Stress in the 21st century is seemingly normal. It can seem present everywhere – demand from work, family challenges, economic concerns, world news, natural disasters, relationship dramas, etc. This can take its toll on our mental health if we allow it.
You might have no control over the outer world, however, you can take positive steps to protect your mental health and prevent the effects of stress.
Stress is the pressure that comes from occurrences and experiences of everyday life. Interestingly, humans might benefit from small doses of stress. It helps keep you alert, energized and triggers a positive reaction in all situations to protect yourself. The stress hormone tells you to flee and take cover when there is a shooter on a rampage.
However, our bodies never really evolved to differentiate between life-threatening situations and daily occurrences. As a result, when stress persists in the face of cases that are not life-threatening, the body suffers hugely. Stress, when uncontrolled, makes one prone to various illnesses like stroke, diabetes, insomnia, heart problem, etc. This makes it essential to develop simple and practical tips to manage stress effectively.
Here are some tips, activities, and strategies that can help you manage stress:
Yoga is a combination of movement, breath, and mindfulness. All of these work together to relieve stress almost instantly. It stands out as one of the top stress reliving practices that can provide practitioners with instant relief. The long-term stress relief benefits of yoga are real too.
Yoga benefits the body, mind, and soul in various ways. As a beginner, it helps to take introductory yoga classes to gain a solid foundation.
When stress weighs you down, getting your heart rate up and your blood pumping can be an effective therapy. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate exercise. Consider going for a walk, jogging, or cycling down the street to relieve some stress.
Exercise triggers the release of endorphin – the feel-good hormones, according to research. This hormone reduces cortisol and does an excellent job of calming the nerves. You get multiple benefits with exercises like improved blood flow to various body organs, better heart health, and improved sleep.
Get Rid of Things that Stress You Out
While you might not be able to avoid all sources of stress like deadlines from work, it is possible to remove the ones you can control. Doing this can go a long way to bring peace to your life.
Excess exposure to news, for instance, can get you all worked up. Constantly getting notifications of conflict or natural disasters around the world will only end up sapping your peace. The same goes for fighting with people about politics online. Stay away from such and surround yourself with experiences that delight you and fill you with joy instead.
Deep breathing taps into the body's ability to relax and calm itself in the face of chaos. This explains why soldiers practice deep breathing amid some of the scariest imaginable situations, to enable them to calm their nerves. The process allows for the brain and vital body organs to get more oxygen which provides relaxation. It tricks the body into believing that everything is normal and there is no immediate source of danger.
In the heat of danger or a stressful situation, the body responds with rapid breathing alongside a rise in blood pressure and heartbeat. However, taking a step back to catch a few deep breaths can relieve stress as it communicates to the brain that all is well. Breathing exercises can provide calmness.
The human body is programmed to respond to both actual occurrence and perceived experience in the same way. With this, visualizing a calm place where you feel safe without anything troubling or terrifying can be incredibly helpful.
The idea of going to a beautiful and peaceful place in your imagination is to relax and relieve stress. Guided imagery allows you to take that vacation mentally. It can be as simple as picturing yourself on a sublime beach. Imagine the breeze from the water caressing your skin while you lie with a cup of your favorite drink.
Stress is a common occurrence in our present world. It is a menace that sets the stage for various health issues. This makes it essential to take positive steps to get rid of stress before it ruins your life. The good news is you can inculcate some habits into your lifestyle to beat stress. Many of the points discussed above are user-friendly and cost-effective habits that you can include as part of your lifestyle. Making them a routine can help you take charge of your life to avoid unnecessary drama in your life.
By Tammy Parker
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