Go Boating Or Canoeing
Water is one of the most calming things there is when youre feeling stressed out.
Many people enjoy going to the beach for this reason, as hearing the sounds of the waves is instantly soothing.
If you can, go out on the water whether through boating in the sea or canoeing in a lake.
Pay attention to how you feel, looking at the water lapping at the land, and breathe the fresh air in.
You can do a sort of meditation while watching the water, which will take you out of your own head and help you center yourself.
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.
Recognising Your Stress Triggers
If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.
Things you might want to write down include:
- the date, time and place of a stressful episode
- what you were doing
- a stress rating
You can use the diary to:
- work out what triggers your stress
- work out how you operate under pressure
- develop better coping mechanisms
Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.
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Eat At Your Favorite Restaurant
If you dont like or want to cook, your favorite restaurant is always there for you!
Pick a time to go and eat, either with just a friend or with your whole family.
You dont need a reason to go out and get your favorite meal or to hold a celebration.
Get together just to get together and show support to your favorite chains or local restaurants, and make sure to order exactly what you want with no thought of calories or diets.
This is your destress meal.
Then savor it.
What Happens When Cortisol Is High
Over the last 20 years, studies have increasingly revealed that moderate to high cortisol levels may lead to an array of health issues, such as :
- Chronic disease. Long-term increased cortisol may increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases.
- Weight gain. Cortisol may increase appetite and signal the body to shift metabolism to store fat.
- Lack of energy/difficulty sleeping. It can interfere with sleep hormones which may impact sleep quality and length.
- Difficulty concentrating. Also referred to as brain fog, some people report trouble focusing and lack of mental clarity.
- Impaired immune system. Increased cortisol can hamper the immune system, making it more difficult to fight infections.
- Cushings syndrome. In rare cases, very high cortisol levels can lead to Cushings syndrome, a rare but serious disease.
Elevated cortisol levels can be caused from many underlying issues such as overactivity or cancer of the pituitary or adrenal glands, chronic stress, and medication side effects .
Further, existing chronic disease may lead to higher cortisol levels, causing a chicken or the egg type of scenario .
Therefore, its best to work with a qualified health professional to establish the root cause of your health issues. Along with this, you may want to introduce some effective lifestyle habits that may help you better manage your cortisol levels. Here are some recommendations:
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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.
Natural Ways To Lower Your Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a stress hormone the adrenal glands release. It helps your body deal with stressful situations, as your brain triggers its release through the sympathetic nervous system the fight or flight system in response to many different kinds of stress .
While the short-term release of cortisol can help you run quickly from danger, when cortisol levels are too high for too long, this hormone can hurt you more than it helps .
Over time, this can lead to an array of health issues such as weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, insomnia or difficulty sleeping, mood irregularities, and low energy levels (
This article discusses 11 ways to help naturally lower your cortisol levels.
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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
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.
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How To Cope With Stress Podcast With Dr Rangan Chatterjee
Struggling with stress? We caught up with Dr Rangan Chatterjee on the In The Moment Magazine podcast to find out how to cope with stress and live calmer lives.
Looking for more wellbeing advice? Learn how to cope with depressing news, explore mindful ways for coping with change, or begin a new mindful habit with our pick of the best mindfulness journals.
Tigers Nest Temple Bhutan
Also known as Taktsang, it is a sacred monastery built on a rocky cliff 3,000 feet above the Paro valley. Legend has it, some 1,300 years ago, Guru Rinpoche materialized on the back of a flying tigress and converted the Bhutanese to Buddhism at this place.
This is a must-visit place because of the unique location and view that will leave you mesmerized. The background story of this place makes it even more unique and worth seeing.
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Cook Your Favorite Meal
For some people, cooking is a huge stress buster.
Use it as a way to reduce stress if this is you, and get into the kitchen with all of your favorite ingredients.
The act of mixing, mashing, beating, stirring can help release pent up stress physically, and the anticipation of having your favorite meal when youve finished cooking can keep you focused on that goal rather than whatever else is going on in your life.
If you find cooking stressful on a good day, then this does not apply to you!
Put Down The Social Media
Social media is a stress-filled haven.
Whether youre scrolling Instagram and seeing other peoples seemingly perfect lives that youre comparing yours to or youre on Facebook reading about peoples tragedies and GoFundMe pages, its enough to make you take on other peoples stresses as well.
If youre so stressed that youre having trouble operating in your normal life, quit social media.
Log yourself out of your accounts, tell people that you usually communicate with that you can be reached on your phone if they really need to get in touch, and then go dark.
Start discovering your life away from social media and the constant and everpresent drone of the internet, and youll notice your stress levels drop noticeably.
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Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It
Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.
The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.
Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.
StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.
Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .
Rethink Advice and Information Service
Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .
Specialist mental health services
Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Years of research have found PMR helps reduce anxiety and calm breathing. Lie down and relax, and then tighten, hold and then release each muscle in your body, one at a time, starting with your toes and moving up to the crown of your head. Do this slowly and methodically, and dont forget the muscles of your face. It may be more relaxing to listen to someone else walk you through the exercise. Visit this link to find audio, video, and scripts that you can record and then playback to yourself.
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How Can I Identify The Signs Of Stress
Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:15
- feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- feelings of being overwhelmed
For full details on tips on getting a good nights sleep read our guide How to sleep better and ten top tips for good sleep
7. Dont be too hard on yourself
- Try to keep things in perspective.
- Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
- When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
- If you stumble or feel you have failed, dont beat yourself up
- Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
- Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself
Now, we would like to move on to a more detailed look at the causes and effects of stress. In this section we will focus on the effects prolonged stress has on your body, behaviour and emotions, and look at key causes such as relationships, money, work, alcohol and drug use.
Things To Do When You Are Feeling Stressed
1. Get more sleep.Prioritizing your sleep is not something that lazy people do. Making sure we get enough sleep is like making sure you drink enough body youre treating your body right. Youre giving yourself time to recharge. You allow your brain to take a rest and come back on a full battery. There is nothing wrong with that! Let yourself rest. Youll notice a huge change in your ability to function.
2. Eat food that makes you feel good.Lets not drift into food shaming here. When I say food that makes you feel good, thats exactly what I mean! If you want that amazing smelling burger on the menu, get it! If the day feels more like a salad kind of meal, then go for it! The best thing to do for yourself is to do the thing that will make you feel happy, energized, and alive.
3. Indulge in a guilty pleasure.I dont actually like the term guilty pleasure but Ill use it so that you catch my drift. Do something that you usually feel guilty about doing, except replace your guilt with only pleasure! Love the fact that you are enjoying doing a particular thing. Tell yourself you dont need to experience shame for taking care of yourself.
6. Relax and detox in a sauna.This takes the bath idea to the next level. If youre a member of a commercial gym, youve got this at your fingertips. Let the toxins emerge from your skin, and youll leave the sauna feeling like a new person!
21. Dance in your underwear to a favorite song.For freedoms sake.
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Your Allergy Attacks Are More Severe
If you suffer from allergies, chances are good you know not only the warning signs, but what you’re in for. According to a study by The Ohio State University, if you’re experiencing an allergy attack that’s more severe than you’re used to, part of that might be due to your stress levels.
Researchers found that not only were initial allergic reactions worse in people experiencing high levels of stress, but they also found those reactions tended to last longer and remain much worse. The study looked at volunteers who had a medical history of various allergies, and then compared the body’s response to allergens at times of low stress and high stress. People who underwent the tests and were more stressed about their situation had reactions that were twice as bad as those people who weren’t stressed. The high-stress group also continued to have an allergic reaction for several days, while the non-stress group recovered faster.
In a presentation to the American Psychological Association, the study’s authors said they linked the body’s increased reactions to the production of a stress hormone called catecholamines, along with increased levels of a protein called interleukin-6. The protein is related to one of the body’s common responses to allergies: inflammation. The longer the stressor is in place, the more the body reacts and the longer and more powerful an allergic reaction will be.
Job Loss And Unemployment Stress
Losing a job is one of lifes most stressful experiences. Its normal to feel angry, hurt, or depressed, grieve for all that youve lost, or feel anxious about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change all at once, which can rock your sense of purpose and self-esteem. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to come out of this difficult period stronger, more resilient, and with a renewed sense of purpose.
Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Chronic Stress And Anxiety
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress
Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health. No part of the body is immune. But, because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Symptoms can be vague and may be the same as those caused by medical conditions. So it is important to discuss them with your doctor. You may experience any of the following symptoms of stress.
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
- Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
- Feeling bad about yourself , lonely, worthless, and depressed
- Avoiding others
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy
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:
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