Let Go of Stress with These Tips!
Stressing About Stress
Stress has become as normal and natural as breathing or seeing a raindrop in a rainstorm, but it wasn't meant to be that way. The human body can only take so much stress before it begins to affect the way the body functions and the overall health of someone. People have been diagnosed with 'chronic stress' because it has become such a regular part of people's lives.
It doesn't have to stay that way, though.
There are many simple and easy ways to handle stress, as well as avoiding prolonged stress in the future. From physical activities to simply changing what the mind is focusing on, relieving stress can be easier than many people think. The best part is there is no prescription. Just working healthy habits into the day can completely transform a person!
Meditation and Yoga
People may look down on yoga, but it is one of the best forms of stretching, exercise, and de-stressing all into one. Depending on the type of yoga, it can even raise a person's heart rate and get a sweat on! Yoga involves controlling the body, focusing the mind on how the body moves through the positions, and using deep slow breaths to count through the movements.
Yoga has many benefits, some of which are:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- More energy (making it a great morning wake up call) and improved respiration
- Improves digestion and metabolism (less bloat and fat!)
- Can improve sexual experience
Many people are jumping on the yoga bandwagon, and for good reason!
Meditation deals with practicing how to let thoughts go. Stress can come from the constant flow of thoughts throughout the day, so this simple exercise of observing and releasing thoughts as they come is extremely beneficial. Not to mention the fact it's almost like taking a mini nap, which helps reduce stress as well!
Get a Full Night of Sleep...
Stress can sometimes come from lack of restful sleep at night. Whether that's from going to bed late, or being unable to stay asleep, this can cause health issues even the next day. Irritability, lowered metabolism, bloating, fatigue, and dull skin are just a few of the results of improper sleep.
It is recommended that adults should get a full six to eight hours of sleep per night, though new science is popping up saying that getting around four hours, waking up, and sleeping another four hours leads to better sleep. Either way, all-nighters and sixteen cups of coffee are no good for anyone.
There are a few ways to get in those sleep hours:
- Stop or limit screen time two hours before bed
- Sleep in a dark space
- Stretch for five minutes
- Don't eat right before going to bed for the night
- Try reading a boring book
- Lower the temperature in the house before bed
- Take a relaxing bath before bed
- Exercise during the day
- Play music that is relaxing
- Try to stay awake instead trying to fall asleep
...And Then Take a Nap
There is quite a bit of controversy over whether taking a nap during the day is good for the body and promoting healthy sleep habits. Most agree that while napping for a short period of time (10 to 30 minutes) is great for a person's health, much longer (one hour cat naps for example) can negatively affect the ability to sleep at night. So, don't shy away from snagging a brief nap after lunch; just keep it short and sweet.
Hit the Bag
There are an incredible amount of health benefits that comes from getting active. Even just walking can pick up a person's mood and lead to healthier decisions during the day, which can then lead to more energy and stamina. When it comes to stress, exercising, especially anything that really works up a sweat, can help lower and eliminate daily stresses, as well as lower the impact of any major life stresses.
Hitting a punching bag is a great way to not only work through stress, but also express any pent-up frustration and anger. Imagine punching the problem over and over, or maybe that with each hit, a little bit of that stress leaves the body. After a few rounds with the bag, there won't be energy left to worry about anything for a little while!
Crank Up the Music
Whether someone is in a great mood, or they are angry at the world around there, there seems to be a song for everyone. Music has been shown to affect the brain and actually influence the mood someone is in. So if someone is listening to a sad song, for example, it can bring them down. On the flip side, if someone listens to upbeat music, it can elevate their mood greatly.
Music can help people relax and get their minds off the stressor in their life, as well as putting them in a better mood for the day,
Take a Bubble Bath
Nothing is more soothing than getting into a tub of warm water filled to the brim with foamy soapy bubbles. Sometimes the bubbles are scented with fruity or flowery fragrances. To really make the bath soothing and relaxing, a lot of people play calming music or read a book.
Just be careful not to fall asleep!
Laugh. Laugh. Laugh.
Ever been watching a funny movie when in a bad mood and, after a few laughs, whatever it was causing the mood suddenly disappears?
They say laughter is the best medicine, and in many ways, this is actually true! Not only does laughter fire up the endorphins, those feel-good hormones in the brain, but it can relieve tension in the body, physically removing stress and allowing a person to really relax.
Take a Stroll
Exercise is a great way to beat stress, and this includes something as simply taking a walk. Walking allows for steam to be burned off, for the mind to relax, and for the body to feel at peace. Venting while walking can help alleviate stress too.
No is NOT a Four Letter Word
For many people, saying 'no' to something is the worst possible thing they could say; worse than any four-letter swear word. Whether it's from the need to please people, or perhaps not wanting someone to be mad at them, people often say 'yes' to things they would rather not do because it's just easier. There is nothing wrong with this until it starts negatively affecting their health. Plus, not saying 'no' to anyone can really pile up someone's plate, meaning they will become stressed out trying to get everything done for everyone.
Learning to say 'no' can radically improve one's health, mood, and levels of stress.
Step Away and Take a Break
Some projects can't be ignored, but they often can have a break. If there are high amounts of stress while trying to finish an assignment, taking even a few seconds to breathe and relax the eyes can be extremely beneficial. If possible, getting up and walking around, or looking at something else, can keep burnout from happening and alleviate stress.
Don't stay away too long, though!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Caitlyn Booth