Relieve Stress with these 4 Great Tips
Do you feel more stressed out than ever? Is your work life so hectic that you’re starting to burn out? Just faced with a financial crisis? How about the recent pandemic and how it affected your life? I don’t even want to delve into that one. All of us have been affected by it one way or the other.
Unfortunately, it is up to us to deal with this. Short of paying big bucks for a mental health therapist, let me share easy ways to help alleviate stress. The little things and adaptations we make in our lifestyle can make a big difference. Situations may differ but our bodies react similarly to the physiological effects of stress. So here goes.
If you’re desperately seeking peace and relief from the hustle and bustle of your demanding life, the good news is that you have the power to adopt simple strategies you can use to combat stress.
I am realistic. You or I may never eliminate stress entirely. I talk to people every day with varying degrees of stress. In fact, a life without stress would be pretty boring. The challenges of life often make it worth living. However, employing a few simple strategies to reduce stress will increase your peace and happiness, even in the midst of life’s storms.
Working out can be a great way to relieve stress. Whether you go jogging, pump some iron, or hit the punching bag for several minutes, the physical activity allows you to channel all the frustration you’re holding inside and release it in a constructive manner. Walk it off: by yourself or with someone. You can never underestimate walking outside and seeing nature, the sun, great weather, and just beholding nature in itself.
Water has a great calming effect on the brain. It may be because we are closely related to water as organic beings. It gives you time to think, promotes circulation that can also reach your brain, filling brain cells with more oxygen for it to function better. Oxygen is found in our red blood cells. With better circulation, oxygen can get circulated better which helps your body get revitalized.
Music can greatly influence your mood. Among its many benefits of boosted memory, it can lighten your mood, reduce anxiety, and even improve your response to pain. Have you heard of how music calms down children with attention deficit disorders? (ADD).
Music therapy has become relevant to alternative therapies for different ailments. Sometimes, all it takes to gain peace and focus is a few minutes of listening to music that soothes you inside. Different types of music affect your mood in different ways and pick a style that suits your emotional need of the moment can dramatically lower the level of stress you feel inside.
When you’re feeling stressed, try upbeat music. When you’re down in the dumps, you want something that’ll perk you up and lift your spirits. Few things can lift your mood faster than music. How about picking up that guitar you haven’t strummed in a while? Or tinkering with those white and black keys on your keyboard? Even singing karaoke, or just singing along with the music of your favorite artists can make a difference. Experience music in all its forms. YOu have your own unique way of responding to the music of your choice.
When one is stressed, there are two behaviors in response. To overeat, which can risk unhealthy weight gain, or to under eat, where one can be undernourished and not get the nutrients your body needs to fight stress.
Heard of the proverbial ice cream eating while watching TV after a relationship fail or conflict? Yup, that’s very common. When one feels stressed, there is that feeling of wanting to console that empty feeling through instant gratification such as eating. I have heard of people who shop and overspend, only to realize they don’t really need things they have bought. Even go into debt as one does not think clearly when stressed. Emotion rules. Impulse buying can also be the result of this feeling of wanting to fill a need or an empty feeling.
If your body isn’t getting the proper nutrition it needs, you’re more likely to feel tired and stressed out.
Breakfast is the most neglected meal of the day for busy people. It is called as so, “Break – the ” fast” from sleeping overnight. Fill that belly and feed that body so you have the energy you need to face the day. And make sure it’s a good one too. Balance out your carbs and protein. It does make a difference. Eating healthy prevents from being sluggish, clouded, droopy, and slow to respond to situations or decision-making.
Meals and snacks are fuel for your body. Are you eating the types of foods that contribute positively to your health?
Keep track of what you eat in a daily log. This simple step will make you more aware of what you’re eating, which often leads to automatically making healthier choices, like these:
- Drink as much water as possible.
- Add as many fruits and vegetables as you can to your diet.
- Look for tasty, healthier alternatives to junk food.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Small changes in your diet can make a big difference in how you feel and how effectively you handle stress.
Breathing is life. Good gas exchange ensures that your body gets the oxygen it needs to function better. This means move better, think better.
If you learn to control your breathing, you can control the level of stress you feel. Slow, deep breathing takes practice, but a little effort goes a long way. Once you learn to take slow, deep breaths from your belly, you’ll have an unstoppable weapon against stress.
Breathing plays a big part in our lives. Even beyond the obvious biological necessity, it comes into play when exercising, giving birth, easing fears, and even releasing stress.
Deep breathing slows your heart rate down and relaxes your muscles. It also helps you to calm down mentally. Shallow breaths create a feeling of anxiety within you. Deep breaths fuel your body’s cells with much-needed oxygen and your mind with much-needed confidence in the midst of the challenges you face.
BREATHING TIPS TO OPTIMIZE BENEFITS:
Breathe in through your nose slowly as if trying to fill in your lungs completely. Then, as you exhale, purse your lips as if in a kiss, and count 3 seconds mentally before you completely let all the air out. Repeat this about three times at a time, throughout the day and whenever you get a chance. Doing this deep breathing at least 10 times is also known to lower your blood pressure for a bit.
You can in fact try taking your blood pressure before you do this breathing exercise. After about 10 times, take your blood pressure again. Breathing allows capillaries to open and improve blood flow throughout the body.
With these simple strategies, you can learn to practice peace wherever you are.
Stress is all around us and can come in many shapes and forms. Instead of being tossed about in the midst of your storms, you’ll stand strong and handle challenges more effectively. Life is a gift. Use it wisely.
Experience the confidence and inner peace you deserve by applying these simple stress management strategies today.
Until the next ish!