Stress is inevitable. But don’t let it get the best of you. There are many ways to combat stress.
How to relieve stress
1 Listen to music
Take a break and listen to relaxing music. Classics will do, but you may listen to nature sounds instead if these are not your thing. Listening to music with calming effect reduces the levels of cortisol, aka the stress hormone. Focus on the melodies and instruments.
2 Call a friend
Talk to a friend about the problem. At times, all you need is another person’s, usually a loved one’s, reassuring voice regardless of how short the call maybe. Tackling the problem can also put everything in a clearer perspective. Of course, it is much better if you can converse face to face.
3 Eat healthy snacks
Grab some fruits and veggies. Eat some fish, particularly those that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acid, which is considered a stress-relieving nutrient. Better yet, think ahead and prepare yourself a tuna sandwich.
4 Laugh it off
Laughter is still the best medicine. While laughing, physiological changes occur. For instance, it increases our immune system response, leading to higher levels of immune cells in our body. The higher the response, the lower the stress level. Laughing also boosts the release of endorphins and lowers cortisol. So, yes, it is okay to look at those funny cat pictures. Or, re-read the funny email you received some two months ago. Go to YouTube and watch some amusing videos to lighten the load.
5 Drink some tea
Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation. Tea also contains healthy antioxidants that combat free radicals. Free radicals damage the cells, and they are released when you are stressed. Grab a cup of green tea whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.
6 Do one-minute exercises
Simple stretches and short walks offer immediate relief. If not these exercises, do anything that will get your blood flowing more efficiently for the brain to release endorphins or happy hormones. This can relieve stress almost instantaneously.
7 Go outside
Mother Nature is considered one of the best anti-depressants, and it’s free. The natural colors and fresh air help the brain to disengage from all the stressors. Also, exposure to natural light leads to the release of serotonin, a mood-lifting chemical. Eat lunch al fresco, for example.
8 Breathe slowly, deeply
Take a deep breath. A cliché, but it still works. Buddhist monks are very keen on this because deep breathing centers the body and clears the mind. It also oxygenates the blood, slows the heart rate, and lowers blood pressure, the reverse of which are the effects of stress.
9 Be mindful
You can meditate as well to discard the distracting thoughts. Meditation is a mental exercise that combats the onset of stress in the first place. It alters the neural pathways in the brain, making it more stress-resilient.
10 Sleep more peacefully
Based on different studies, the sweet spot of sleep is 7 hours. Get into bed as early as possible so you can sleep at least 7 hours daily. Turn your TV off earlier and put your phone in silent mode.
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While it is inevitable, stress is reasonably manageable. So, do everything in your power to reduce your stress. After all, a stress-free you is a happier you.