When stress strikes it sets off a chain reaction that can affect your overall health and wellness. As a result, your breathing quickens, your back tightens, or you can’t sleep. Chronic stress can also attack your immune system or lead to anxiety and depression.
Here’s ten no-nonsense tips on how to get serious stress relief.
Rx for Stress Relief
1. Breathe Deep
Stress short-circuits your breath so your breathing rate changes and your breath also becomes shallow as your emotions and thoughts react to a stressful situation.
However, deep and slow breathing reduces stress by helping your body and brain calm and relax. Not only is it relaxing, it benefits the heart, digestion, and the immune system also.
Are you breathing properly? Read more about how to control your breath to reduce stress.
2. Laugh Lots
Like the proverbial apple a day, a regular dose of laughter is good for you. Why? Because it reduces stress hormones while pumping up endorphins, the same ones that give runners a natural high.
As a result, humour effectively elevates your mood and helps you regain perspective and a greater feeling of optimism. Read more about the benefits of laughter.
3. Meditate Often
Stressful situations tend to hijack thoughts and emotions but it’s possible to take control of those anxious thoughts with meditation.
Harvard researchers found, for example, that meditation changes the brain’s gray matter and can improve your sense of self, compassion, happiness, and stress relief.
All you need to do is start with five minutes a day. Read more about meditation for beginners.
4. Manage Time
We all have 24 hours in a day to accomplish what we need to do. But when we’re squeezed for time at home or on the job, life can get hectic.
That’s when your best methods of stress management are awareness, intention, and organization because those magic three habits will keep you balanced and ready to seize each day.
Read more about how to better manage your time.
5. Be Active
Getting adequate exercise doesn’t mean you need an expensive gym club membership. Fortunately, there are ways to gently get moving at no or low cost.
And that’s a small price to pay to lift your mood, bring more energy to on-the-job performance, and increase your general sense of health and wellbeing.
Read more about how to have a more active lifestyle.
TED Talk: How to End Stress, Unhappiness, and Anxiety
6. Eat Right
Eating nutritiously is a good defence against stress. Healthy foods, for example, act to lower the body’s cortisol level – the harmful hormone released by the ‘fight or flight’ response to stress.
They also stimulate serotonin in the brain to maintain mood balance, lower blood pressure, and protect against cancer.
Read more about how to choose the best stress-busting foods.
7. Get Away
Daydreaming about relaxing on a faraway beach? Then maybe you need a respite from the stress in your life.
Getting away from regular job and life routines (not to mention social media and news broadcasts) works wonders when you need stress relief, even if it’s just for a day. A change of scene and some quiet time can change your perspective, boost your creativity, and ward off burnout, for instance.
Read about the advantages of taking short getaways.
8. Reach Out
No (wo)man is an island, they say. We all need someone to cheer us on during life’s challenging moments. That’s when friends can be a real lifesaver.
There’s nothing like a good friend who will listen and empathize with our particular situation and offer their sage advice in good times or bad.
Read more about how friends can improve your life.
9. No Regrets
There’s no more self-defeating attitude than harbouring regret. Regret happens when we blame ourself for what we think could’ve or should’ve been.
For the most part, regret is not based in reality so reframing your situation in a positive way or letting it go will ease the burden of stress.
Read more about how to let go of regrets.
10. Accept Change
Easier said than done. Change can happen gradually and gracefully or it can be imposed on us with stressful results. Whatever the situation, it’s in our own best interest to be open to change.
And, it’s also to our advantage to know how best to deal with it. As the old saying goes, the only constant is change.
Read more about how to make changes in your life.
Squeeze on Stress
As we’re all too aware, stress has become a scourge of our modern lifestyle but it doesn’t have to get the upper hand. Put the squeeze on stress by following these tips and live a more balanced and satisfying life.
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