Look At Your Lifestyle
The choices you make about the way you live affect your stress level. Your lifestyle may not cause stress on its own, but it can prevent your body from recovering from it. Try to:
- Find a balance between personal, work, and family needs. This isn’t easy. Start by looking at how you spend your time. Maybe there are things that you don’t need to do at all. Finding a balance can be especially hard during the holidays.
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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.
Best Tips For Relieving Nighttime Stress
There are numerous strategies for relieving nighttime stress and anxiety before bedtime. If youre feeling too stressed to sleep, these approaches can help you relax. Some sleepers use only one or two of these relaxation strategies while others practice a combination of them. If stress and sleep are a chronic concern, your physician can help you determine what the best approach is for you.
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Quick Stress Relief At Home
Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.
Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.
Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
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This week is World Reflexology Week. One of many oldest pure therapies, it really works on the precept that the toes and fingers completely map the physique.;
Theres proof that types of stress work on the fingers and toes have been used all through historical past by many historic cultures to advertise therapeutic and relieve ache, says Sarah, who certified as a reflexologist in 2009.;
By engaged on the toes, we offer stimulus to the reflexes akin to the related areas within the physique. As we work, we may give consideration to the areas that require balancing to encourage the physique to do its personal therapeutic.;
With the stress utilized, by way of the varied actions used throughout a remedy, the nervous system and circulatory system are stimulated, which improves blood circulation and helps higher functioning of all of the organs and constructions of the physique, she says.;
And since reflexology is enjoyable, its nice for alleviating stress and anxiousness.;
The physiological response that occurs once we obtain a remedy that we get pleasure from is massively useful to our well being. ;It boosts our oxytocin ranges, our feel-good hormone, which helps to induce a calmer state, decrease stress, enhance sleep, and enhance immunity, says Sarah.;
Sarah, who runs Really feel Good Therapies, is enthusiastic about well being and wellbeing and guiding others find their very own path to feeling good.;
Sarah first skilled reflexology at a yoga class in 2007. ;
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If You Need More Help
Stress can be hard to deal with on your own. It’s okay to seek help if you need it. Talk with your doctor about the stress you’re feeling and how it affects you. A licensed counselor or other health professional can help you find ways to reduce stress symptoms. He or she can also help you think about ways to reduce stress in your life.
A counselor or health professional is useful for:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy . CBT teaches you to be aware of how you perceive stress. It helps you understand that the way you think about stress affects your response to it. CBT helps you create and use skills to deal with stress.
- Biofeedback. This technique teaches you how to use your mind to control skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, or blood pressure. All of these things can be affected by stress. Learning biofeedback requires training in a special lab or a doctor’s office.
- Hypnosis. With hypnosis, you take suggestions that may help you change the way you act. It’s important to find a health professional with a lot of training and experience. Some psychologists, counselors, doctors, and dentists know how to use hypnosis.
Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .;
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.;
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Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group. To practice, you can start with a few deep breaths.
Then, practice tightening and relaxing each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes.;
With practice, you’ll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and you’ll be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice, however, you should experience a feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body.;
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.
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Go Ahead And Stress Bake
Baking checks so many stress-reduction boxes: It can be a sensory experience ; it is a project that requires planning, concentration, and mindfulness, which activates your brain; and if you enjoy it, its fun.;Kate Merker, Good Housekeepings Chief Food Director, loves this;amazing blueberry sweet roll recipe, but if youve had enough sugar, move on to;a healthy pizza recipe. It feels comforting and you can literally put anything on top of pizza dough, she says. My kids help shape the dough, which is just fun, and they get a kick out of me twirling it in the air. And if youre stressed by the fact that no eats the same thing in your house? Everyone can pick and choose their own topping, Merker adds.
Tip : Make Quick Stress Relief A Habit
Its not easy to remember to use your senses in the middle of a minior or not so minocrisis. At first, it will feel easier to just give into pressure and tense up. But with time, calling upon your senses will become second nature. Think of the process like learning to drive or play golf. You dont master the skill in one lesson; you have to practice until it becomes second nature. Eventually youll feel like youre forgetting something if you dont tune into your body during challenging times. Heres how to make it habit:
Start small. Instead of testing your quick stress relief tools on a source of major stress, start with a predictable low-level source of stress, like cooking dinner at the end of a long day or sitting down to pay bills.
Identify and target. Think of just one low-level stressor that you know will occur several times a week, such as commuting. Vow to target that stressor with quick stress relief every time. After a few weeks, target a second stressor and so on.
Test-drive sensory input. If you are practicing quick stress relief on your commute to work, bring a scented handkerchief with you one day, try music another day, and try a movement the next day. Keep experimenting until you find a clear winner.
Have fun with the process. If something doesnt work, dont force it. Move on until you find what works best for you. It should be pleasurable and noticeably calming.
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An App For Guided Meditation
Meditation is a helpful skill to learn if you often experience racing thoughts or restlessness. Not sure where to start? The Headspace app, our favorite meditation app, offers a library of themed courses, daily meditations, sleep sounds, and bedtime exercises to get you into the practiceand it’s free to try.
Keep Perfectionism In Check
Being a high achiever might make you feel good about yourself and help you excel at work, but being a perfectionist can create problems for you .
You might not be able to do everything perfectly, every timeespecially in a busy, fast-paced job. A good strategy to avoid the perfectionism trap is always striving to just do your best and making time to congratulate yourself on your efforts. You may find that your results are better and youll be much less stressed at work.
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Personal Problems That Can Cause Stress
- Your health, especially if you have a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis
- Emotional problems, such as anger you can’t express, depression, grief, guilt, or low self-esteem
- Your relationships, such as having problems with your relationships or feeling a lack of friendships or support in your life
- Major life changes, such as dealing with the death of a parent or spouse, losing your job, getting married, or moving to a new city
- Stress in your family, such as having a child, teen, or other family member who is under stress, or being a caregiver to a family member who is elderly or who has health problems
- Conflicts with your beliefs and values. For example, you may value family life, but you may not be able to spend as much time with your family as you want.
In A Crisis It Is Difficult To Think Clearly And Make Rational Decisions
Everyone has their own set of coping mechanisms to maintain emotional balance, especially under stress. When you are anxious, depressed or under extreme stress, your thoughts, emotions or physical sensations may become overwhelming, causing previously effective coping mechanisms to fail. This coping crisis can lead to confusion or more stress, making it impossible to reflect directly on the experience. Extreme stress, anxiety or depression can alter your perception and memory, leading to ineffective decisions or behavioral choices.
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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.
Get A Good Nights Sleep
Sleep and stress tend to cause a vicious cycle if youre stressed, then you cant sleep, which makes you ill-prepared to handle the stressors of the next day, leading to more stress. To relieve stress before bed, try some relaxation techniques and disconnect from technology as much as possible an hour before bedtime. To ensure the proper amount of rest , set an alarm;reminding you to go to bed.
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You Are Present And Disconnected
Surfing is a sport where you need to be completely present, there are no phones, no emails, or other distractions around; it’s you, your surfboard, and the sea. Simple. The only notifications you will be getting is your next wave. This makes you focused on being present. A surf session will help you block other stressful thoughts, it’s simply impossible to multitask or be concerned about work and trying to surf at the same time. For some people surfing is meditation, for others it’s a refreshing timeout from the drama on land. You come back to the grind after a surf, feeling a mindset reset.;;
Connect With Nature And Vitamin Boost
Being outside and moving increases the serotonin levels which is why it feels so good to be out in fresh air as well as getting your vitamin D fix from the sunlight. It’s recommended to spend a minimum 20 minutes per day outside to boost vitality and health levels. Basically you receive a free source of healthy benefits served while surfing, even if it’s just a short session enjoying nature. Being out in the ocean will make you appreciate the small details around the coast and in the deep blue, the waves rolling in, the animal life you may encounter, the beautiful sky, sunsets or sunrises, nature will be sure to provide you with something different each time. Sit back on your surfboard and take it all in.
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Embrace Your Inner Child And Play
When was the last time you colored, played hide and seek, or watched cartoons? Dr. Saltz believes that embracing playtime as an adult can be amazing for stress. Bonus points if you have actual kids around to play with. However determining what that is is entirely up to you and your childhood. Dont be afraid to get silly and embrace whatever uniqueness comes to mind.
Get Into The Great Outdoors
Have you ever felt more peaceful after walking through a forest or spending an afternoon watching the waves and seagulls on the beach? Its no secret that spending time in nature can be cathartic and relaxing. Did you know that the research shows that nature can also relieve stress?
If you live near natural surroundings like the woods, a meadow, a lake, the mountains, or an ocean, then you have the perfect opportunity to soak up some nature. Plan a Saturday picnic or, if you live in a rural or relatively undeveloped area, make it a regular practice to find time to sit or walk around in the great outdoors. You can also make it a practice to look out the window often or to sit out on your porch or deck. You could also get your hands into the soil by taking up gardening or just spending some time each week working on your yard or even in a community garden.
Many people, of course, live in urban or suburban areas where there is not a lot of nature surrounding them. Dont worry; there are options for you, too. If you can get to a botanical garden, a zoo, or other facility where nature abounds, this is a great opportunity to see foliage and fauna. If you live in the city and you dont have any nearby or affordable options for seeing nature, even potted plants and trees that are planted in medians can help raise your spirits and relieve;stress.
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Turn On Some Ariana Grande
Many people use music as a means of dealing with emotionsthey listen when they’re sad, when they’re angry, or when they want to get energizedso it makes sense to use music as a way to chill the eff out.
While some will claim that certain types of music are better than others for stress-relief, its most important that youre specifically listening to music in order to relax, according to a 2015 study from the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Think about it: If youre turning on the radio because you are deliberately attempting to chill out, youre likely paying more attention and really trying to de-stress. Do it with intention.