10 ways to battle stress
Published on August 23, 2015
It may be the bills, family related issues, too much pressure at work or the long que to the counter – anything can trigger a stress reaction. Stress can be caused by a life changing situation or it can be slowly accumulated by insignificant daily blunders. Either way, stress is among the common causes of heart problems such as low blood pressure. In any stress causing situation, no matter how helpless you think it is, you are the person in control of your emotions. Here are some ways to relief and fight your stress.
It is not just about staying in shape, but a good workout will elevate your spirits and put your mind at ease. Go running, swimming, take a dance class or go for a walk in the park – these aerobic exercises will get your heart pumping and make you feel happier after the workout. There is scientific proof to that; your body gets an endorphin (happy hormone) rush after physical activity so you genuinely feel happy. During the workout focus on the moment and on your body instead of thinking about your problems, it’s a great way to distance yourself and let go of the stress. Pick a workout that you enjoy doing so you can stick to it and make it into a daily habit.
Do not underestimate the importance of sleep. Slacking off a few hours a week is fine, but depriving yourself of the daily 6-8 hours a night, might be the main cause of your stress. Lack of sleep is strongly linked with mood swings and soaring stress levels. You brain needs a break, just like your body and sleep is the only time that your brain can actually rest. Plus, sleep lowers hormone levels and blood pressure so it’s the most natural way to relax.
The soothing scent of lavender is one of the things that can actually make you fall asleep. It is proven that lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system. It can lower blood pressure and help you drift to sleep. Take a relaxing bath with lavender oil or keep a sachet of dried lavender close by to stay stress-free.
Use your support system
Engage socially with your friends, family and just anyone that you feel comfortable around with. Communicating with someone who you feel comfortable with, is one of the best methods to ease the tension and release the stress. The other person doesn’t have to have a solution to your problem, but being listened to, is a great benefit for your emotional wellbeing. When you talk, stress decreasing hormones are unleashed and the process calms you down. Don’t hesitate to meet your best friend for dinner, call your mom or go to a game with your pals. In other ways, you don’t have to talk, you might just engage in a social activity that will take your mind off your problems and let you have some fun with friends.
The specific flower blend acts as a mild tranquilizer that binds with brain receptors. When you feel your stress levels elevating, brew a chamomile tea and slowly sip it. The scent, the tea itself and the process will sooth your anxiety. If you can’t stand the smell or taste, you can always find chamomile supplements at a drugstore.
Cut the coffee
Caffeine spikes up cortisol (stress hormone) levels which is beneficial in situations when you need some energy, but not when you’re already stressed out. If you have a habit of drinking coffee every day, try to avoid it when you’re stressed because it will only add to your tension.
Every single person goes through stress; it is how we deal with it that is important. Studies have proven that negative thinking actually increases stress levels, while a positive outlook not only decreases stress but controls it. Learning to be optimistic takes effort and training, but practice makes perfect. Start with positive self-talk. We all talk to ourselves whether out loud or in our mind; the trick is to replace negative statements with positive ones and do it all the time. Instead of thinking “I’m going to fail” think “I’ve got this” and so on…Positive self-talk helps you fight with the stress, when it becomes a habit, you have won the battle.
Get a massage
A relaxing and stress relieving procedure, a massage will release your muscle tension which will in turn benefit your mind. Focus on the moment and clear your head. Nothing beats a good back rub to ease off stress. Try out a massage of the scalp or a foot rub. In reflexology, massaging your toes actually releases endorphins that soothe and help relax.
When stress levels are soaring there’s an urge to reach out for the sugar and the fast-food. Spiking sugar levels in your blood will only make matters worse. Instead, opt for some dark chocolate that has stress reducing properties. Dark chocolate along with some chamomile tea will instantly lower your stress level and relief the anxiety.
Focus on yourself
Find time in your life that you can dedicate to doing nothing but relaxing. It can be 20 minutes of yoga, meditation or just reading a book. If you’re constantly on a tight schedule, taking some time to stop and rest is necessary for peace of mind. Zoning out in front of the TV doesn’t count as relaxing; you need an activity that will allow you to organize your thoughts and find your peace of mind.