A guest post by Jean Deruiter
It is inevitable for people to feel stress, but that does not mean that you cannot do something about it.
Mind you, extended exposure to stress can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It is also said to increase your risk for cardiac diseases. Worst, stress can impair your body to cope with illness.
That said, we have listed down seven activities to relieve yourself from stress:
Take a Walk
Often, one unhealthy habit that we'll do when we're stressed, particularly with work, is to sit for extended periods without taking a break.
This is detrimental for your muscles as it can be tight in the long run. This also goes out to your eyes or mind that haven't taken a break for quite a while.
Taking a couple of minutes of outdoor walk allows you to physically and mentally remove yourself from a stressful situation. You don't even have to walk to faraway places. A walk in your yard will do.
Apart from that, hiking during weekends helps release endorphins. This can significantly boost your mood.
Just remember to bring your trusted pair of hiking poles so you won't strain yourself when hiking.
Laugh it Off
Laughter not only lightens your mood, but once you start laughing, this can cause physical changes in your body. It will stimulate the vital organs because of enhanced oxygen intake and increase the endorphins released to your brain.
Apart from that, it increases that relaxed feeling because of the firing and cooling down of your stress response. This is the increase and then decrease of your blood pressure.
Moreover, the increased blood circulation in your body helps your muscles to relax. Thus, reducing the physical symptoms of stress.
So, why not put on a funny movie or give a funny person you know a call so that you can put on a great laugh?
Eat Mood-Boosting Foods
Many of us would be craving sweet or starchy foods every time we feel anxious, stressed, or even tense. The intake of these types of food has a calming effect on women and might be linked to low serotonin levels during this state.
Serotonin is a brain chemical that's often linked to feelings of calmness and relaxation. Now, consuming these types of carbohydrates are known to increase serotonin levels. So, you can eat these treats if they provide you with instant satisfaction, but you also need to watch out for your portion size.
Ideally, you can take at least 100 calorie portions, such as eating only a small handful of pretzels. You can also try pre-portioning your food and eat them as a snack. You can go with 100-calorie packs well.
Another excellent alternative is eating fruits, vegetables, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known to reduce stress symptoms. Eating a tuna sandwich is another excellent brain food as well.
Get a Massage
Getting a massage is another way to free your body from tension.
You can try adding a couple of aromatherapy oils such as camomile and lavender as well to relax. If you don't get a massage, you can purchase aromatherapy oils or use massage tools at home.
Learning to synchronize the body and breath is a secret the yogis use for decades when you are distressed.
One's "pranayama," also known as the "life force," is the very center of every yoga practice because it's known as the source of life and energy of all beings.
This makes sense as getting an extra oxygen boost allows you to slow down your nervous system and calmer you down.
So, if you want to decrease your blood pressure and destress, why not take a couple of deep breaths to help you refocus your breath and calm down?
Listen to Music
If you feel overwhelmed and in a stressful situation, you can try taking a break by listening to music.
Music is believed to have a positive physical and mental effect. For one, it can lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, which is often linked with stress.
You can listen to classical music or sounds of nature, as this can put you in a relaxing state.
Meditation is often an inward-focused thought that's known to decrease heart risk factors. It can also help lower blood pressure.
Like yoga and prayer, meditation allows you to practice mindfulness that calms the mind and the body. Even meditating for five minutes can help you reduce stress.
Get Enough, Quality Sleep
Are you getting quality sleep every night?
Sometimes, stress can make you lose out sleep. In the same way, lack of sleep can also be a primary source of stress. This can make your physical and mental state chaotic over time.
Instead, ensure to have enough shut-eye every night by getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep.
You can turn off the TV a little bit earlier, dim the light, and give yourself plenty of time to relax before sleeping. Doing so not only helps you fight stress and improve your overall mood as well.
Whether you are a student, a creative person, or an entrepreneur, stress is inevitable. But too much stress can eventually cause more severe physical and mental health problems later on.
Fortunately, you can do many things to manage stress. This includes the tips listed above.
By applying these tips, you can significantly decrease your stress at work and home.
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