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Best Ways To Eliminate Stress

Updated on August 27, 2015

Ever heard that saying that stress is a killer? Truer words were never spoken because it does just that. Kill. Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies in various ways, none of which is good. It also manifests itself in different ways, depending the individual.

Cortisol floods our systems when we are stressed. It is a hormone that is triggered directly by stress which produces that "fight or flight" response. This causes the heart rate to go up, our blood vessels restrict and our breathing becomes rapid. Our body lacks the ability to differentiate between the stress of bad traffic and the stress of being chased by a mountain lion, so the reaction is the same. If there is no danger to escape this response is not helping us in any way. Instead it is hurting by making certain issues worse such as hypertension, anxiety disorders, depression and headaches. It can also make asthma considerably worse, as well as IBS and insomnia.


There are things we can do to help alleviate stress in our lives. Walking helps to clear your mind. It also helps to boost endorphins, which helps to reduce stress hormones. To make your walk even more calming, walk in a park or in nature in general. Doing this will help you to get into a state of meditation due to "involuntary attention", which just means something holds our attention yet lets us reflect all at the same time.

Breathing exercises give you the power to control your body enough that you can induce a state of calm. Just a few deep breaths make a huge difference. This is all due to the boost of oxygen. While doing breathing exercises guided imagery can help you center yourself more quickly. Short visualizations have been shown to produce a relaxed response.

Make sure your visualizations is a peaceful scene. You can envision a future vacation, your favorite, relaxing spot, or you achieving a goal in your future. The purpose of the exercise is to make sure whatever it is that you are visualizing it is something that brings happiness and peace to you.

Stress eating doesn't have to be this horrible thing you do in a closet somewhere. The connection between the brain and the stomach is a big one. Your gut is a mediator of the stress response. When I hear that I always envision your gut being the middle man in a conversation between your mind and the rest of your body.

When you choose a snack you want one that will fill you up. It stresses your brain out when it feels like you have run out of nourishment. Focusing on your snack, away from any distractions, instills a sense of calm. If you focus on some trait about your food (texture, taste, how it feels) you have just successfully turned your snack into meditation as well.

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What is one thing that seems to be in most offices? Plants. Are they onto something or is it just decoration? Plants are air purifiers and they can help you relax as well. A study done by Washington State University found that a group of stressed out people had a four-point drop in their blood pressure when they entered a room full of plants. The other group only showed a two-point drop in their blood pressure.

Plants also add that natural beauty to a room that can be calming all on its own. I tend to lean towards plants that require low maintenance because I do not have a green thumb. I found this out, unfortunately, three Gardenia plants ago!

A lot of people work on the computer and therefore spend an abundant amount of uninterrupted time on it. This has been linked with stress, loss of sleep and depression in women. Late night use, however, was linked to stress in both men and women.

If you absolutely have to work long hours on a computer then make sure to take frequent breaks. You want to turn off the computer an hour before bed so you can power yourself down. This will help you to drift off into dreamland more easily.

Being affectionate always helps to alleviate stress. Kissing, specifically, has been show to help your brain to release endorphins. So find comfort in the arms of the one you love, or rather his/her lips!

My favorite way to reduce my stress is music! Depending on what you are listening to, though, it could make your stress worse. Classical music has been proven to induce soothing effects. If you don't like classical music you don't have to listen to it to induce a relaxed state. Any music that you love will release dopamine into your brain, which is that feel-good neurochemical.

So if you are driving home and traffic is stressing you out, turn up your tunes! If you are in the middle of something that is stressful, jamming out to your favorite music is beneficial. No radio or ipod? Well humming your own tunes serves the same purpose!


Watching a funny video or videos of kittens has been shown to release endorphins into your brain. All those cat videos are now making sense aren't they! It also makes sense that petting a cat or dog is also stress relieving.

Oddly enough though, laughing actually triggers your stress response but then it deactivates it. This creates a rollercoaster effect that ultimately leads to relaxation in an individual.

Turning off your phone will also help you to alleviate stress. Just take a hiatus from anything and anyone. I know. It is a strange concept in today's world, but highly beneficial. Sometimes being totally accessible is a bad thing.

Lastly, try some meditation. Find a quiet place to relax and close your eyes. Tell yourself that no matter what is going on in life that getting all worked up over it will have no bearing on how it turns out. Instead take deep breaths and either visualize something positive or say reaffirming things out loud to yourself. When your mind hears something you said in your own voice it is very powerful. It will invoke positivity and a general positive outlook.

The main thing is to remain positive and take care of yourself no matter the situation or circumstance.


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