Sometime or other, we all have to deal with stress, be it at our workplace, family life, or a relationship problem or matters regarding finances, stress is there. It is a feeling of being under constant mental or emotional pressure which one is unable to cope with. Different people react differently to stress and the causes are also varied. Though a little stress is good as it allows you to grow both physically and mentally, but when it becomes too much to handle or chronic, it is harmful.
Prolonged periods of stress sometimes leads to tension headaches and other side effects that gives rise to health problems which in turn has an impact on our daily functioning, at work, at school and also in our relationships. It is advisable not to let stress take over our lives, rather try out methods of stress management to prevent and properly deal with stress, so that it does not become a health hazard.
Some common signs of stress are anxiety, sleeping disorder, sweating, loss of appetite; difficulty in concentrating, worrisome thinking and the list goes on. The best way to manage stress is to practice some healthy coping strategies. Practicing these techniques when one is fully stressed out, becomes a habit that you want to follow whenever you’re in doldrums. Stress relief techniques relax your mind and body and help you cope with the situation.
Here are some simple ways to relieve stress or stress management techniques:
This is one of the most important techniques to combat stress. Putting your body to some physical stress can help relieve mental stress. You can reap the benefits if you exercise regularly. It is seen that people who do regular exercise are less prone to stress than those who do not exercise. The reasons are:
Exercise lowers body stress hormones, like cortical and releases endorphins that uplift your moods.
Exercise improves sleep quality, which is affected by stress. Due to lack of sleep one tends to get tired. Tiredness only increases your stress level and as a result causes you to think irrationally.
Regular exercise makes you more competent and confident and promoted mental well being.
Find activities that you enjoy doing, like, walking, dancing, yoga or rock climbing, which uses repetitive movements of muscles, and can particularly relieve stress.
Light a candle
Essential oils or burning of scented candles reduces feeling of stress and anxiety as they release scents which are especially soothing. Some of the most common calming scents are:
- Orange blossom
This method of using scents to treat your senses is called aroma therapy. Studied reveal that aromatherapy does decrease anxiety and improves sleep.
Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeine, a stimulant that is present in coffee, tea chocolate can create anxiety related to stress if consumed in high doses. If caffeine makes you restless and jittery, simply cut down on caffeine intake. Many studies have shown that coffee can be taken moderately, but it is not for everyone as they may have sensitivity to caffeine.
Spending time with family and friends
This is a very useful stress reliever. Social support can help you overcome stressful times. A friend’s network gives a sense of belonging and helps you in tough times. In specially women, spending time with children and family helps to release oxytocin which is a natural stress reliever. Both I and women benefit from friendship. It has been found that those with few social connections were prone to suffer from depression.
Another alternative is to spend time with your pet. A pet is known to reduce stress and improve you mood.A study shows that dog owners have lower levels of stress than those who do not own one. Interacting with your pet relieves you of stress, thus keeping you active and in good company, qualities that reduce stress.
Laughing is good for health. It may also relieve stress by:
- Bringing more oxygen to body parts.
- Stimulating and relieving stress response.
- Relaxing muscles by relieving tension.
It is also found that laughter helps improve your immune system and lifts your mood. Therefore, laugh your heart out while watching a comedy TV show or while hanging out with humorous friends or try to find humor everyday in your troubles too.
Take a yoga class
Yoga has become very popular as exercise and as a stress buster among young and old alike. Yoga helps in increasing your body and breath awareness. It also has an effect on mental health. It enhances mood and is as effective as antidepressant drugs usef for treating stress related depression and anxiety. Yoga is beneficial as it seems to have an effect on the nervous system. It helps lower cortical levels and blood pressure.
Learn to say no
Another way to relieve you of stress is to learn to say no, more often. You may find yourself taking on more than you can cope with, which leaves you feeling overwhelmed. Therefore be selective, and say no to unnecessary load which becomes a burden, too much to handle. This can help you control the stress.
Listen to music
Music that soothes and calms and relaxes your mind. Slow instrumental music induces relaxation by lowering blood pressure and heart rate and stress hormones. Simply listening to music that you enjoy is also effective. Nature sounds can also help calm you down and are therefore used for relaxation and meditation.
You may realize that you cannot absolutely eliminate stress from your life, but learn to move on using some of the above techniques for a quality life. These are simple, cost effective methods to check stress. However, if you think that there is too much stress in your life, talk to your doctor or visit a psychiatrist as they are medical professionals and might help you to solve your problem easily.