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11 Alternative Ways to Cope with Stress

Updated on November 6, 2020
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Toni is a strong believer in enjoying life with family and friends—appreciating the little things and acknowledge blessings with gratitude.

Explore Different Ways to Cope With Stress

Many people today suffer from extreme stress; whether it's the environment, current events, or life situations. It's almost impossible to avoid. However, if you prefer to explore a non-drug alternative approach to treating and preventing stress, then these suggestions can help you find your own path of coping. Alternative ways are easily available at hand, free of side effects, cost-free and popular among all ages. A little stress is normal. Some may even find it motivating. However, if it is interrupting your daily activity or quality of life, then developing coping skills can be beneficial in improving your body, mind and spirit - without having to pop that Xanax or other tranquilizing drug. Here are some techniques that can help in soothing that "savage beast."

1. Reset Your Mind

One of the best remedies against stress is relaxation. Yes, easier said than done. But, relaxation can help you to forget all worries. Relaxation techniques can actually be done almost anywhere when anxiety hits. Stress usually comes with the "flight or fight" emotion welled up inside. So, whether it's in your car, at work, or home - it only takes a moment to reset you mind.. Sit back, close your eyes, and breath. As this is being done, reassure yourself that you are safe. Reciting some positive affirmations also helps to fill the mind and push out the negativity. Give some time for the body to restore and to divert attention from stress. Relaxation helps to create a new energy to face the demands of others, to better organize thoughts and concentration on the positive.A simple relaxation technique can also be useful in reducing sleep disorders, anxiety, fatigue and even some pain.

2. Breathe Positive In, Negative Out

Breathing is one of the basics of relaxation and it's found in a lot of
practices on stress management. Abdominal breathing has the advantage of
working three different parts of the body, including lungs, abdomen and diaphragm.
This type of breathing helps regulate the heartbeat and induces relaxation. A strong anti-stress weapon that should be explored.

Breathe positive energy into your lungs; and blow the negative energy out.

Try This Quick Technique To Calm Down Through Breathing

3. Restful Sleep

Stress can definitely cause sleep deprivation, and lack of sleep can add to stress. It can be a vicious cycle that affects mood, and decision making. A good night's sleep gives the body, mind and spirit a relief from stress.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least an hour, better if two hours before calling it a day, to wind down before hopping into bed. That means no computer work, emails, phone calls, and they also suggest using the bedroom for sleep or sex only. Watch TV in another room, and only go to bed when you're tired.

Their website is full of information on how to get the most important eight hours a night of sound sleep - whether you think you need it or not.

Melatonin has also been recommended as a sleep enhancer, as it resets the biological body rhythm for reaction to day and night. It is a natural hormone that the body produces through the pineal gland, and may be supplemented over-the-counter.

Sleep is a very important factor in controlling stress. Sleep the stress away and start the day anew.

Observe the humor in life

4. Why Laughter Is So Healthy

Laughter provides both short-term and long-term health benefits for everyone. However, the health benefits derived from laughter are often over-looked.

Along with the health benefits of boosting the immune system, releasing endorphins is known to relieve stress. Added benefits also improve blood flow and help depression.

A quick laugh many times can be found in videos, now easily available online. Have a minute? Check out a funny video - whatever fits the individual sense of humor. There are episodes of comedies, and stand up comedians as well. A valuable asset of the internet is the ability to bring up almost any programming – instantly. So, take a moment to click away the stress.

Social activity with friends can also release endorphins and alleviate the stress hormone in the body. Inviting friends to dinner, with after-dinner board games can create laughter and enjoyment for hours, all while improving the health of body, mind and spirit.

5. The Power of Music in Your Daily Life

Music can integrate into your life at any time - morning, day or night. With the advantages of iPods, a custom created program list of songs and music can be uploaded to serenade away the stress at anytime.

Start the day with motivating music, if that's a preference. The morning music selection can set the tone for the rest of the day. If there's a commute or heavy traffic during the drive to work; music can help settle any "rage" or anxiety that may erupt.

When participating in any stress-related activity, music will also help glide the task through completion. Bedtime, is also a great time for a musical relaxation to fall into sleep.

There's a reason why spas play soothing music, run fountains of cascading water, or a gentle guitar strumming - as it promotes relaxation.

Music therapy now plays an important role in controlling anxiety and stress. There are actually certified music therapists that guide to promote overall wellness; whether it be alleviating pain, stress management, memory enhancement and other promotions of wellness. It is now a well researched field that finds it effective in many health and educational situations.

6. Combat Cortisol Release

Each individual has their own diet requirements, and/or health issues that prevent or promote eating certain foods. Whether health conditions include diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure, allergies - there are foods available to help lower levels of stress released cortisol - a hormone that can increases blood pressure, blood sugar levels and suppresses the immune system.

Looking at individual daily vitamin requirements, a person can add various types of food or supplements. Stress can deplete the B vitamins needed to combat fatigue. Vitamin E (such as avocados, almonds and spinach) deficiency can be associated with higher rates of psychological distress and anxiety. It's important to keep the immune system up, as cortisol causes inflammation as well. Fish oil is great in combating the effects of cortisol for inflammation.

Adapting a diet and/or supplements that are compatible with any health condition helps the effects of stress released cortisol.

7. Various Meditation Techniques

Meditation is no longer the aged impression of sitting crossed-leg and chanting "om." There are so many helpful ways to grab even a quick meditative moment.This can be accomplished in any setting, at any time. It's amazing what quieting the mind can bring to the emotional and physical state of mind.

Meditation techniques vary and are adaptable. The end result is what's important. Creating a meditation sanctuary isn't necessary to acquire the benefits. A guided meditation (many found on YouTube), mantra meditation (repeating a calming word or phrase), breathing meditation (opening the mind while concentrating on the breath), even Chinese meditation (Qi Gong, Tai Chi, etc.), or even yoga.

Find a personalized style or styles of your own that can be called on when needed - whatever the situation..

5 Minute Quick Anxiety Reduction - Guided Mindfulness Meditation

8. Move Your Body

Incorporating a physical activity in a daily routine reduces the stress hormone and takes the mind and body to a more relaxed state. Whether it's walking the dog, or a gym membership; physical exercise can't be overrated.

Get away from whatever stress factor is occurring, and take a walk. Be in the moment, and observe the surroundings. Listen for the birds, people watch, appreciate the architect of buildings - even strolling in a park, watching children play. It's all in a mindset of controlling the stress and anxiety of the moment.

9. Talk To Someone

Expressing thoughts, worries and/or concern to others is very helpful. By talking something out, you may tend to see it from another perspective. Family and friends are a wealth when it comes to breaking down a stressful situation. Many are familiar with circumstances happening, and can offer a new way of viewing issues.

Share an interest in the lives of others. Taking the time to discover ongoing events in others' lives will also give a welcome distraction.

10. Massage Therapy for Decompression

Massage therapy for relaxation is a well known alternative way for coping with the physical repercussions that stress brings. In addition to providing relaxation, it reduces the level of stress hormones in the blood and stimulates the production of
serotonin, a substance related with emotional state of relaxation. There are other healthy and positive results obtained from massage; such as muscle pain, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, circulation and recovery from injury.

If a massage isn't possible, there are techniques to self-massage for relief of tension and anxiety.

11. Eliminate Unnecessary Commitments

We all have commitments in our lives, sometimes they pile up and become overwhelming. It can help to isolate the issues. Separate them and deal with them one at a time. Whether it's work, family, friends - even societal commitments.Then there may be doctor appointments, driver license renewal, banking issues, etc. that are demanding your time and attention as well. At times it's feels like burdens that carry a heavy weight.

Consider each of them, and the amount of stress they create. Sometimes making a list of priorities will help separate the necessary from the time and mind wasters; from the "Do It," "Delegate It," and/or "Delete It. Take control of your time and energy.

Remember: Stress is Hazardous to Your Health

There are also many other methods of reducing stress besides the cited ones. These are some of the best alternative and natural techniques without resorting to prescription drugs. No matter if one or all are needed, it is so important to remember
that stress is a hazard to your health.


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