According to the Mental Health Foundation, stress is the inability to cope with or being overwhelmed by emotional or mental pressure. Everyone reacts differently to stress meaning everyone has varying levels of tolerance before this feeling gets into the picture. This makes it hard to point to a particular event and say that it was that situation or individual that led to stress.
However, regardless of the cause of the stress, there’s an array of common mental and physical reactions. These include headaches, lack of sleep, changes in eating habits, faster heart rate, inability to think straight, itchy skin and even turning to alcohol and drugs. In this read, we are going to delve deeper into some of the activities that can help you reduce stress.
1. Get Rid of Uncertainty
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one of the best ways to alleviate stress is by relating your situation to something you’ve previously gone through. With the mere act of familiarizing yourself with the situation, you will be in a better position to cope with the current issue simply by recycling the past coping strategies. A question you should ask yourself is; how is my current situation similar to what I have undergone before? This gets rid of ambiguity, which eliminates uncertainty, and ultimately boosts your confidence.
2. Be Proactive
According to studies, procrastination is one of the chief environments that breed unhelpful thoughts that result in stress. In order to better tackle this undesirable feeling, it’s better to be proactive instead of reactive. That’s because being proactive helps you manage and control your stressful situation by simply doing things ahead of time.
3. Breathing Exercises
You do not need to be a Yoga pro in order to relax. Simply take a few minutes away from your stressful situation, stay in a comfortable place and slowly inhale through the nose, hold it for several seconds, and then breathe out slowly through the mouth. Repeat this for several minutes until you feel calm and relaxed. You can go a step further by closing your eyes and picturing a calm scene. Do this as much as you need throughout the day.
4. Listen to Music
Listening to classical melodies or your favorite tunes can go a long way in changing your attitude and alleviating stress. Make listening to music on a daily basis a habit, be it when getting ready in the morning, while commuting, and even as you go to bed.
5. Work Out
It might sound cliche, but exercising actually prompts the body to release feel-good hormones such as endorphins, which in turn reduce your stress. Also, stress can subconsciously tense your muscles, which working out can help relieve.
Don’t fret as it does not have to be a full workout. Simply walk around your neighborhood for 30 minutes, go for a quick 15-minute run, do 20 jumping jacks, or look up a 10-minute yoga session video on YouTube.
6. Get Some Play Time
Put aside some time to really have fun with your close friends and family, or simply spend some time alone. Play games with your kids or pets, watch a funny show with your loved ones, sit on the front porch and enjoy the outdoor view or play a video game. Doing what you like will send away your worries and negative thoughts.
7. Take a Walk Outdoors
You do not have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors in the sunshine. Begin small by taking a 10-minute stroll around your block. You can then prolong this time by a few minutes every day. The sunshine gives you VItamin D while lightening your mood. Also, a walk outdoors exposes you to the freshness of the air.
8. Get Adequate Sleep
When you’re feeling stressed, it can be hard to sleep at night, which in turn disrupts your sleeping cycle. The body needs adequate keep to repair and replenish the internal biological systems. When it’s time to sleep, try and think of pleasant thoughts. Also, consider going to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day to avoid disrupting your circadian rhythm.
With these 6 tips, you should be able to alleviate stress.