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.
Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
Tips To Manage Stress
In todays society, stress and change often are thought of as the same thing. Stress is a physiological and psychological response to situations the body and mind find to be overwhelming. We often ask ourselves how we should manage stress. There are many ways people manage stress and reduce the overall stress of day-to-day activities. With the fast pace of work and home, and being constantly inundated with technology and still wanting to have time to connect with those around us, our lives can feel overwhelming and stressful at times.
Manage how you live with these five tips to feel less stressed:
1. Use guided meditation.
Guided meditation is a great way to distract yourself from the stress of day-to-day life. There are many guided meditations available on the internet that can help you find 5 minutes of centered relaxation.
2. Practice deep breathing.
Deep breathing is a great way to reduce the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls the bodys response to a perceived threat. Deep breaths taken in to a count of five seconds, held for two seconds and released to a count of five seconds, can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce the overall stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.
3. Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition.
4. Manage social media time.
5. Connect with others.
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Effects Of Uncontrolled Stress
Work-related stress doesnt just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.
A stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper, and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity, and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways, such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, or abusing drugs and alcohol.
What Happens When We Dont Manage Stress Effectively
In small doses, stress can actually be useful as it helps you to stay focused, alert and increases energy. But when stress becomes chronic though, it can damage your health, mood and relationships. Basically, your overall quality of life!
Stress is sneaky! It can easily creep up on you so that being frazzled and overwhelmed starts to feel normal. You may not even recognize how much it is affecting you so it is really important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and then take steps to stop feeling so overwhelmed.
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What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
Take A Quick Walk Preferably In Nature
There’s really no substitute for physical activity when it comes to beating stress.
Physical activity actually reorganizes the brain to reduce its response to stress, according to researchers at Princeton University.
But that doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym. Just getting outside for a quick walk on your lunch break will do you good.
A 2015 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that “even gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly and immediately buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work,” Gretchen Reynolds wrote in The New York Times.
If you can take your stroll in nature surrounded by trees, you’ll see an even greater benefit to your mental and physical health. Studies conducted in Japan and Korea have found that spending time in forests can decrease stress and lower your blood pressure.
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Ways To Stress Less At Work
Todays employees are expected to do more with less, which has become a major source of stress at work, said Vicki Hess, RN and author of SHIFT to Professional Paradise: 5 Steps to Less Stress, More Energy & Remarkable Results at Work.
Other sources of stress on the job include worries about performing well as demands rise and time diminishes, pressure to continuously be plugged in and squabbles with co-workers or disagreements with the boss, according to Hess and Terry Beehr, Ph.D, director of the Industrial/Organizational Program at Central Michigan University.
In fact, some jobs can affect your mental health so much so that unemployed people seem to fare better. According to recent research, people in a bad job defined as job insecurity, sky-high demands or heavy workload, little control over workload and unfair pay had either the same or worse mental health than unemployed individuals.
But while you might feel helpless and stressed at times, there are ways you can empower yourself and change your job situation for the better. Here are six ways to stress less about work.
1. Take care of yourself.
The problem with job stress is that it can make people sick, both psychologically and physically, according to Beehr, who studies job stress and satisfaction. So an effective way to stress less is to work on reducing this tension.
2. Shift your mindset.
Hess has developed a 5-step approach for just that, which she calls SHIFT. Heres the breakdown:
Signs You Need Stress Relief
Some people are great at spotting stress in their life. They know how to recognize it when its coming on and they can feel the difference in both their thoughts and body. However, some people are so used to feeling stressed that they dont notice the feeling to be abnormal. Learning how to recognize the signs of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm is an important first step to being able to get help in this area.
According to Cleveland Clinic, some of the signs of stress include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Teeth grinding
This is not by any means an all-inclusive list of symptoms. If you notice physical or mental symptoms in your life that you have not experienced before, its important to address them with your physician. They can help you identify if its stress causing the symptoms, or if theres another underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
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Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work
The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. And four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing uncertainly about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.
“People are asking me for answers,” says Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and author of just released Success Under Stress. “Everyone feels overwhelmed and overly busy.”
Is there a way to maintain steady focus throughout the day? Is it possible to do everything that needs to get done and still have energy left over after work? How do you keep cool under so many demands? Informed by 10 years of Harvard research and field-tested by more than 6,000 clients and trainees, Melnick offers the following strategies to take your work stress down a peg, before it takes over your life.
Act Rather Than React
Take A Deep Breath
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are coming out of a tense meeting and need to clear your head, a few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance, says Melnick. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose. “It’s like getting the calm and focus of a 90-minute yoga class in three minutes or less at your desk,” she says.
Schedule Your Day For Energy And Focus
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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Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress
You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28
Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.
Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33
Ways To Minimize The Impact Of Stress On The Body
Whether youre dealing with chronic stress or experience it occasionally on a situational basis , its possible to reset and find a more stable sense of peace and happiness in your daily life.
Treat your body well: It may sound obvious, but its worthy of repeating: Anything that helps the brain and body to have more sustainable energy is going to keep stress reactions minimized, because we can adapt more effectively, explains Hanna. Sleeping at least seven hours at night, eating healthy foods every three to four hours to stabilize blood sugar, and moving at least every 90 minutes during the day to facilitate optimal circulation can reduce the wear and tear of daily stress.
Identify and anticipate your stressors: This may require some introspection, but the effort will be worthwhile. It’s important to be aware of what things create more stress for you, says Hartstein. Is work a place that is stressful? Do you take too much responsibility for things and then not take care of yourself? Knowing what things trigger your stress is really important. If you can do some coping ahead some planning for those stressful moments you can minimize the stress and help yourself through the moments without becoming too overwhelmed.
Even just three to five minutes of slow, rhythmic breathing can start to train the nervous system to be more adaptive.
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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.
Helpful Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful. Thatâs a problem.
Regardless of what kind of work you do, the reality is that workplace stress is detrimental for employers and employees. Read on to find the causes of job stress, why itâs so harmful, and helpful tips to cope with workplace stress.
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The Link Between Frustration And Stress
Stress and frustration act on each other in a variety of ways:
- Stress may cause you to feel like you don’t have the resources to overcome challenges, and feeling unable to reach your goals is a key component of frustration.
- Frustration is a common reaction to a recurring, unresolved stressor.
- Frustration is often accompanied by aggression, hostility, impulsivity, and defensivenessand these emotions can generate their own stress if you don’t deal with them in a healthy manner.
- Increased frustration, irritability, and sensitivity can be signs of burnout, which is often caused by chronic, unmitigated stress.
The Importance Of Managing Stress
If youre living with high levels of stress, youre putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like theres nothing you can do about stress. The bills wont stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.
Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and funand the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. Thats why its important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
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