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.
Statistics On Teen Stress
The numbers prove that there is truly a stress epidemic in 21st-century America. The following statistics come from surveys held by the American Psychological Association.
- Teens report that their stress level during the school year exceeds what they believe to be healthy. 5.8 on a 10-point scale. More than a quarter of teens experience extreme stress during the school year.
- Between August 2016 and January 2017, adults average stress level rose from 4.8 to 5.1 on the 10-point scale.
- Twenty percent of Americans rate their stress level as 8 or more on a 10-point scale.
- Younger Americans report higher average stress levels.
- Teen stress results in feeling overwhelmed . They also report feeling depressed or sad getting headaches feeling tired snapping at classmates and skipping meals .
- Teens are more likely than adults to believe that their stress level has a slight or no impact on their physical health or their mental health .
- Nearly half of teens report they are not doing enough or are not sure if they are doing enough to manage their stress.
Trigger A Pressure Point
Did you know your body practically has a stress-release button? Theres a spot between the tendonsabout two or three finger widths above the center of your inner wristcalled the pericardium 6 . According to Nada Milosavljevic, MD, medical director of BodyLogicMD, applying pressure to this point has been used to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting and has a therapeutic effect on those dealing with chronic stress and anxiety.
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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.
Tip : Identify Your Stress Response
Internally, we all respond the same way to the fight-or-flight stress response: your blood pressure rises, your heart pumps faster, and your muscles constrict. Your body works hard and drains your immune system. Externally, however, people respond to stress in different ways.
The best way to quickly relieve stress often relates to your specific stress response:
Overexcited stress response: If you tend to become angry, agitated, overly emotional, or keyed up under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down.
Underexcited stress response: If you tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating and energizing.
The immobilization or frozen stress response
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Learn To Tell People No
Sometimes we try to spread ourselves out too much, saying yes to every request and invitation. Learn to say no and only accept invitations for the events you really want to go to or help out when its necessary.
When you have too much on your plate, you can feel stressed and may start experiencing anxiety and depression when you cant deliver on every commitment.
Tense And Relax Your Muscles
One of Dr. Saltzs favorite de-stressing techniques actually involve tensing your muscles, holding them in that tense position for 5 to 10 seconds and then releasing, creating a near instant feeling of relaxation. This practice reduces stress through the mind-body connectionwhen we’re feeling very stressed, we tense up our bodies, says Dr. Saltz. And when we tense up our bodies, it reinforces the message to your mind to be stressed. It’s a signal of physiological arousal. Doing what you can to relax your body helps relax your mind.
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Spend Some Time In Nature
As previously reported by Health, spending time in nature has a profound effect on our stress levels. According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, even spending just 20 minutes in a park does wonders for our well-being. According to research psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Joy of Movement, incorporating a little nature every day is beneficial to managing your stress levels. Depending on how youre social distancing, getting to a park every day may not be easy, but even a short daily walk outside would suffice and help you clear your head.
Learn To Recognize Stressful Thinking
Paying attention to stressful thoughts may help you reduce them.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a strategy that involves becoming more self-aware of stress-provoking thoughts, accepting them without judgment or resistance, and allowing yourself the ability to process them .
Training yourself to be aware of your thoughts, breathing, heart rate, and other signs of tension helps you recognize stress when it begins .
Recognizing stressful thoughts allows you to formulate a conscious and deliberate reaction to them. For example, a study involving 43 women in a mindfulness-based program showed the ability to describe and articulate stress was linked to a lower cortisol response (
Tending to your own happiness can help keep cortisol down. If youre feeling stressed, try listening to music or making yourself laugh.
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Forget Wishful Thinking And Try Mental Contrasting
According to New York University professor Gabriele Oettingen, positive thinking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She says that while envisioning something you want to happen coming to fruition can make you feel better, it’s actually counterproductive because you’re less likely to make a concerted effort to make your wish come true. On the other hand, dwelling on your troubles and challenges isn’t helpful either. Instead, she suggests a mental contrasting tool dubbed WOOP, for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan. To do it, shut your eyes and imagine your wish coming true for a few minutes. Then, imagine the main obstacle standing in the way of your desired outcome. Finally, envision the action you would take if such a barrier were to present itself. “In a study of health care providers, we found that those who used WOOP were significantly more engaged with their work and less stressed than members of a control group,” Oettingen writes for HBR.org.
Ways To Relieve Stress
Everyone deals with stress in their lives. Whether the source is from work, home, or school, it can have serious impacts on our health. A Gallup poll found that 55% of all Americans reported feeling stressed compared to 35% of people around the world. Easing the stress we feel in our lives is important for our mental and physical well-being. Understanding what can happen if we dont deal with this stress is just as important as finding ways to relieve stress.
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Stress Is Closely Related To Worry So Worry Less
So how do we worry less? Obviously easier said than done but the first step is to distinguish between worries that require your attention and worries that are unnecessary.
The following questions can help you clarify this:
Can I do something about this problem?
Is this something I always worry about, but nothing ever happens?
Is this something that has a solution?
Will my worrying make this situation better or worse or have no effect at all?
If there is something you can do about the problem, take action or consciously choose not to take action.
People often delay or avoid taking action or making decisions because they are worried about making a mistake.
If the situation is out of your control and there is nothing you can do, worrying does not make the situation better!
Tell yourself that your worries are not helpful and let them go. Again , I know this is easier said than done, but it can improve with practice.
It can help to challenge your thoughts about the worry and ask yourself:
Wheres the evidence for that? or
What would be so bad about that? or
Is this problem so important that I should spend all my time thinking about it?
To read more about reducing worry read The Number One Question That Helps Worrying
Proven Ways To Relieve Stress In 10 Minutes Or Less
No one stress-relieving strategy will fit each person, Lyons says. So try one strategy for three days. If it still isn’t helping you relax , it’s time to try something else.
“However, first try to figure out what it is about a particular strategy that isn’t helpful. Is your mind wandering? If so, focus on your body with a strategy like exercising or focusing on your breath. Do you lack the motivation to engage in an activity? If so, find ways to lower the barrier to engagement,” Lyons suggests, like meeting a pal for a lunch break walk, so you’ll enjoy the social time as you enjoy the fresh air.
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Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
Contact Us To Learn More Ways To Relieve Stress
If you want to see how massage therapy by a chiropractor can help to reduce stress, contact A Family Chiropractic Clinic. Our staff is trained in massage therapy and knows how it can help to reduce pain and stress.
Since each persons condition is different, our team will devise a customized treatment plan to help you feel better. When you visit A Family Chiropractic Clinic, be sure to tell our staff of the pain you are having and how long its been affecting you. We also need to know about any other medical conditions or medication you may be taking to give you the best treatment possible.
Contact A Family Chiropractic Clinic today at 940-566-3599 to learn more about how chiropractic services can be one of the ways to relieve stress.
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Lower Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine can give you that morning jolt you need to get going, but too much can also increase anxiety and stress. While some people can have multiple cups of coffee or tea, other people may feel jittery after just one.
Caffeine is not just found in coffee and tea. Chocolate and many energy drinks also have a high amount of caffeine. If you want to feel less stressed, try lowering the amount of caffeine you have every day and see if that helps you feel more relaxed.
These Fun And Effective Ideas Will Help When Anxiety Is Getting The Best Of You
I dont know about you, but even in normal, not particularly chaotic times, I know when Im stressedmy shoulders tense up and fuse with my ears, my digestion gets wonky, and according to my boyfriend and kids, I become especially delightful to be around. Stress looks different for different people, but its usually some version of your brain and body crankily pushing back against all youre trying to manage.
The question is, what can we do to relieve stress, especially if were stuck inside? Because not to stress you out further, but both chronic and acute stress can have negative impacts on our health, and can lead us to engage in less-than-wise escapist habits.
When we think about the body on stress, its really fuel for the fight-or-flight response, says Debra Kissen, Ph.D., the co-chair of the Anxiety and Depression Association of Americas education committee and co-author of Rewire Your Anxious Brain For Teens. This is helpful when we have to get in gear to, say, lift a car off a small child or flee an ax-wielding horror movie villain. Its just that when our brain continues to feel that were in danger when were not, that stress starts to create all kinds of physical and emotional problems. Add anxietydread and worry about what may happen nextand that doesnt help our stress levels.
Thats why we asked the experts for their best stress-relieving activities that you can have at the ready, even if you cant get outside.
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Practicing Even A Few Minutes Per Day Can Provide A Reserve Of Inner Calm
We all face stressful situations throughout our lives, ranging from minor annoyances like traffic jams to more serious worries, such as a loved one’s grave illness. No matter what the cause, stress floods your body with hormones. Your heart pounds, your breathing speeds up, and your muscles tense.
This so-called “stress response” is a normal reaction to threatening situations, honed in our prehistory to help us survive threats like an animal attack or a flood. Today, we rarely face these physical dangers, but challenging situations in daily life can set off the stress response. We can’t avoid all sources of stress in our lives, nor would we want to. But we can develop healthier ways of responding to them.
One way is to invoke the “relaxation response,” through a technique first developed in the 1970s at Harvard Medical School by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson, editor of the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Stress Management: Approaches for preventing and reducing stress. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response. It’s a state of profound rest that can be elicited in many ways. With regular practice, you create a well of calm to dip into as the need arises.
Following are six relaxation techniques that can help you evoke the relaxation response and reduce stress.
Reframe Your Thinking About Stress Itself
Stress responses, including faster heart rate and breathing, evolved to improve our performance in stressful situations. Reminding yourself of stresss evolutionary value may improve your performance and paradoxically reduce feelings of stress, in that youre not adding stress about stress to the stress the original trigger aroused.
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Pause And Take A Deep Breath
Before doing anything else, pause for a moment and take in a deep breath. Breathing deeply helps your brain to calm down and relax. This will help to slow down your heart rate, so that jittery feeling that comes with stress will go away.
If you have more time, try this simple breathing exercise that you can do whether youre sitting or standing:
- Place your feet flat on the ground, and make sure they are about hip-width apart.
- Breathe in with your nose for five seconds. As you do so, feel the breath travel down and fill your belly
- Hold the air for five seconds.
- Breathe out slowly through your mouth for five seconds, and feel the air leave your body.
- Do this for about 3 5 minutes, focusing on your attention on your breath.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress Now
In todays fast-paced modern society, dealing with stress is an inevitable part of our daily lives. However, experiencing stress for long periods of time can negatively impact your physical and mental health in the long run. While we may not be able to control when stressful situations happen, we can definitely find effective ways to cope with it.
In this article, we give you 7 simple strategies to manage stress and anxiety!
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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.
Make Sure You Use These New Ways To Let Go Of Stress
There have been quite a few books written about the idea of using affirmations.
I strongly believe in the effectiveness of affirmations, as they can help you in a variety of ways.
Louise Hay talks about the healing aspects and the power of positive affirmations in her book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’.
You may also place any of the lovely calming healing crystals in the room you spend the most time in, including next to your bed or under your pillow.
If you have trouble sleeping there are specific crystals for sleeping better, so check out this article if you are experiencing insomnia.
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Ways To Relieve Stress: Using Affirmations
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Recently I came across the latest way that affirmations are being utilized, in an amazing program called Mindmaster. This is a program that you install on your computer.
It has affirmations or positive phrases of your choice, that appear in the background as you are working and subconsciously fill your mind with positive thoughts.