Home Remedies From The Cupboard
Bathe in baking soda. A soothing bath in baking soda and ginger can relieve stress. Add 1/3 cup ginger and 1/3 cup baking soda to a tub of hot water and enjoy the soak.
Eat oats. Besides fighting off high cholesterol, oats produce a calming effect that fights off stress. Use them in bread recipes and desserts or for thickening in soups. Or just eat a bowl of oatmeal!
Dine on pasta. When you’re faced with eating a late-night meal, choose pasta. It causes a rise in the brain chemical called serotonin, which has a calming effect on the body. Rice produces the same effect.
Soothe with salt. Try this muscle-soothing bath to wash that stress away. Mix 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup Epsom salts, and 2 cups baking soda. Add 1/2 cup of the mix to your bath water. Store the dry mix in a covered container, away from moisture.
Soak after some sesame oil. For a nice relaxation technique, warm a few ounces and rub it all over your body, from head to toe. Sunflower and corn oil work well, too. After your massage, take a long, hot soak in the tub.
Eat whole-wheat bread. It’s high in the B vitamins, which sustain the nervous system. Other B-rich foods include whole-wheat pita bread, whole-grain cereal, pasta, and brown rice. For a good stress-fighting diet, about 60 percent of your daily calories should come from these starchy foods, divided among your meals.
Effects Of Too Much Stress
“If constantly under stress, most of us will eventually start to function less well,” says Malaika Stoll, M.D., chief medical officer of SutterSelect. Multiple studies link chronic stress to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, weight gain, memory loss and even premature death, so “it’s important to recognize the warning signals,” she says.
Talk to your doctor about ways to manage stress if youre experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Prolonged periods of poor sleep
- Regular, severe headaches
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Feelings of isolation, withdrawal or worthlessness
- Constant anger and irritability
- Loss of interest in activities
- Constant worrying or obsessive thinking
- Excessive alcohol or drug use
- Inability to concentrate
The Benefits Of Focused Meditation
In this style of meditation, what youre really doing is exercising your mental muscles. Your brain is highly affected by dedicated and concentrated meditation practice.
Scientists have performed countless studies on focused meditation and have found that active meditators have more gray matter volume in their brain and, therefore, offsetting the cognitive decline that comes with aging. So, not only does practicing focused meditation help you learn how to focus better on certain tasks, but it also improves similar functions, such as memory.
Likewise, it helps in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, which our society is currently crippled with. By settling your attention on an object, you are essentially building your ability to observe your thoughts and sensations from a place of objectivity. This allows you to detach from negative self-talk that is often the breeding ground for depression and other mental illnesses.
From a guided meditation for focus to practicing it yourself, daily meditation for focus comes with several benefits:
- Itll reduce stress
- Helps you to focus on the present moment
- Increase your creativity and imagination
- And boost your patience and tolerance for things.
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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:
Simple Tools For Creating A Technique To Reduce Mental Stress
Apply one of the greatest mental energies as tools to any of the above stress relieving activities to create your own individual technique:
When you evoke the emotion of gratitude to any of your activities, you switch your mental state from stressful to peaceful . When you consciously acknowledge gratitude toward the present, you send information to your brain that immediately soothes your central nervous system, producing positive hormones like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones reduce your mental stress and create a good feeling, a feeling of reward for having reached a goal.
Also, try to be grateful for the stressors that challenge your efficiency and signal an opportunity to improve.
Support this activity though rhythmic, conscious breathing and intensify your gratefulness and the feeling of that reward. Use your conscious breathing to create a breathing pattern that will identify the moment as one in which youve created safety, peace, and self-respect within yourself.
Use these two tools to approach the seven activities listed above or any other activities you find as stress relieving, and practice integrating them in ways that work for you.
Once you merge the tools with the activities, youll be able to create your personal technique to reduce your mental stress quickly and naturally and apply it in literally any activity.
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Develop A Positive Self
The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out.
It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue.
Positive self-talk can help you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.
Promote A Healthy Schedule At Work
Employers should have a responsibility to conduct business in a way thats supportive of the mental health and well-being of their workforce, says Dr. Greg Marcus, a life-balance coach and author. Marcus cites Henry Ford instituting the 40-hour work week finding he could make as many cars in five days as he could in six, because people made fewer mistakes when they only worked 40 hours.
I think we all know that it takes far longer to find and correct a mistake than it does to do it right the first time, says Marcus. Therefore, company policy should help support a lifestyle where both physical rest and mental recovery become part of the daily routine.
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Ways To Cope With Chronic Stress
“Its key to recognize stressful situations as they occur because it allows you to focus on managing how you react,” Dr. Stoll says. “We all need to know when to close our eyes and take a deep breath when we feel tension rising.”
Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.
1. Re-balance Work and Home
All work and no play? If youre spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.
2. Build in Regular Exercise
Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.
3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants
Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start with a good breakfast, add more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.
4. Connect with Supportive People
Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners in your life.
5. Carve out Hobby Time
Do you enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music or some other creative pursuit? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy research shows that reduces stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate, too.
6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga
An Exercise To Wake Up Your Spirit
Regardless of your beliefs, doing something for your spirit is what sets the tone for the day. It is what helps you to have the best, stressless day possible.
If you do nothing else in your morning routine, do something within this list:
I honestly do a combination of all of these. I start with meditating a Bible verse and in prayer. Then I envision my future and what it will feel like once I accomplish whichever goal Im working towards at the time.
I finish my morning routine with journaling about how I will conquer my day and how I can solve any problems Ive had. It is a powerful part of my morning routine.
Bringing it all together
When you combine each piece of the morning routine, dont worry about how long it takes. Some days you may get through your routine in 15 minutes and some days it may take an hour.
The important thing is to make sure you work through a morning routine that helps you stress less. If something doesnt work for you, change it.
Morning routines arent set in stone, so enjoy the process of finding what works for you.
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What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
Tip : Recognize When Youre Stressed
It might seem obvious that youd know when youre stressed, but many of us spend so much time in a frazzled state that weve forgotten what it feels like when our nervous systems are in balance: when were calm yet still alert and focused. If this is you, you can recognize when youre stressed by listening to your body. When youre tired, your eyes feel heavy and you might rest your head on your hand. When youre happy, you laugh easily. And when youre stressed, your body lets you know that, too. Get in the habit of paying attention to your bodys clues.
Observe your muscles and insides. Are your muscles tense or sore? Is your stomach tight, cramped, or aching? Are your hands or jaw clenched?
Observe your breath. Is your breathing shallow? Place one hand on your belly, the other on your chest. Watch your hands rise and fall with each breath. Notice when you breathe fully or when you forget to breathe.
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Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
What Stress Does In Our Bodies
The stress were under these days especially the chronic kind is rarely, if ever, life threatening. Yet our bodys response to modern stress assumes were in a life or death situation.
Our sympathetic nervous system kicks in. Blood flow and energy are diverted to our muscles, away from our digestive tract and our brain. This helps us a great deal in certain situations like when we have to run like hell from a lion. But when it doesnt get turned off, its partner system, the parasympathetic nervous system, doesnt get activated. And its our parasympathetic nervous system that is needed to rest and restore .
When our bodies are in balance, we produce and use hormones to control our metabolism, neurological processes, reproduction, energy levels, sleep the list goes on. But when were under chronic stress, our bodies have to metabolize the extra hormones created by the fight-or-flight stress mode. This puts more stress on our liver, the organ responsible for metabolizing hormones. Enter a cycle of hormone imbalance and a range of health effects.
The bottom line: Prolonged periods of stress prevent our bodies from detoxifying and restoring optimal health.
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What Causes Mental Stress
Its origin is triggered by a signal from outside stimuli a piece of information of an objective or subjective nature, or both at once. The mental stress develops very slowly at the beginning. We cannot observe its development because of our lack of understanding of mental energy.
The information we receive from the outside , creates a feeling that evolves into a negative emotion . For example, the inability to understand or accept other peoples point of view can cause mental stress.
My Personal Experience with Mental Stress
In my late twenties, I struggled consistently with mental stress. I was happy to work in a global corporation and also excited to be responsible for many projects at once. Despite the work load I had, I was a victim of mobbing because of my keen engagement towards my tasks. I was physically and mentally exhausted because of the many complex purchase orders I had to place for the projects assigned to me. On top of that, there were certain people in the organization giving me hard time because of my desire to strive to improve.
There was an immediate disharmony between me and these people that generated a feeling of intolerance and non-acceptance. This grew into feelings of disappointment and frustration, which ended up creating emotion of anger and anxiety over not performing well or losing my job.
Good Daytime Habits For Relieving Nighttime Stress
In addition to relaxation techniques, there are steps you can take during the day to relieve stress at night. A common aid is to exercise during the day. In addition to other health benefits, daytime exercise has been linked to better sleep in patients with generalized anxiety disorders. Exercise can also assist with issues such as insomnia. Another strategy for sleep hygiene overall is to wake up at a regular time. Even on the weekends, research shows that consistent wake times are an important component of sleep hygiene.
Keep in mind there is no exact schedule for how quickly youll be able to feel less stressed and anxious before going to sleep. However, consistent practice of relaxing techniques can help long-term. If you have questions or concerns about which strategy or strategies are right for you, consult your physician.
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When To See Your Gp About Your Stress Levels
If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.
Mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression, are the reason for one-in-five visits to a GP.
Indulge In Soothing Aromas
When youre feeling stressed at home, try smelling some calming essential oils such as basil, anise and chamomile, which helps reduce tension and increase mental clarity. Lighting an aromatherapy candle or diffuser can also evoke a similar effect. Find more expert tips for transforming your home into a stress-free sanctuary.
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How To Reduce Stress And Tension At Home
Winter is a tedious season for many people in a normal year, let alone amid the coronavirus pandemic. Living and working indoors in the same space day after day can be difficult, and especially around the holidays we may find ourselves navigating stress and anxiety that we would not usually experience. It is important to manage our stress and anxiety as it can lead to medical problems and poor sleep. Simple practices such as making a comfortable workspace, taking breaks, and staying active, can keep stress and anxiety at manageable levels until we can enjoy being outside again.