Best Ways To Manage Stress
Meditation can trigger the antidote to stress, called the relaxation response.
Goal setting and relaxation techniques reduce stress and ease the physical and emotional burdenit can take.
Stressful experiences come in many forms, such as a demanding job, a chronic disease, or an argument with a loved one. But all types of stressorseven stress from positive experiences,such as planning a partycan result in the same physical and emotional burden on health, especially when you’re an older adult. “As we age, our immune systems are less efficient, and adding stress to that can lead to disease progression or the onset of disease,” says Dr. Ann Webster, a health psychologist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
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.
Releasing Tension In The Diaphragm & Lungs
If you hold stress in your diaphragm, the reaction is to hunch forward, almost as if you were subconsciously trying to duck from the factors causing stress, hunching your shoulders to block it out. The result: The chest becomes constricted and the lungs are not fully expanded. We can end up feeling slightly out of breath, generally defeated, and exhausted.
Jill explains: This reaction is often based in fearshying away from personal power and feeding on panic. Its fear that we will actually tap into our heartand feel! And this fear of emotion prevents us from feeling powerful and inspired.
The following video offers a few simple ways to help release accumulated stress from the diaphragm and lungs:
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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.
Get On A Good Sleep Schedule
If you have ever been up late in the night and found it more difficult to handle stress the next morning, there is an easy reason why. The amount, timing, and quality of sleep has been shown to impact the amount of cortisol in the body. A review published in the journal Sleep Science found that hypercortisolism or excessive levels of cortisol in the brain were closely linked to sleep, metabolism, and stress levels in night shift workers. Additionally, a study published in the journal Endotext found that nsomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is associated with a 24 hour increase of ACTH and cortisol secretion, consistent with a disorder of central nervous system hyperarousal. Finally, research published in the journal Sleep, found that sleep disturbances in older adults were associated with high daytime levels of cortisol.
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Stress Is Bad For Your Heart
Stress can damage your bodys most precious muscle. Stress-induced hormones like cortisol constrict your blood vessels and cause an increase in your heart rate, straining your hearts muscles and increasing your blood pressure.
High levels of cortisol can also increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. It can also increase the chances of plaque building up in your arteries, triggering poor blood flow to the heart muscle.
This has even been reflected in medical history, where the rate of heart attacks in a population might increase after incidents that induce major stress, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.
In the long term, stress can also impact how blood clots, making blood stickier and even increasing the risk of strokes.
Create Obstacles And Rewards
If you tend to pick up your phone when youre supposed to be working, turn off your phone and put it somewhere out of sight before you get started with the day.
Make sure to reward yourself for your efforts, too. After you get a good chunk of work done, take a break to watch a funny video, catch up with your friends, or swap selfies with your partner.
Thinking in terms of rewards rather than punishments can help you encourage yourself, too.
- Instead of: If I dont work out tonight, I cant watch the next episode of Lucifer.’
- Try: Ill go for a jog after work, and then Ill watch an episode of Lucifer before bed.
If youre a long-time procrastinator, breaking the habit may require a little extra support.
Connecting with a therapist may be a good next step when procrastination:
- affects your performance at school or work
- creates problems in your personal relationships
- leads to feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, or makes existing symptoms worse
A therapist can help you identify and explore possible emotional triggers. They can also provide more insight into any underlying mental health concerns contributing to procrastination.
In therapy, you can also learn strategies to challenge negative self-talk and reframe unhelpful thought patterns.
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Releasing Tension In The Shoulders & Chest
The old saying, having the weight of the world on your shoulders, is apt here. When life gets hectic, physical tension and emotional irritability are often stored in the shoulder area: Our shoulders start rounding forward or lifting toward the ears, the head starts jutting forward, and we develop a compressed, defeated posture.
In this next video we give you some easy and effective ways to clear the shoulders, chest, and heart both physically and emotionally:
Easy Tips To Relieve Stress
Stress affects the body in a variety of ways,from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often overlookedside effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts ofstress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.
When we get stressed out, the body naturally releases certainhormones. Adrenaline is associated with the ancient fight or flight phenomenonthat heightens our blood pressure, increases our blood supply, and causes themuscles around our spine to tense and spasm in case we need to flee the sourceof the stress. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone it interferes with avariety of functions. Elevations in cortisol can lead to loss of muscle massand increases in fat accumulation.
“Stress affects the body in a variety of ways, from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often-overlooked side effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts of stress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.”
Kavita Trivedi, D.O.
Data suggest that adults know stress affects their spines. Online survey participants ranked the No. 1 perceived cause of their neck and back pain as follows:
- Stress: 29 percent
- Spinal disc herniation: 21 percent
- Sitting at a desk at work: 20 percent
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Finding The Best Relaxation Technique For You
For many of us, relaxation means flopping on the couch and zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. Rather, you need to activate your bodys natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that puts the brakes on stress, slows your breathing and heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and brings your body and mind back into balance. You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, yoga, or tai chi.
While you may choose to pay for a professional massage or acupuncture session, for example, most relaxation techniques can be done on your own or with the aid of a free audio download or inexpensive smartphone app. Its important to remember, however, that there is no single relaxation technique that works for everyone. Were all different. The right technique is the one that resonates with you, fits your lifestyle, and is able to focus your mind to elicit the relaxation response. That means it may require some trial and error to find the technique that work best for you. Once you do, regular practice can help reduce everyday stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your energy and mood, and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
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How To Remove All Tension From Your Body
This article was co-authored by Justyna Kareta. Justyna Kareta is a Certified Master Massage Therapist and Owner of Lush Massage, a massage studio based in San Francisco, California. Justyna has over nine years of experience as a therapist and specializes in Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage and CranioSacral Therapy to soothe the nervous system and facilitate deep healing. She received her massage therapy training from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, is certified by California Massage Therapy Council, and is a member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.There are 25 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 83% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 442,323 times.
In todays hectic world, tension is a common ailment experienced by many people. Caused by stress and anxiety, both intermittent and chronic tension can be a literal pain for anyone. If you suffer from tension, however, there are several options that can help to alleviate it.
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Hormones That Cause Belly Fat
Having a stressed out hormonal belly can seem super complicated. Its not going to be as simple as counting your calories and exercising more. Your hormones play a vital role in your metabolism and how much weight youre able to lose . If your hormones are out of control then you could be doing everything else right but not getting the results you want.
Ive seen bodybuilders and professional athletes who were unable to get rid of the last of their stomach fat because of hormonal issues. They worked out for hours every day and ate super healthy but their stubborn stress belly refused to go away.
Here are the hormones you should be aware of that can cause abdominal fat
Leptin is known as the anti-starvation hormone and its probably the hormone that plays the biggest role in fat loss . Its released from your fat cells that signal for your brain to start burning or store more fat. In general, the more leptin you have then the faster youre going to lose fat . And since leptin is produced in your fat cells those who are overweight tend to have more of it.
But another problem with having high cortisol levels is it produces leptin resistance . This keeps leptin from doing its job at signaling for your body to burn more fat. And if youre severely cutting calories then your body will release less leptin . This is a survival mechanism that keeps you from losing more weight to keep you alive until you can eat food again.
Sleep, Meditation & CBD
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.
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What Is Oxidative Stress
While our body does need free radicals for a multitude of functions, it is quite important to ensure that the levels of the same should be in synchrony with the antioxidants present in the body.
Oxidative stress is the condition which is marked by the imbalance in the levels of free radicals as well as the antioxidants, the prior being more in the body in comparison to the latter.
What this does is end up imposing negative impacts on the body by causing tissue and cell damage in the body which is characterized by fatigue and other physical symptoms.
It is very important that one takes the necessary steps of mitigation because the persistent high levels of free radicals in the body can even induce the risks of cancer in the body.
Ways To Relieve Stress In 2 Minutes Or Less
Its been a stressful year. We dont need to tell you how damaging chronic stress can be for the body and mind. Here are some proven techniques to help you de-stress in 2 minutes or less.
Do a body scan
Start by focusing on your feet. Scan them with your mind and mentally release any physical tension you find. Next, move up to your shins, then knees, and so on until you reach the top of your head.
This technique boosts your awareness of your mind-body connection. It helps you identify stress that you may be holding in your body without realizing it, while also bringing you back to the present moment. Extend or shorten this practice based on what works for you.
2. Take a meditative moment
Meditation doesnt need to last for 20 minutes each morning or an hour each night in order to be effective. In fact, research shows that taking even just a moment to focus on your breath can give you benefits like reduced stress and sharpened focus.
You dont need to move to the floor or have a special pillow to take advantage of the stress-relieving benefits of meditation. Wherever you are, simply bring your attention to your breath. Breathe in and out, extending your exhale. If thoughts arise, dont resist them. Close your eyes if it feels natural. Do this for as long or as short as you need.
3. Try a breathing exercise
Breathing techniques have a long history of effectiveness in relaxation, therapeutic, and mindfulness practices. Use them when you need to promote a calmer state of being.
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What Are Stress Hormones:
You are probably familiar with the brains main stress hormone, cortisol. When you come in contact with a threat, according to the Mayo Clinic, the hypothalamus, a small region at the base of the brain, activates your stress response system. It starts at your adrenal glands, which sit right on top of the kidneys. Once they receive a signal, they start releasing stress hormones throughout the body. Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Your stress response impacts all aspects of the bodys functioning, including the immune, digestive, and reproductive systems.
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How To Prevent Oxidative Stress
When it comes to the oxidative stress and the modes of prevention, there are a number of ways which you can focus on. It is important that you start making constructive changes to your lifestyle to get the best of impacts on your health.
Some of the best ways to prevent oxidative stress include:
- Change your diet to a healthier one
- Indulge in an active lifestyle
- Consume some more antioxidants
- Keep your health in check
- Quit smoking
When it comes down to the natural ways to get rid of oxidative stress, the answers to that are abundant. It all comes down to your determination through the process that helps make impactful changes to your life. It is very important to ensure that you do focus on making healthier switches in your life before it does get out of hand and end up affecting your life as a whole.
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Enhance The Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is one of the most important components when it comes to keeping the levels of oxidative stress in control. It has its primary impacts on the oxidative stress which is exerted on the blood vessels. If you want to keep things in control and even get rid of oxidative stress, it is very important that you do keep the consumption of magnesium in check.
If you want to get the same through natural food sources, beans, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard and a few more fruits and veggies have been found to impose beneficial impacts on the body.