Tips To Manage Stressful Situations
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasnt until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.
Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Weve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
Easy Ways To Reduce Stress Naturally And Quickly
High on stress and in need of proven, quick ways to reduce stress naturally? If you said yes, then youre in luck because Im covering 20 effective ways to reduce stress naturally and quickly.
All of these techniques are simple and can be used when short on time. Most can be utilized anywhere, including at work.
And the best part is that they arent just natural stress relievers but will also help you keep stress levels low in the long-term.
To help you out further, be sure to download 5-Minute Stress Solutions, a free resource that will take you step-by-step through proven mindset and stress management strategies for less stress, more emotional control.
Theres lots to cover, so lets get started.
Ways To Reduce Your Bodys Stress Hormone
Feel Stressed and exhausted? No wonder. We are bombarded with demands every day through work, school, our relationships, extracurricular responsibilities, and the stressors of the trappings of modern life. To us this may just feel like normal life, but our brains frequently treat these constant pressures and demands as stresses and threats. This triggers our systems to respond with the production of the stress hormone called cortisol. When we become habituated to this life style, we simply live in a state with elevated cortisol levels and our health suffers as a result. When your cortisol remains high, youre at risk for weight gain, sleep disruptions, mood changes, thyroid disorders, low energy levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes, to name a few.
You can start to unwind this cycle by starting with some simple ways to lower your bodys cortisol level small changes that really make a difference. Try some or all of these 15 things today to lower your bodys cortisol and improve your health.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Over Work Stress
Healthy Ways To Handle Lifes Stressors
When stress becomes unmanageable, try these evidence-based tools to tackle it in healthy ways.
Healthy ways to handle lifes stressors.
Stressful experiences are a normal part of life, and the is a survival mechanism that primes us to respond to threats. Some stress is positive: Imagine standing in front of a crowd to give a speech and hitting it out of the park. Stressful? Certainly. But also challenging and satisfying.
But when a stressor is negative and cant be fought off or avoided such as layoffs at work or a loved ones medical crisis or when the experience of stress becomes , our biological responses to stress can impair our physical and mental health.
Fortunately, there are many evidence-based tools to help combat the negative effects of stress in healthy ways. They recommend that you:
Why Is Stress Bad For Us
We need the bodys stress response to get us through tough times. When you sense a threat or danger, your body rises to the challenge by releasing stress hormones, tightening your muscles, making your blood pressure rise and your heart and lungs work harder, and releasing a surge of fat and sugar to give you energy. When danger subsides, your body goes back to normal operations.
If you get stressed out frequently, however, the stress response can become constant and cause ongoing harm, including chronic inflammation the persistent activation of the immune system, which sharply raises the risks for many diseases such as dementia, heart disease, and stroke.
Read Also: How Does Stress Affect Your Health
Quick Stress Relief On The Go
In traffic. Play music or listen to an audiobook. Take a different route to see something new. Do neck-rolls at stoplights. Sing in the car to stay awake and happy.
Public transportation. Take a break from reading, cell conversations, and music to tune into the sights and sounds around you. Try noticing something new, even if youre on the same old bus ride.
Running errands. Wear a special perfume or lotion so you can enjoy it while you rush from place to place. Carry a stress ball in your pocket. Take a mental snapshot or postcard at each destination.
Waiting in lines. Instead of worrying about time slipping away, focus on your breathing. People watch. Chat with the person ahead of you. Chew a stick of minty gum.
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.
Also Check: How Can I Reduce Stress
Laugh As Much As You Can
Whoever said that laughter is the best medicine was right at least where cortisol and stress levels are concerned. Laughter has been shown to help release endorphins and has been linked to positive things such as an overall better mood, reduced stress and perceived pain, lower blood pressure, and a stronger immune system.
A study published in 2009 by the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, revealed that laughter can not only decrease cortisol levels, but it lowers stress and increases total oxidative status . Even if you do not feel like laughing, force yourself to since science has shown that even forced laughter may lower stress leading to lowered cortisol levels .
Lean and toned up body isnt just a far-fetched fantasy. Check out the BetterMe app and watch it propel your weight loss journey into high gear!
Also Check: Can You Die From Anxiety And Stress
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
Read Also: How Can I Regain My Hair Loss From Stress
Know Your Paid And Unpaid Leave Policies
Speaking of which, knowing family leave policies in the country and your state are an important piece of offering employee support.
Whether or not your company decides to offer unlimited vacations, you will have to consider the varied needs and circumstances of your team. For many people, workplace stress actually centers around the difficulty of fitting life events around work such as pregnancy, family death and illness, and childcare.
The Natural Timeline Of Cortisol Production
Before we get into the fine print of how to lower cortisol levels, we first have to know where this stress hormone is manufactured in your body. In which case, look toward the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis . The HPA axis is a complex biological system encompassing the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands .
Cortisol follows its own circadian rhythm, scientifically known as the cortisol rhythm. When your cortisol rhythm is properly functioning, your bodyâs cortisol production timeline looks like this:
- In the early morning hours, your body temperature increases ever so slightly . This minute change is enough to ramp up your bodyâs levels of cortisol, activating the cortisol awakening response . For that same reason, cortisol is also colloquially known as the alertness-promoting hormone.
- After jolting you into wakefulness in the early morning, your bodyâs release of cortisol surges for 30-45 minutes before gradually quieting down as the day wears on.
- Cortisol concentration then reaches its low point around midnight. Two to three hours after youâve fallen asleep, your body resumes cortisol production until its peak in the early morning, when the cycle repeats itself.
In essence, a healthy cortisol rhythm surges in the early morning before ebbing once itâs past the late morning hours.
Don’t Miss: How To Not Have Stress
Encourage Employees To Take Breaks
As Jason Schreier wrote in The New York Times, workplace cultures that encourage non-stop work have damaging effects on their employees. He outlined a phenomenon called crunching, where video game developers work as many as 20 hours a day for days or weeks on end.
The designer Clint Hocking described suffering memory loss as a result of the stress and anxiety of crunching on a game. Brett Douville, a veteran game programmer, said he once worked so long and for so hard that he found himself temporarily unable to step out of his car.
If your employees are overloaded and continually sacrificing their leisure time to get stuff out the door, it might be time to reconsider their workload such as hiring more employees, or changing expectations.
And by encouraging them to take breaks throughout the day, employees will come back to the office less stressed and more productive.
Bonus: Kick Your Bad Habits
Managing stress at work is partially about your mindset. Your outlook can have a huge impact on your ability to cope with everyday stressors. Keep them in check so they dont become major sources of negative stress. Here are a few tips to change your mindset by break the bad habits that are holding you back:
- Stay positive.
- One way to do this is to express gratitude. Its surprising how much different your outlook is when you make a point to recognize the people and things in your life that youre lucky to have.
Recommended Reading: How Do Cats Reduce Stress And Anxiety
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.
Ways To Reduce Workplace Stress
Stressed out employees are bad for profits and morale. Heres how to help your team perform at their very best.
Have you ever had a day at work when your mind was somewhere else and you couldnt focus? It might have had something to do with stress, or maybe even stress at work itself.
According to the Harvard Gazette, 36% of U.S. workers suffer from workplace stress and it costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays.
Stress is a normal part of work and life, but too much of it can have dire effects on team morale and productivity. As a business leader, how can you de-stress your employees lives so they perform at their very best? We have a few ideas.
Psst…we have an entire toolkit around employee happiness complete with team bonding ideas and an employee happiness survey. You .
You May Like: How To Stop Stress Migraines
Ways To Prevent Stress Buildup
There’s no avoiding the stress of everyday life. Schoolwork, responsibilities at home, busy schedules, other people’s expectations, disappointments, deadlines, social drama: all of these can create tension.
Everyday stressors have a way of piling up if we don’t keep them in check. Adding these 5 simple actions to your regular routine can help you avoid that “bogged down by stress” feeling. The key word is “routine.” You need to make sure you keep doing these to enjoy the benefits:
1. Balance responsibilities with activities you enjoy . It’s all about balance: all work and no play is bad. But if your schedule is so crammed with activities that there’s no time for homework, that’ll stress you out too.
2. Manage responsibilities. Use a calendar or planning app to keep track of assignments, chores, practices, and other obligations. Of course, planning is no good if you don’t actually do what you plan: Managing stress also means regular studying, keeping on top of assignments, and overcoming procrastination. Take time to reflect a bit every day and think about how things are going. What do you need to work on? Do? Make time for?
5. Make time to exercise every day. It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re taking deep breaths on a run, feeling the rush of a downhill bike ride, or playing a pickup game with friends. Exercise doesn’t just take our mind off of stress it releases chemicals in our brains that make us feel better.
The Effects Of Stress On The Skin
Our bodys largest organthe skinis not immune to the negative impact of stress. In fact, research has uncovered something called the Brain-Skin Connection, a link between our emotional state and our skins physiology.
This connection was demonstrated in a clinical study, where researchers used three different types of stress to measure its impact on skin: sleep deprivation, psychologic stress from interviews, and exercise. This study showed that stress from sleep deprivation and the interviews increased water loss from the skin and reduced skin barrier function. Further studies have confirmed these effects.
In essence, stress makes it harder for our skin to function the way we want it to, which can lead to increased signs of aging. To add even more salt to the wound, stress can also cause an increase in skin blemishes and flareups.
If youre dealing with frustrating skin blemishes, consider trying ClearBalance. Its a powerful formula that takes a multipronged approach to improving the skin: it works from within to reduce blemishes, improve the look of skin texture, support hormonal balance, and reduce stress. It can even help boost mood and improve emotional well-being,* which makes it a great addition to your supplement regimen, especially during the murder hornet era.
You May Like: What’s The Best Way To Relieve Stress
Procrastination And Emotional Regulation
Research suggests that procrastination often relates to your mood and emotional mindset.
In other words, procrastination doesnt happen because youre lazy and unproductive or dont know how to do something . It happens because you dread the emotional distress you foresee.
Maybe you already experienced this irritation and frustration firsthand and dont want a repeat. But you could also have some preconceived ideas about how awful and difficult that chore or assignment will turn out to be.
Either way, you set the task aside, promising yourself to handle it later when you feel better able to manage those feelings.
Sometimes, its easy to see where the distress comes from:
- You put off a quick phone call to schedule your dental check-up, because youre certain you have a cavity or two and feel anxious about facing an afternoon of drilling.
- You avoid calling your sister after an argument, because you know you need to admit you were wrong and apologize.
You might have a harder time pinning down other sources of emotional distress, especially when they relate to ongoing or deeper-seated sources of emotional turmoil.