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Stress Relief Tips: How to Relieve Stress

Updated on November 6, 2013
Feeling Stressed?
Feeling Stressed? | Source

Stress is one of those reactions everyone experiences, even as early as birth. Imagine the frustration of newborns who have just been expelled from a cozy womb to burst forth into a cold, shiny world full of these big creatures who won’t stop kissing and hugging them. Talk about pressure! In those weeks following, babies learn that wailing at a high-pitched volume will bring immediate relief to all the woes that ail them: hunger, poopy diapers, scratchy (obnoxious) clothing, and lack of affection. Sobbing loudly can still work in adulthood. Unfortunately, the attention garnered is probably at a bar from a fellow patron looking to take advantage of a sad, drunk, vulnerable lover. That’s probably not how you want to cope with the stress of being fired. So, what are some good ways to relieve stress? Well first, let’s talk about what stress is.

How Do You Relieve Stress?

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What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s way of dealing with challenging events in your life. Under normal circumstances, your body is in a relaxed mode. (Chances are you don’t know what a relaxed mode is if you’re reading this article. Just use your imagination.) When something unexpected happens, the body releases hormones to help you handle the stressful situation. This is commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response. It all goes back to our early ancestors and their ability to survive the unexpected sabre tooth tiger attack or iceberg attack or mammoth attack or enemy village attack or... you get the picture. Your body is supposed to go back to normal once the danger is gone. When it becomes difficult to reset back to the usual unstressed state, you should probably start using stress management techniques.

Here are some few tips on how to relieve stress:

Exercise

Exercise relieves stress. It makes you happy. Seriously! The act of physical exertion on the body releases hormones called endorphins. Think of them as your own personal drug that is designed by nature to combat stress. Exercise is an easy way to trigger these hormones. You don’t have to be a distance runner or heavy weight-lifter to receive the benefits of endorphins. Anything from ballroom dancing to yoga can release this helpful hormone. If you haven’t been regularly exercising, it is a good idea to check with your medical provider first to prevent injuries. You probably don’t want, “Death by Zumba” on your cemetery headstone.

Achieve Your Ideal Body

INSANITY Base Kit - DVD Workout
INSANITY Base Kit - DVD Workout

If you're motivated to get in shape, Insanity DVD Workout is great way to start.

 
Jogging, a great way to relieve stress
Jogging, a great way to relieve stress | Source

Stress Relief from Laughter

There’s a saying that laughter is the best medicine. Many individuals in the medical community agree. Research on the subject is still inconclusive. But, studies have shown that laughter has a positive effect on the body. Regardless of how laughter works, most people feel really good after a good belly-shaking chuckle. Who knew that watching back to back episodes of Seinfeld was a stress therapy?

Laugh it Out!
Laugh it Out! | Source

Eat to Beat Stress

Stressful situations often trigger the urge to eat unhealthy foods like greasy burgers or tubs of ice cream. This can also decrease appetite, causing fatigue and rapid weight loss. While it might be exciting to fit in those old jeans from high school again, the effects of eating a poor diet can often be long-term. Unhealthy eating behaviors decrease the essential nutrients needed to maintain enough energy to combat stress. You’ll feel more tired, or get sick much easier. It’s okay to gorge yourself on pizza after a terrible fight with a significant other. And, it’s fine if you just want to have a pop tart and a glass of milk for dinner while you try to power through a big presentation due the next day. But, don’t let it become a habit. Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and high calcium foods like milk or broccoli. You’ll have more energy, and a greater ability to deal with stress.

Foods that Relieve Stress

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Blueberries can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.Papayas helps enhance your mood.Red Bell Pepper helps to repair cell damage caused by stress.Sushi with salmon contains Omega-3 which fights inflammation and reduce stress.Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E and folate to enhance your mood. Whole grain bread - The carbs makes you fuller and happier.Bananas contain potassium, which helps lower blood pressure that can spike with stress.Lean beef has high levels of vitamin B and zinc that helps to keep you off the stress-induced mood.Dark chocolate can lower levels of stress hormones.Black Tea soothes away stress.
Blueberries can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Blueberries can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. | Source
Papayas helps enhance your mood.
Papayas helps enhance your mood. | Source
Red Bell Pepper helps to repair cell damage caused by stress.
Red Bell Pepper helps to repair cell damage caused by stress. | Source
Sushi with salmon contains Omega-3 which fights inflammation and reduce stress.
Sushi with salmon contains Omega-3 which fights inflammation and reduce stress. | Source
Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E and folate to enhance your mood.
Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E and folate to enhance your mood. | Source
Whole grain bread - The carbs makes you fuller and happier.
Whole grain bread - The carbs makes you fuller and happier. | Source
Bananas contain potassium, which helps lower blood pressure that can spike with stress.
Bananas contain potassium, which helps lower blood pressure that can spike with stress. | Source
Lean beef has high levels of vitamin B and zinc that helps to keep you off the stress-induced mood.
Lean beef has high levels of vitamin B and zinc that helps to keep you off the stress-induced mood. | Source
Dark chocolate can lower levels of stress hormones.
Dark chocolate can lower levels of stress hormones. | Source
Black Tea soothes away stress.
Black Tea soothes away stress. | Source

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is another great way to relieve stress. You need sleep just as much as you need food and oxygen to live. Lack of sleep decreases your ability to react to stress. It can also make you less pleasant to be around. If you find yourself beating up the copier machine at work, it is probably a good idea to get more sleep. But, that might be difficult if stress is keeping you up at night. To become more relaxed at bedtime, try to turn your bedroom into a sacred sanctuary. Turn off electronic devices. Dim the lights. Take in deep breaths for a few minutes. That’s right, find that inner chi. Think positive thoughts. Being in a relaxed state will definitely help you fall asleep much easier. If that doesn’t work, contact your medical provider. But for Pete’s sake, leave that poor copier machine alone.

Get a Hobby

You laughed when you found out your co-worker collected comic books. But, it’s a good chance that this fellow employee is a happy, well-adjusted person because he has a hobby. Taking the time to engage in pleasant activities will boost your mood and self-esteem. It can also help you become more social by introducing you to like-minded individuals who share your passion. Plus, a hobby gives you something to look forward to doing once you’re out of your stressful environment. Hobbies can range from the quintessential stamp collecting to race car driving. Remember, there isn’t supposed to be pressure from a hobby because you’re doing it simply because you love it. So, maybe you shouldn’t do race car driving. Definitely stick to stamps.

Need a hobby? Collect Stamps.
Need a hobby? Collect Stamps. | Source

Other Benefits of Meditation

  • can give you a sense of peace and balance
  • cure headaches & migraines
  • increases focus
  • relaxes the nervous system
  • enhances the immune system
  • helps cure insomnia
  • helps with weight loss

For Stress Relief, Meditate!

Meditation is a great tool to help manage and relieve stress. It can allow you to reflect on your stressors, and develop better ways to cope. If you’re religious, meditation could bring comfort from your spiritual connection to a supernatural force. Meditation can also help you focus on the good things that are happening in your life. So even though you didn’t get that promotion at work, your family thinks you’re pretty awesome, and not the complete loser that you feel like. You don’t need an Indian guru and sacred temple to effectively meditate. All it takes is a calm, quiet environment with little to no distractions. And no, calling yourself Luke Skywalker, and trying to use the Force to lift objects isn’t really considered meditation. Nice try, though.

Meditation on DVD

Mindfulness Meditations for Anxiety: Seven Practices to Reduce Stress
Mindfulness Meditations for Anxiety: Seven Practices to Reduce Stress

Need to relax? This is an excellent Meditation video to reduce stress and helpful for people with stressful jobs.

 
Meditation can wipe away the day's stress.
Meditation can wipe away the day's stress. | Source

Pause

Put the mobile phone down. Step away from the laptop computer. Drop that tablet right where you are. You need a break from the devices that socially connect you to others before it drives you insane. Social media is a great way to interact with family, friends, and co-workers. But, it can also add to your current stress level by making you feel even crappier. Everyone seems like they have the perfect life on social media platforms. Don’t get caught up in social facade. Because eventually you’ll see the truth beyond what’s posted. And if you examine your life, you will find that you wouldn’t trade it for any other. No one, I mean no one, is perfect.

Pause and think a happy thought.
Pause and think a happy thought. | Source

Fun Fact About Kissing

"A good morning kiss can help to prevent stress-related illnesses. It triggers hormones that can help a person deal with pressure."

The Power of Love

Love is a powerful emotion. It has broken up marriages, caused riffs in families, and even provoked wars. When it isn’t misguided, love can help relieve stress, especially when it is expressed in a physical way. Ever notice how a hug or a kiss can instantly lift your mood? Suddenly, that 2 hour traffic jam culminated by the jerk that cut you off as you tried to exit the off ramp doesn’t seem so bad after getting a nice hug from little Suzy. And of course, the act of making love can do wonders for stress. If you’re lacking object of affections in your life, buy one. No, don’t get a prostitute. Pets can make great loving companions. Plants can also provide a source of adoration. If you find that you can’t keep living things alive, there should be some inanimate object out there you can imagine showering you with love. The only people who have to know about your troll kids collection is you and the Force.

kissing can measurably reduce stress.
kissing can measurably reduce stress. | Source

Comments

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nicely written and useful hub!

      I agree with your different ways of getting relief from stress. If followed sincerely, perhaps a person will not feel stressed at all, in the first place.

      Voted up! Thanks and welcome to HubPages!

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      Thank you for voting and reading my hub ChitrangadaSharan. I hope my hub can help in some way.

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 3 years ago from Virginia

      Wonderful hub. I am dealing with high stress now and am trying hard to do the things you have suggested.

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      Thank you Rosie. I hope you're stress-free today.

    • profile image

      DanielleFaith 3 years ago

      Oh my goodness! This is just what I needed. I'm dealing with so much stress an anxiety right now - its insanity!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      These are great ideas for relieving stress! It is definitely something that all of us deal with on a regular basis, whether at work or at home, no one is immune. I love the Star Wars humor!

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      Hi DanielleFaith, stress can be hard to deal with. Just take a deep breath and everything will be alright.

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      Thank you denise. You're right, stress is everywhere. We just need to learn to cope with it.

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Just awesome!

    • Alex Brockie profile image

      Alex Brockie 3 years ago from England

      This Hub is really well written and has some excellent tips too

    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      It's so true that having a hobby can relax the mind. The time I spend in my garden is well worth it!

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      Kenwu - Thank you! :)

      NellySheina - Thank you for reading my hub, I'm glad it helps you.

      Alex Brockie - Thank you. :)

      erinshelby - Gardening is a relaxing hobby that I also enjoyed.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 3 years ago from India

      Sound advice. Living at the moment by paying attention to one's breath in between also helps

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Good advice and very helpful too. My advice is to practice which is the best and very relaxing as well. I also do 'Sudharshana Kriya' (breathing exercise) introduced by Sri Sri Ravisankar of Art of Living organization. Music and reading are my other tips for relaxation. Thank you for selecting a good topic as a subject for this hub.

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      thumbi7 - thank you for visiting my hub

      sunikunnoth2012 - you're right, breathing exercise is a fast and simple way to relieve stress. :)

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 3 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Congrats on your HOTD award! Managing stress is so very important! I have been working on decreasing the stress in my life and find that meditation is a key component. Thank you for sharing your useful tips!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

      I wanted to read your hub, but I was too stressed to get around to it. Just kidding! Great hub, and congrats on the HOTD.

      You've listed some very valid tips here - exercise is an amazing remedy for stress, and also for depression. And you're right about laughter being a release - that is actually documented in various theories of humor.

      Great work here!

    • hyp profile image
      Author

      hyp 3 years ago

      Tracy - Thank you and I hope you find these tips helpful.

      Marcy - Lol! As the old saying goes, laughter is the best medicine.

    • profile image

      John Frawley 3 years ago

      A wonderfully informative, organized, and handsome blog. Great job!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Simple but effective tips. Congrats on hub of the day! Voting up. Great job.

    • artsandlearning profile image

      Debora Wondercheck 3 years ago from 1518 Brookhollow Drive, Suite 15, Santa Ana, CA, 92705

      Great advice for relieving stress. Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. Stress is very subjective though. There are always two ways of looking at a situation and handling it. This is very good advice and something that can be followed so easily. Regards, Debora

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 3 years ago

      stunning! I have few hubs about that. thumps up.

    • profile image

      Waqar Ahmed 3 years ago

      Your hub is very nice, thanks for the useful tips, I will try them in my life. keep it up.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 3 years ago from USA

      These are great tips for addressing stress. I have a very stressful life. Most of it comes from being around a large family where something happens all the time. To help me unplug from my stress, I write.

      Great job!

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