Thursday, June 16, 2022

What Can I Do To Reduce My Stress

Perform An Act Of Kindness

HOW TO REDUCE STRESS ANXIETY | 10 simple tips

Acts of kindness can help boost confidence, optimism, and happiness while reducing stress. In fact, studies show that people who volunteer are overall healthier and happier than those who dont. If you have a lot of time, consider volunteering in organizing a community event. Truth be told, you dont need to devote hours of time to a volunteer opportunity to enjoy these benefits, though. Simply look for opportunities throughout the day to perform a random act of kindness like the ideas listed here.

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.

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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Spend Time With Friends And Family

Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.

Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.

One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .

Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.

Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .

summary

Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.

Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:

  • Relieving your stress response.
  • Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.

In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.

A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (

Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.

summary

Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.

Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.

One way to do this may be to say no more often.

Simple + Quick Ways To Reduce Stress Naturally

15 Ways To Reduce Stress

Effective stress management strategies should help you to naturally and quickly:

  • Calm your mind,
  • Refocus and be more present,
  • Be aware of your thoughts and feelings,
  • Gain control of your emotions , and
  • Stay positive in the face of challenging and stressful circumstances.

This is what enables you to take back control. Luckily, the natural stress management strategies below all help with one or more of these areas.

Here are 20 easy and effective ways to reduce stress naturally, bounce back quickly and keep stress levels low:

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Download A Stress App

If you simply cant get away from your smartphone, use it to your advantage. Apps like Relax Melodies feature anxiety-relieving music, and Breathe2Relax guides breathing exercises. The Acupressure: Heal Yourself app helps reduce stress levels by teaching you where to find your bodys acupressure points, and Worry Box Anxiety Self-Help acts as a journal to help you deal with your stressors.

What Happens When You Are Stressed

Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.

Some stress is normal and even useful. Stress can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time.

But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. It can be linked to headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, and trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships may suffer, and you may not do well at work or school.

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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.

Consider Quitting Smoking Cigarettes

Stress Management Tips: How Can I Reduce My Stress? Stress Reduction!

Smokers often reach for a cigarette during stressful times. Yet, like drinking alcohol, taking a drag on a cigarette when youre stressed is a quick fix that may worsen anxiety over time.

has shown that the earlier you start smoking in life, the higher your risk of developing an anxiety disorder later. Research also suggests nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke alter pathways in the brain linked to anxiety.

If youre looking to quit, there are lots of different ways you can get started. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends finding a safe substitute for cigarettes, like toothpicks.

You can also take up habits that may distract you in order to create an environment that works for your smoke-free life. Additionally, you can make a plan with a support system who can provide everything from encouragement to distractions.

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Take A Break From Technologyespecially Your Smartphone

Media overloadbe it television, radio, Internet, or social networkingis the sixth top cause of stress in the U.S. Given that your smartphone can deliver all of theseat once!its probably best to stay away from it when youre trying to reduce stress. Staying away from your smartphone for a while gives you time to focus on yourself, clear your mind, and work through your stress without distractions.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Guided Imagery is a stress-relieving technique that has many of the same benefits as deep breathing. The method works by getting yourself in a quiet, comfortable position and letting your imagination take you to your happy place. You might, for instance, imagine yourself walking along the beach while imagining sounds and smells and focusing on your breathing. If you cant seem to focus, search for a guided online podcast that will help walk you through the process.

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Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety

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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.

Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.

It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.

The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .

There are a few reasons behind this:

  • Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
  • Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
  • Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
  • Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.

Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.

What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To

Simple Exercises You Can Do Right at Your Desk to Reduce Stress

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.

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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.

How To Better Cope With Stress In The Moment

Pay attention to these signs. It is important to recognize the physiological signs of stress and address these symptoms in the moment to alleviate the potential harmful effects, Dr. Sieka says.

The goal of stress management here is to acknowledge the feeling and then dial down those physiological changes and approach the challenge rationally with your mind , explains Melissa Dowd, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the San Franciscobased therapy lead at PlushCare, a virtual health platform.

If your reaction to stress sticks around even after the trigger is gone , short-term stress can become chronic, Dowd says.

Stress that is not handled well and continues without relief can lead to chronic stress and contribute to physical concerns, such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and high blood pressure, and mental health problems, such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and substance use, Sieka says.

Dowd says some people are more prone to chronic stress. This can be due to genetics, life experiences, and unhealthy coping mechanisms, she says.

Its good to have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help you de-escalate stressful situations quickly, such as squeezing a stress ball, distracting yourself with fidget spinners, cueing up a mindfulness app, and trying deep-breathing exercises.

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Setting A Goal In Three Steps

If you’re ready to reduce stress in your life, setting a goal may help. Try following these three steps:

  • Find out what creates stress for you. Try tracking your stress to record stressful events, your response to them, and the coping strategies you used. If you have a smartphone, you can download a free stress-tracking app to help you monitor your stress. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can use a spreadsheet on your computer. Or pencil and paper work, too. The important thing is to keep track of your stress so that you can both learn what is causing it and work toward managing it.
  • Think about why you want to reduce stress. You might want to protect your heart and your health by reducing stress. Or maybe you simply want to enjoy your life more and not let stress control how you feel. Your reason for wanting to change is important. If your reason comes from youâand not someone elseâit will be easier for you to make a healthy change for good.
  • Set a goal. Think about a long-term and a short-term goal to reduce stress in your life.
  • Examples of how to set goals

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  • Write About Your Stress

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    Writing about your stress and how you feel is therapeutic. And it helps you to organize your thoughts and how theyre affecting you so that you can better understand whats going on inside your mind.

    Moreover, your increased awareness will help you to identify the most effective, healthy solutions.

    To de-stress using this method, start by setting a timer for at least 5 minutes . Get a journal or piece of paper out and begin writing.

    Write about whats going on, your feelings and the beliefs you have around your situation. Get curious about how you could be exacerbating your stress. Ask what you want to do about the situation and write about that.

    Once your timer goes off, make a choice to let go.

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    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.

    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

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