Stressors abound these days—fromto to in addition to .
Both your mind and body can feel the effects of stress – you may feel irritable and frustrated, or if the stress is chronic, you may experience symptoms such as frequent headaches, changes in libido, indigestion, depression, reduced energy and trouble sleeping.
Although it’s not always possible to control stressors, there are steps you can take to keep yourself cool in the midst of difficult situations. These tips can help you effectively relieve stress on a daily basis.
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 stresses you out doesn’t have to throw your friends off.
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 to beat faster, you start to sweat and feel tense. It is a chemical process that prepares your body for a physical response to an attack.
Even if you’re not in physical danger, your body still reacts the same way to things that overwhelm you. You are more prone to stressful situations when you don’t get enough sleep, don’t eat well, and don’t have a solid support system.
How to get rid of stress
Remember that your way of dealing with stress may be different than others, and that’s okay. After all, stress reduction is an individual approach. Many of the tips are quite general; this allows you to find a middle ground and decide what works for you. Start your journey to de-stress with these tips. The best part is that they are free and you can do them anywhere.
1. Exercise to improve mood
Exercise can act as an intervention for anxiety and depression. A study of university students found that two days of aerobic exercise significantly reduced perceived stress and improved depressive symptoms. Long periods of inactivity are associated with higher levels of mood disorders and higher stress. Exercise can benefit 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 home machines; it is achievable at home and easier than you think. If you feel the symptoms of stress creeping up, try going for a walk. A 20-minute walk outside will lower your stress hormone levels.
2. Make self-care a part of your routine
What is self care? Think of it as replenishing 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. Incorporating 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 take care of themselves regularly report lower levels of stress and a high quality of life.
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 doesn’t mean ignoring bad things; it means 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 need to skimp on until you’re 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 state of balance.in stressful situations, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system and helps you relax.
A meta-analysis of more than 200 studies concluded that mindfulness-based therapy reduces depression, anxiety, and stress. Daily meditation is another powerful tool for boosting focus and mood, even in short bursts.
Yoga is one of the most popular tactics to relieve stress. Studies have found that yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing overall well-being.
4. Drink less caffeine
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, with the average American drinker having 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 both the development and treatment of mood and anxiety. This suggests that caffeine may worsen symptoms in people at increased risk for anxiety disorders.
Everyone has a, so you can be healthy and drink coffee. Finding the perfect balance is as easy as noting how you feel after each cup. If you start to feel anxious or nervous, you can with water or tea in the future.
5. Don’t sacrifice sleep
If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, your sleep may suffer. 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. But the more you sleep, the more your perceived stress level drops.
So how do you get quality sleep when you’re tired? It all depends on getting your body ready for sleep. Adrenaline and cortisol in your body keep you from transitioning from a groggy state to sleep. To prevent this, you can try to incorporate relaxing activities into your nighttime routine. Not only will your body begin to expect to go to bed after your routine, but it will also help you relax enough to fall asleep. The night 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 transitions in life such as 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 “please call before stopping by.” Studies have found that the better you are at setting boundaries in your personal and work life, the more stress you have to deal with.
Another source of stress reduction is pets. Hugging your pet signals your body to release oxytocin, one of the feel-good hormones. People with pets tend to have lower levels of loneliness and anxiety. So if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, take a moment and go hug your pet. Science backs up the benefits.
7. Set realistic goals
Reaching for the stars is great, but so is the setting— whatever they are. It’s important to realize 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 set for ourselves. If you put them out of your reach – even if it’s optimistic – it can backfire and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Unrealistic goals can be a source of stress that leaves you feeling down when you don’t reach them.
Too long; didn’t he read?
Feeling stressed is a natural reaction of our body. It is completely normal to have waves where you are more or less overwhelmed. Since we cannot change everything and get rid of stress completely, it is essential 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 provider with any questions regarding health conditions or health goals.