Being stressed naturally does not feel good. It’s also not good for your health and overall well-being. Those who are experiencing high levels of stress may also experience poor digestion, trouble with sleeping, or even remembering things. This could affect your work performance and tasks badly, especially if you are not mentally or emotionally okay.
This is why it is necessary that you take a break and do other activities that would take your mind off the causes of your problems and stress. It does not have to be something that would take up a lot of time and effort. There are several ways you can try even inside or outside your home, wherever you are comfortable.
We have listed a few that you could help alleviate stress:
1. Keep It Moving – A lot of health experts keep reminding us that exercise is extremely important for us. Not just physically, but also to help us increase endorphins and improve our mood. Any exercise or physical activity is good enough, be it walking, running, doing sports, strolling around the neighborhood, or when buying groceries.
While the pandemic is still going on, you may be limited with the space you can use for physical activities. You may need to be creative and find ways for you to continue your exercise routines, such as dancing in front of your TV, doing yoga, or even stretching. What matters is you continue to move around to improve your metabolic health and decrease your risks of getting sick from lack of physical activities and stress.
2. Mind Over Matter – We can’t help but overthink sometimes. Your thoughts may be all over the place especially if we feel under threat and the “flight-or-fight” response of our body gets activated. It becomes hard for you to relax and find peace during these moments, thus, being able to control your mind matters a lot. You can train your mind to calm your thoughts and anxieties in different ways. Meditation and taking deep breaths help you disengage from distractions, decrease heart rate, increase oxygen in your lungs, and stabilize blood pressure.
3. Write It Down – Doing journals on the positive things that you are grateful for can help give you a better state of mind. According to research, gratitude can take away our attention from negative thoughts and emotions as we focus on the positive ones. Increasing dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that make us feel better and happy, can make you feel less depressed. Be grateful, even with the simple things that happen in your everyday life.
4. Laughter is the Best Medicine – Free medicine? Laughter. Having fun and enjoying has a lot of benefits to your health as it relieves tension in the body, improves your mood, and helps with coping. Identify what makes you happy and smiling. It can be your favorite TV series, music, activity, memes, or anything that makes you feel better. Allot time for these activities and give yourself free therapy by feeling joy and happiness.
5. Music is free therapy – Music is the universal language, and it is also the universal form of healing. A lot of studies support this idea, and it shows that cortisol, which is a stress hormone, decreases and helps improve the body’s immune response. Wondering what type of music you should try to listen to? Songs with 60 BPM (beats per minute) can help the brain synchronize with the beat and result in alpha brain waves, which can help you feel relaxed. Environmental sounds such as thunder, rain, birds chirping, or instruments like drums or flutes in a moderate volume are also recommended. You can find playlists online that you can try if you are looking for sounds to reduce your stress.
6. Healthy Diet – Eat right and keep your body healthy with a proper diet! Being stressed makes you want to eat a lot of sugary, fatty, junk foods but it might only be bad for your body. Instead, avoid eating too sugary or salty snacks, and prepare fruits that you can eat readily. Vegetables and fish in your snack or meal can reduce symptoms of stress. Make an effort and prepare yourself tasty but healthy food!
7. Bond with Friends – Having company to talk to and share your thoughts is always a good idea to let out all the tension and stress you’re feeling. Take a break once in a while and hang out with your friends or loved ones over a meal, a phone call, or a video chat. Having healthy relationships with the people that matter to you is significant to ensuring a positive mind and wellness. Their presence and reassurance can benefit you and help you be at ease.
8. Get More Sleep – It sounds contradicting, we know. Being stressed causes you to be distracted and have a disturbed mind that causes you to be sleep-deprived. However, lack of sleep also induces stress. It is a vicious cycle that does not allow the brain and body to rest, which is why resting is necessary. Follow the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, with the help of a good environment that would make your mind find peace. Refrain from using gadgets before going to bed, turn of the TV, dim the lights, use calming scents or aromas, and relax yourself to get your needed sleep.
While we can never really avoid stress in our everyday life, we should start working on ways to manage it so it does not pile up and lead to being detrimental to our mental health and wellness. Be mindful and always take care of yourself and treat yourself with kindness both at work and at home.