internet has caught us up in a million things at the same time: work, home, social obligations, and more.
The constant struggle to fulfill our various roles and commitments has caught us in such a bad whirlwind of life that it has led to significant burnout that manifests as sleeplessness, fatigue, exhaustion, and stress.
So what are you waiting for? Keep reading to learn 15 stress-busting techniques and enjoy a wholesome life that you never knew you'd been craving.
Strategies for Dealing With Stress
Before you deal with a problem, it is important to understand it first.
So, what is stress? Stress is your body's response to any demand placed upon it. When you perceive a threat, your body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase your heart rate and blood pressure and prepare your muscles for action. This "fight-or-flight" response is a normal, instinctive reaction that helps you deal with dangerous situations.
However, the demands of modern life can sometimes trigger this stress response even when there's no real danger present. This can lead to chronic stress, which can, in turn, cause a variety of health problems, including anxiety, depression, and heart disease.
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to manage stress and keep it from taking over your life. Here are 15 stress-busting techniques that can help you feel calm and much more in control:
1. Go for a Walk
Walking is a great way to deal with stress. It's simple, it doesn't cost anything, and it's an excellent way to get some exercise. Walking can help you clear your head and give you a chance to think about whatever is causing your stress. And if you walk outdoors, you'll also get the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine.
2. Have a Glass of Tea
Many herbal teas contain several elements that aid in preventing stress, viruses, and bacteria. These teas also include herbs that reduce inflammation and the incidence of blood clots and high blood pressure. According to a study, some herbal teas, especially Melissa officinalis or lemon balm extract, have lower cortisol levels in the body. Simply breathing tea fragrance — mainly black tea — has been proven to reduce stress and boost feelings of peace.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is easy and one of the fastest ways to calm down when feeling stressed. When you take a deep breath, it signals to your brain that everything is okay. This triggers the relaxation response, which helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Deep breathing also helps increase the supply of oxygen to your brain, which can improve your mood and mental clarity.
4. Smile More Often
Smiling has been shown to help with stress in several ways. It can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and it also releases endorphins, which are hormones that can boost your mood. Additionally, smiling is contagious, so if you smile at someone else, they're likely to smile back, which may further help reduce stress levels.
5. Practice Self-Affirmation
Self-affirmation allows us to be understanding and kind to ourselves when we have negative thoughts about ourselves. This can help us cope better with stressors in our lives and lead to improved mental and physical health. Additionally, self-affirmation has been found to increase feelings of self-efficacy, or the belief that we can handle challenges and stressors in our lives. This increased sense of self-efficacy can lead to improved stress management and better overall health.
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6. Eat Protein
Protein is essential for the body to repair and build new tissue. It also helps to balance blood sugar levels, which can be helpful in managing stress. Additionally, protein provides the body with amino acids, which are the building blocks of serotonin, a hormone that plays a role in regulating mood.
Some good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, and dairy products. If you're not getting enough protein from your diet, you may want to consider taking a protein supplement.
7. Step Away From Mobilephones
While mobile phones can be a great way to stay connected with others, they can also be a source of stress. One of the main reasons mobile phones cause stress is constant notifications. Whether it’s a new email, text message, or phone call, these notifications can be disruptive and cause us to feel anxious.
Another reason mobile phones can cause stress is because of the pressure to be always available. With mobile phones, we are reachable 24/7, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed.
One thing that you can do is set aside some time each day to disconnect from technology and connect with yourself. This “digital detox” will help you clear your mind and relax your body.
8. Listen to Some Music
There are many ways that music can help to relieve stress. Music can provide a distraction from stressful situations, help to soothe and relax the mind and body and provide a sense of social support.
Listening to calming music can also help slow down the heart rate and breathing, which can reduce the physical symptoms of stress. Music can be a powerful tool in managing stress, and it can be used in conjunction with other relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.
9. Get Involved In Something Creative
Being creative can help relieve stress in several ways. First, it can provide an outlet for pent-up emotions and frustrations. Secondly, being creative can be relaxing and help to take your mind off of whatever is causing you stress. Finally, seeing your creative work come to life can be a great source of satisfaction and pride, helping to boost your self-confidence and overall mood.
So if you're feeling stressed, try channeling your energy into something creative. Whether it's painting, writing, crafting, or anything else that sparks your imagination, you may find it to be a helpful way to cope.
10. Try Stretching Your Muscles
Stretching is beneficial for stress because our sedentary lifestyles create stiffness, which aggravates that stress. When we are stressed, we tend to hold our muscles tight, furthering the tension. Stretching helps alleviate that tension by lengthening the muscles.
Static stretches, where you hold a position for 20-30 seconds, are generally the most effective for stress relief. For best results, focus on stretching the muscles that feel the tightest. Breathe deeply and slowly as you stretch and relax into the position. If a particular stretch is too uncomfortable, ease up or discontinue it altogether. You should never feel pain when stretching.
11. Improving Your Sleep Cycle
The relationship between sleep and stress has a lot to do with your hormones. When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol. This hormone makes you more alert and can interfere with your sleep, and has been shown to decrease your time in light and deep sleep.
Furthermore, the increased cortisol hormone keeps you up at night for more extended hours, leaving you exhausted throughout the day, making it even harder to deal with stress.
Getting enough rest, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, going to bed at the same time each night, and waking up at the same time each morning are a few of the things that can help regulate your body's natural sleep cycle. Hence, your cortisol stays put, allowing you to relax and enjoy a deep sleep every night.
12. Try Talking To Someone
Some experts believe that talking things out can help relieve stress because it allows you to express your inner feelings and thoughts in a safe and controlled environment. This can help you understand your stressors better and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Additionally, talking things out can also help build strong social support networks, providing additional emotional stability during times of stress.
13. Spend Some Time By Yourself
Spending some time alone can be a great way to relieve stress. You can focus on your thoughts and feelings without outside distractions when you're alone. This can help you better understand and process your stressors.
Additionally, spending time alone can give you a chance to relax and rejuvenate. You can do things that you enjoy without worrying about other people's needs or opinions. This can help reduce your overall stress levels and feel more refreshed and relaxed.
14. Get Organized
There are many benefits to getting organized, and one of them is reducing stress. When you're disorganized, it can feel like your life is spiralling out of control, which may lead to anxiety and even depression. But when you take the time to get your life in order, it can be a massive weight off your shoulders. Suddenly, everything feels more manageable, and you can breathe a sigh of relief.
In addition to reducing stress, getting organized can also help you be more productive. It's easy to waste time when you can't find what you're looking for or you constantly have to search for things. But when everything is in its proper place, you can work more efficiently and get more done.
So if you're feeling overwhelmed, try getting organized. It just might be the stress-reliever you need.
15. Stop Procrastinating
Many things can cause stress in our lives, and one of the most common is procrastination. When we put off doing something that we need to do, it can cause a lot of anxiety and even lead to depression.
If you tend to procrastinate, it's essential to find ways to avoid it. One way to do this is to set yourself up for success by creating a schedule or to-do list that you can stick to. Make sure to break down your tasks into small, manageable steps so that you don't feel overwhelmed.
The Bottom Line
There are many different ways to help you reduce stress in your life. Some people find that talking to someone or spending time alone helps, while others find that getting organized is the key. Whatever works for you, make sure to take the time to relieve stress when you need it. It's important to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
- Chandrasekara, Anoma, and Fereidoon Shahidi. ‘Herbal Beverages: Bioactive Compounds and Their Role in Disease Risk Reduction - A Review’. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, vol. 8, no. 4, Aug. 2018, pp. 451–58. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.08.006.
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