Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
Review Your Cats Environment
Just as humans need peace and calm, when they are stressed, so do cats. Turn the television down and make sure that any other loud noise, especially shouting or screaming from young children, is kept to a minimum. Let your cat rest in a quiet location and make it as comfortable as possible for him.
As an absolute bare minimum, you should give your cat his own condo, so that he can hide away, whenever he wants to. Also, provide him with a suitable scratching post. In the UK, it is illegal to declaw your cat. Scratching is a means of relieving stress. Ensure your cat scratching post is stable and tall enough for your cat when fully stretched out. Many people make the mistake of buying cat posts that are actually too small for fully grown cats.
Also ensure that your has easy access to food, water and a litter tray. Cats tend not to like sharing litter trays, so make sure that you have enough to accommodate all of them.
It is not normally advisable to radically change your cats diet. However, when a cat is stressed, his food may be a little too rich for him to digest properly. Switching to a bland diet, for a short period of time, may help and there are several specialist dry cat foods which are specifically formulated for sensitive stomachs.
Addiionally, remember that if your cat does engage in inappropriate behaviour, do not shout or hit him. He cant help it and disciplining a cat like this will only serve to increase the intensity of his anxiety.
How To Reduce Stress Anxiety And Depression
Too much stress can result in chronic anxiety and depression. Yet, it does not mean that we cannot control them anymore. Of course, stress can be normal or destructive. So, we do not want stress to rule over your life. In this sense, we provide you with the top seven tips to reduce or relieve these disturbances.
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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.
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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The Health Benefits Of Cats
While owning any pet can provide a myriad of health benefits, there are some benefits that are specific to cats. They can:
- Lower stress and anxiety. Cat owners know how one session of petting or playing with their cat can turn a bad day into a good one. Scientific evidence also shows that a cats purr can calm your nervous system and lower your blood pressure.
- Improve your cardiovascular health. Cat owners have been reported to carry a lower risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Prevent allergies. You always hear about cat hair being one of the most common allergens. However, if a child is exposed to cats within the first few years of life, they are more likely to develop an immune system that combats not only cat allergies but other kinds of allergens as well.
- Reduce feelings of loneliness. Cats make great companion animals. They offer an unconditional love that can be equal to many human friends and confidants.
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Reduce Anxiety & Stress: 1 Identify Stress Factors
Realizing you are the one who makes decisions is empowering and may help you deal with stress. The first step in regaining control is to figure out whats bothering you. Things like increased job expectations or coping with a health problem are just two examples of the kind of changes that might add stress to your life.
It is also crucial to look within, since many of the causes of stress may be traced back to ones own ideas, attitudes, and actions. Maintaining a notebook is a major stress reliever in which you record your stressful experiences, your reactions to them, and the steps you took to alleviate the stress they caused may be extremely helpful in determining the root causes of your distress.
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Nuts Are A Great Stress
Nuts are full of nutrients, including B vitamins, along with healthy fatty acids. Meyerowitz says B vitamins are an important part of a healthy diet and can help reduce stress. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts may even help lower blood pressure levels. According to a past study, pistachios in particular can have a role in reducing stress levels. Just remember to limit servings to just a handful a day to avoid excess calories.
Nuts and seeds are also high in magnesium, and thats a plus, Figueroa says, because magnesium has been linked to better anxiety management. Findings from a review published in April 2017 in the journal Nutrients suggested that magnesium benefits individuals with mild to moderate levels of anxiety, but more trials are needed before making this treatment recommendation across the board.
How Can I Treat Anxiety
Anxiety can be treated in a variety of ways. One common treatment option is cognitive behavioral therapy , which helps provide people with tools to cope with anxiety when it occurs.
There are also certain medications, like antidepressants and sedatives, that work to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety. They may even ward off the most severe symptoms.If youre looking to go a more natural route, though, there are little and big ways you can help combat anxiety.
You can make adjustments to habits, like exercise, sleep, and diet. You can also try something totally new, like aromatherapy or meditation. No matter what your lifestyle demands, theres a natural way to help reduce anxiety for everyone.
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Tip : Practice Relaxation Exercises
If youâve ever sought out help for anxiety in the past, then youâve no doubt come across relaxation strategies like visualization, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and others. You may have even tried them, and if you have, you probably didnât experience that much success.
Thatâs because what these people donât tell you is that it can take a long time to feel the benefit. Part of the reason for this is because in the beginning, all youâre doing is thinking about how to do them correctly and whether or not theyâll work. Your mind gets caught up in analysing rather than actually relaxing.
Weâve said time and time again that you cannot hope to fight anxiety if you are thinking about it too much. So when you start any relaxation exercise, youâre thinking about how it makes you feel and what it does, and whether youâre doing it right, and how ridiculous it feels, and so on. This is natural when trying something new. Youâre doing nothing but thinking, because the relaxation exercise isnât natural to you yet.
For it to be effective, you have to keep doing it and expect little results until the exercise itself becomes both boring and second nature. As soon as youâre able to perform the relaxation exercise without thinking about it or focusing on each individual part, thatâs when it should start working for you.
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Pay Attention To Sleep
Some people have a hard time going to sleep even at night, because of too much stress or worry. Sometimes, such worry or stress leads to sleep disorders. On the other hand, a sleep disorder may come first, and result in anxiety in the long run. Having said that, research has found out that sleep deprivation may contribute to the aggravations of anxiety.
Moreover, a lack of sleep also increases your risk of developing heart disease or heart failure. Some may also increase their risk of having high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and irregular heartbeat. These are just some of the reasons why you should pay attention to your sleep pattern.
On a much deeper view, disrupted sleep is almost present in other mental health issues like depression, affecting your daily living. For instance, it can negatively impact your work performance, academic performance, cognitive ability, and increases the risk of physical injury. Surely, these health problems that may arise in the future may create additional worries. Therefore, it is better to take care of your sleeping pattern as early as possible.
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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.
Listen To Soothing Music
The soothing power of music is well-established. It affects our emotions and can be an extremely effective stress management tool.
Soothing music can slow the pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure and decrease the levels of stress hormones, and distract us from our worries. Research shows that listening to music can help a person with clinical depression or bipolar disorder get through their worst, lowest moods.
When people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, there is a tendency to avoid actively listening to music. Perhaps because it feels like a waste of time when theres so much to do and to worry about. But adding music to our day is a small effort that can produce great rewards since our productivity actually increases when stress is reduced.
To incorporate music into a busy life, try playing CDs in the car, or listen while doing other necessary tasks like bathing or getting ready for the day. Take portable music with you when walking the dog, or listen to music instead of watching TV to wind down before bed.
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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.
Quick Ways To Reduce Stress
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.
1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.
8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
12. Be Alone
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When To See A Doctor For Stress And Anxiety
- Are your panic attacks and stress interfering with your daily activities?
- Are you constantly stressing about something and finding it out of your hands to control?
- Are you finding any change in your sleeping and eating patterns
- Are you facing constant episodes of headache, pain and feeling sick?
- Do increased heart rate and anxiety make you feel extremely overwhelmed?
Herein, consulting a psychiatrist is recommended to know the cause and nip it in the bud. If you have any doubts with how should decide whether you should see a psychologist or psychiatrist first?, its completely according to your symptoms and the type of issue you are facing.
The best Mental health professionals will help you detect the cause of stress and provide natural alternatives to calm your anxiety. They may suggest techniques like meditation and changing eating patterns and recommend medications to reduce your stress and have a much more relaxed and happier life.
Quick Stress Relief At Home
Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.
Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.
Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.