There are many stressors these days — fromthat on next to .
Both your mind and body can experience the effects of stress – you might feel irritable and frustrated, or, if the stress is chronic, you might experience symptoms such as frequent headaches, changes in libido, digestive problems, depression, reduced energy and trouble sleeping.
Although it is not always possible to control stressors, there are steps you can take to maintain your well-being in the midst of difficult situations. These tips can help you effectively de-stress every day.
Why do I feel stressed?
Stress is natural; it is your body’s physical, mental or emotional response to external situations. It’s different for everyone. What’s stressing you out may not go down well with your friends.
In stressful situations, our bodies respond by activating the sympathetic nervous system, a part of the autonomic nervous system known as the fight-or-flight response. Your heart starts beating faster, and you sweat and tense up. It is a chemical process that prepares your body to physically respond to an attack.
Even when you’re not in physical danger, your body still reacts the same way to things that overwhelm you. You are more susceptible to stressful situations when you don’t sleep enough, don’t eat well and don’t have a solid support system.
How to relieve stress
Remember that your way of coping with stress may be different than others, and that’s okay. Ultimately, stress reduction is a personalized approach. A lot of the advice is pretty general; this allows you to find a middle ground and decide what works for you. Use these tips to start your journey to stress relief. The best part is that they are free and you can do them anywhere.
1. Exercise to improve your mood
Exercise can work as an intervention for anxiety and depression. A study of university students found that two days of aerobic exercise greatly reduced perceived stress and improved self-reported depression. Long periods of inactivity are associated with higher levels of mood disorders and greater stress. Exercise can improve your mood and help you “break the cycle” of stress.
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week. You don’t need a gym membership or special equipment at home; it is achievable at home and easier than you think. If you feel your stress symptoms rising, try going for a walk. A 20-minute walk outside will reduce stress hormone levels.
2. Incorporate self-care into your routine
What is self care? Think of it as restoring yourself in a healthy way by doing things that promote emotional and physical well-being. It’s easy to get into a negative space when you’re stressed or burned out. Integrating self-care into your daily routine will help you stay positive and acknowledge that some things are out of your control without feeling overwhelmed. A 2018 study of medical students concluded that those who regularly engaged in self-care reported lower levels of stress and higher quality of life ratings.
Another part of self-care is focusing on positive self-talk. In times of stress, it’s easy to let negative thoughts take over. Positive self-talk isn’t about ignoring the bad stuff; it means that you approach the situation with a positive attitude. Research shows that positive self-talk is associated with lower levels of depression, stress and greater life satisfaction.
Self-care and positive self-talk should be part of your daily routine. It’s not something you have to keep until you start running on empty.
3. Practice mindfulness or yoga
When you are stressed, your sympathetic nervous system triggers your fight or flight response. Your parasympathetic nervous system is the counterpart that brings your body back into a balanced state.during stressful situations they activate the parasympathetic nervous system and help you relax.
A meta-analysis of over 200 studies concluded that mindfulness-based therapy reduces depression, anxiety and stress. Daily meditation is another powerful tool for increasing focus and mood, even in short bursts.
Yoga is one of the most popular tactics for stress relief. Research has shown that yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing overall well-being.
4. Drink less caffeine
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world, and the average American drinks just over three cups a day. Short-term benefits associated with caffeine include increased alertness, attention and concentration. This happens because caffeine activates your fight-or-flight response.
In addition, caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, which facilitates sleep in the body. The adenosinergic system is involved in the development and treatment of mood and anxiety. This suggests that caffeine may worsen symptoms in people at increased risk of anxiety disorders.
Everyone has a, to be healthy and drink coffee. Finding the ideal balance is as simple as noting how you feel after each extra cup. If you start to feel nervous or jittery, you can water or tea in the future.
5. Don’t sacrifice sleep
Feeling anxious or overwhelmed can disrupt your sleep. It can become a vicious cycle of stress and fatigue, and then not being able to “shut down” your brain enough to go to sleep. However, the more sleep you get, the more your perceived stress level drops.
So how do you get quality sleep when you’re tired? It all comes down to preparing your body for sleep. Adrenaline and cortisol in your body prevent you from drifting into sleep. To combat this, you can try implementing relaxing activities into your nighttime routine. Not only does your body begin to expect to fall asleep after a routine, but it helps you relax enough to fall asleep. The nighttime routine will look different for everyone – common activities include reading a book, taking a bath, listening to music or doing yoga.
6. Make meaningful connections
A support system of friends and family can help reduce stress, especially during transitional life stages like college. However, if your family is the source of your stress, it’s also important to set boundaries for yourself and others. Boundaries are an essential way to protect your mental health and can prevent you from taking on too much. The boundaries you create are entirely up to you – it can be as simple as “call first before stopping by.” Research has shown that the better you are at setting boundaries in your personal and business life, the greater the buffer against stress.
Pets are another source of stress reduction. Hugging your pet signals your body to release oxytocin, which is one of the feel-good hormones. People with pets have lower levels of loneliness and anxiety. So if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, take a minute and hug your pet. Science backs up the benefits.
7. Set realistic goals
Reaching for the stars is great, but so is the sunset— whatever they are. It’s important to be aware of what you can control and how it affects what you want to achieve. It is normal to want to achieve the goals and expectations we have set for ourselves. Putting them out of your reach – even optimistically – has a chance to backfire and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Unrealistic goals can be a source of stress that makes you feel bad when you don’t achieve them.
Too long; didn’t you read it?
Feeling stressed is a natural response of our body. It is quite normal to have waves where you are more or less overwhelmed. Since we cannot change everything and get rid of stress completely, it is necessary to learn how to manage it in a healthy way. Identify your stress triggers and use these simple tips to manage those negative feelings.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional with any questions you may have about your health condition or health goals.