Spend Time With Friends And Family
Even if you dont feel like talking about whats causing you stress, spending time with friends and family can help take the edge off. Friends and family might be the people closest to you, and so they may also be the ones who you need to put the least effort into interacting with.
This may even help create a rehabilitative environment for you, distracting you from whats causing you to stress and giving your mind a break. Support from friends and family can also undoubtedly go a long way in getting you through the toughest of times.
Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine is a great stimulant, and many nonprofessionals believe that it is good for fighting depression. For this, you need to be careful, as Caffeine being a stimulant may worsen anxiety.
On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant. While you may seem to notice that alcohol is helpful in making you fall asleep during the night, it does not automatically mean that you get quality sleep. Instead, it can harm you even more, as alcohol and depression have a reciprocal need and interaction.
For instance, alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms of depression, and depression makes a person attracted to alcohol use.
Make Your Own List Of Ways To Relieve Stress
When youre feeling stressed or anxious, it can be hard to think of effective, healthy coping strategies. Having a list of stress-relieving activities at hand can be very helpful. This way, youre ready whenever your stress level spikes.
I find its helpful to have a variety of stress management strategies. You will need to use different strategies when you are at work, school, or home. Sometimes you have more time and other times you are limited. And, of course, we have personal preferences and all find different strategies more or less helpful.
To get started, you can choose a few of your favorite ideas from the list above, write them down, and add or subtract ideas as you try them.
You can also print a PDF of my 38 ways to de-stress quickly and hang it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. You want to have healthy coping strategies readily available, so you dont have to think too much about it when stress is at hand. The more you practice them, the more automatic they will become.
This PDF is available as part of my free resource library. To access 30 free emotional wellness worksheets, tips, and articles, just sign-up HERE for my weekly updates and free resources.
2019 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved. Photo byYerlin MatuonUnsplash
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Tip : Find Sensory Inspiration
Having trouble identifying sensory techniques that work for you? Look for inspiration around you, from your sights as you go about your day to memories from your past.
Memories. Think back to what you did as a child to calm down. If you had a blanket or stuffed toy, you might benefit from tactile stimulation. Try tying a textured scarf around your neck before an appointment or keeping a piece of soft suede in your pocket.
Watch others. Observing how others deal with stress can give you valuable insight. Baseball players often pop gum before going up to bat. Singers often chat up the crowd before performing. Ask people you know how they stay focused under pressure.
Parents. Think back to what your parents did to blow off steam. Did your mother feel more relaxed after a long walk? Did your father work in the yard after a hard day?
The power of imagination. Once drawing upon your sensory toolbox becomes habit, try simply imagining vivid sensations when stress strikes. The memory of your babys face will have the same calming or energizing effects on your brain as seeing her photo. When you can recall a strong sensation, youll never be without a quick stress relief tool.
Take a break from technology
Taking a short hiatus from the television, computer, and cell phone will give you insight on what your senses respond to best.
Ways To Relieve Stress Quickly
We all experience stress sometimes a lot and sometimes not so much. Stress, your bodys reaction to change, can be related to positive changes like starting a new job or having a baby. But usually, when we talk about stress, we mean distress. This type of stress overwhelms your ability to cope and when its chronic or intense it can negatively affect your health, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.
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Make A List Of Things Youre Grateful For
We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.
Find Your Pause Button
After experiencing times of great change, high demand, or significant loss, its essential to press pause and rest. Often creating time and space for rest means saying no to invitations and requests for help, at least temporarily, says Callahan. Consider spending quiet time daily: contemplation, reflection, and breathing fosters resilience and calm.
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Helpful Organisations For Money Worries
It is important if you are worried about your finances and debts that you do not try to deal with them alone. There is a lot of help and support available to you through organisations such as Step Change and Citizens Advice.
You should also talk to your GP or a trusted health professional if you are worried about how debt is affecting your mental and physical health.
Aim For More And More Restful Sleep
A recent poll found that an estimated 70 percent of people who reported feeling stressed in the last month also experienced trouble sleeping. Poor sleep has been linked to lowered immunity, heart problems, and feelings of anxiety and depression. Stop stress in its tracks by practicing these better sleep tips:
- Skip the afternoon coffee. Caffeine stays in your system for at least six hours, so skip your afternoon cup o joe if you want to sleep more soundly.
- Power down. Watching TV or checking your Facebook feed before bed can keep you awake, so turn off the technology when you get in the bedroom. For a restful sleep, media mogul Arianna Huffington told Everyday Health she banishes all LCD screens, including computers, smartphones, and TV, from her bedtime routine.
- Ready your room. Aim to make your room dark, cool, and quiet. This will help lull you into a more restful sleep.
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What Are Stress Triggers And How Can I Relieve Them
First, lets nail down what stress is. We feel stressed when we are unable to cope with difficult events or circumstances. However, this is totally natural. Some events and circumstances are simply beyond coping with. These, in turn, have an impact on our bodies.
When we perceive threats, major challenges or pressures, our bodies often undergo biological stress responses. The brain releases hormones and chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which are sent barrelling through the body. These hormones are natures way of making us suddenly more aware and alert so that we can deal with the danger we have identified.
Lets think about it like this: stress is a natural, unavoidable human experience, and we all go through it. Not everyone feels stressed by the same things, so we need to identify what our personal stresses are and where they come from, in order to deal with them appropriately.
However, they can often make us feel the physical symptoms of anxiety like sweating, stuttering and feeling nauseous or shaky. The problem is, having the primitive fight-or-flight instinct race through the body is often not the appropriate response. It probably isnt going to be of much help when youre dealing with a difficult client, or youre stuck in traffic.
How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
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Guided Imagery Or Visualization
Imagine yourself lying on a sandy beach with a soft breeze gently stirring the warm air. Use your senses to smell the saltwater and feel the sun as you transport yourself there. Thats guided imagery or visualization.
It uses the power of your mind to change your focus to a peaceful time or event.
If were in a stressful situation, you know, just shifting our mind and focusing on a time when we were really, really relaxed is an effective way to calm down, Brown says.
How To Use Stress Medicine
It’s important to remember that you should never take any anxiety drugs alone, and you should try to avoid them if possible.
Medications are not evil – certainly not as evil as many people will tell you. But mental health medications have downsides. It’s more than just side effects. Medications can actually harm your ability to cope with stress in the future, because of:
- Physiological Dependence That’s when the body requires the medicine because it’s adapted to the effects. Your brain starts to depend on it, to the point where your natural stress coping ability gets even worse. If you stop taking the medication, you’ll suffer from intense side effects. You have to wean off it slowly, and you have to take it every day even if you’re not feeling anxious that day.
- Psychological Dependence Perhaps more troubling is psychological dependence. This is when you depend so much on the medicine that you don’t do anything else to cure your anxiety. When you stop taking the medication and experience some stress, you’re going to want to go immediately back to medication, and this type of behavior can make it much harder to cope with anxiety.
It’s important to keep that in mind. You need to make sure that you’re only choosing a medicine as a last resort because of these risks, and even if you do choose a stress medicine and feel better, make sure that you’re still learning proper coping strategies so that your anxiety doesn’t come back when you stop taking the medicine.
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Stress May Make Your Emotions Harder To Control
You may be fairly patient by nature, but it still wont take much to make you lose your cool when stressed. According to neuroscientists, it takes only mild levels of stress to make emotions harder to control. Factors like fear and anxiety that youd otherwise have a good grip on can become harder to control even with mild stress.
In 2013, an experiment tested the ability of participants to control their emotions under a mild stress factor having their hands dipped in ice water. The simple action made it harder for participants to calm themselves down when concurrently shown pictures of snakes and spiders.
If you dont learn how to release stress, theres even a chance that you may develop an emotional disorder like depression, which can result from chronic, untreated stress. The other emotional effects of stress include the inability to control anger, which may inadvertently lead to strained relationships at work and at home.
As your mind becomes muddled with anxiety and other emotions, you may also experience problems with concentration and memory.
How To Release Stress Through Stretching And Exercise
Not only does exercise reduce the bodys stress hormones, it also stimulates the production of endorphins, which elevate mood. Walking and jogging, or any type of exercise where you use large muscle groups in a repetitive fashion, will help you reduce stress. Even a short 10-minute stroll can relax the mind and clear your head of overwhelming thoughts. Try one of Headspaces guided walks to ease your mind and de-stress.
Stretching, on the other hand, can relieve the muscle tension created by carrying stress in our body. This, in turn, can also help you sleep better. Stretching in addition to regular exercise is a recipe for living a less stressful, more peaceful life.
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Quick Stress Relief At Work
Meetings. During stressful sessions, stay connected to your breath. Massage the tips of your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Sip coffee.
On the phone. Inhale something energizing, like lemon, ginger, peppermint. While talking, stand up or pace back and forth to burn off excess energy, or take calls outside when possible.
On the computer. Work standing up. Do knee-bends in 10-minute intervals. Suck on a peppermint. Sip tea.
Lunch breaks. Take a walk around the block or in the parking lot. Listen to soothing music while eating. Chat with a colleague.
Your workspace. Place family photos on your desk or mementos that remind you of your life outside the office.
Tips To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
Being always anxious can be unhealthy, while until now, the stigma about mental health is still present. Yet, did you know that stress and anxiety are one of the mental disorders having the highest prevalence in the US?
As sighted by NIMH, around 19.1% of U.S. adults are suffering from an anxiety disorder, and most of them are females, which is 23.4% more than their opposite gender. Meanwhile, around 31.1% of US adults were reported to experience some symptoms of anxiety in their lives. As for the latest edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-V, anxiety disorders come with different types, but they share the same hallmark, which is the excessive fear and anxiety and related behavioral disturbances.
Anxiety and fear are different concepts. For instance, DSM-V differentiates fear as emotional response to a real or perceived imminent threat from anxiety, as the anticipation of future threat. Such disturbances can impact different areas of your functioning such as your school, work, and even your overall personal and social life. Thus, you may need some anxiety relief.
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Your Attitude Can Increase Or Reduce Stress And Tension
Dealing with stress and tension should begin from within you. External causes might be the trigger for them, but in most cases, your attitude and thoughts are the real causes.
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You might not always be able to deal with external condition, but you can certainly teach yourself to change your attitude.
With a change of attitude, stress and tension would be reduced and might even disappear, irrespective of your external conditions.
Take two different people, with different mental attitudes, and put them in the same situation.
If you observe their behavior, you will see two different behavior patterns.
- One might get stressed easily, feels exhausted, and dwells on negative thoughts.
- The other person remains calm, relaxed and happy, and at the same time also energetic.
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There Are Two Ways to Deal with Stress and Tension
There are ways to release stress and tension after they appear, and there are ways to prevent them from being created.
There are certain things you can do when you experience stress and tension, something like first aid, and there are methods that prevent stress and tension from coming into existence.
The first aid method, consists of certain small things that reduce the stress and tension, while the second method, requires inner work, over a period of time.
Tips To Manage Stressful Situations
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasnt until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.
Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Weve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
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Zyllion Shiatsu Back And Neck Massager
- Price: $$
- How it may help with anxiety: Shiatsu massage is known to relieve stress and anxiety. It also helps promote calmness and emotional and physical relaxation.
Shiatsu massage is the best type of massage for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. Its a Japanese style of massage that may help relieve anxiety and depression.
This Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager bends to most neck and body contours, as well as the lower and upper back, abdomen, calf, and thigh.
The best part is the 90-day trial window. So if you dont like it, you can simply send it back for a full refund.
Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It
Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.
The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.
Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.
StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.
Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .
Rethink Advice and Information Service
Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .
Specialist mental health services
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