Stress has mental and physical manifestations, so the best way to deal with it is to use various coping techniques. You can turn to diet, behavioral changes, exercise, and many other ways to manage stress effectively and achieve health and well-being.
Research shows that dynamic approaches are quite effective in decreasing stress levels. They automatically provide people who experience anxiety and other health woes due to stress a sense of hope that they can gain control over stress.
Therapists at Psychologium also point out that different stress-coping methods provide instant gratification and inspiration. Successfully pulling off one strategy typically motivates a person to seek more ways to reinforce the victory from one strategy.
If you are all for improving your physical and psychological health by keeping stress at bay, here are eight simple ways that you can accomplish this:
1. Exercise more.
One of the keys to effectively brushing stressors aside is to stay busy with productive activity. Keep your sneakers handy whenever you have a highly demanding week ahead. Run, brisk walk, or even dance to your favorite music for about 10 minutes to boost your mood and keep stress under control.
Alternatively, wrap up your day with a full workout. If working out at the gym is not your thing, invest in a few pieces of home gym equipment so you can exercise in the comfort of your home instead. This way, you can always squeeze in an endorphin-releasing workout session after a stressful day.
2. Eat stress-relieving foods.
Emotional eating is one of the harmful manifestations of stress. You may be tempted to reach for sugar-laden treats when you’re feeling down or consuming too much in a short time. This inclination only increases stress levels because you cannot help but beat yourself up after.
Rather than reaching for cake, ice cream, or a big tray of cookies, allow yourself to indulge in foods that relieve stress. Some examples are:
- Peanut butter
- Dark chocolate
All of these foods possess chemical substances that are not only good for your health but can also help you relax and boost your brainpower.
3. Head to the forest.
In Japan, Forest Therapy is recommended for people suffering from anxiety and depression. Two conditions often brought about by stress.
Research reveals that the scent of trees in the forest stimulates cellular activity that boosts the immune system and increases resistance to stress. When stress is getting you down and making you unhealthy, take a trip out of the city and reconnect with nature by heading to the forest for some quiet time.
4. Laugh it out.
Treat yourself to a fun activity. See a comedy show or line up some of your favorite funny videos on YouTube. You can also gather your friends and try something interesting like a puzzle game or an escape room experience.
Indeed, laughter is the best medicine because when you laugh, your body releases more serotonin and endorphins, also known as the happy hormones. High levels of these hormones in your system will automatically control stress hormones, reduce pain, and provide you with a better disposition to deal with issues that are getting you down.
Stress can be brought on by your current state of mind, which means a renewal of the mind can help you overcome stress. One reliable way of changing your mindset is to dedicate daily meditation time.
When you meditate, you silence the voices that bring you concerns and make you feel anxious or afraid. Also, you get to take a break from worrying because meditation helps you release your concerns into the universe you’re envisioning in your head. Plus, you get to focus on your breathing to re-establish your internal rhythm.
6. Avoid caffeine.
Caffeine, often present in drinks such as energy beverages, coffee, dark tea, and chocolates, can boost energy. However, consuming caffeinated foods and beverages can prove to be counterproductive for people dealing with anxiety and stress. They can suffer from jitters, increased nerves, and sleeplessness.
To combat stress, replace all of your caffeinated treats with decaf options.
7. Talk to a trusted friend or relative.
Reaching out for help is never a sign of weakness. Rather, think of it as a clever means of gaining strength against a powerful enemy.
Share what you are going through with someone you can trust and find relief. More often than not, just having someone to listen to you speak is enough to make you feel less burdened and more hopeful. Your friend or loved one may not even need to offer advice; their presence, open hearts, and warm hugs can be comforting enough.
Getting professional help is another option to help you achieve greater peace of mind. See a therapist specializing in treating stress and anxiety through recommendations from people you know. They can help you better understand your situation and provide the right tools to help you cope.
8. Make stretching a habit.
When stressed, your body tends to curl up, and you may not even notice it happening. Your shoulders may hunch over, you keep your head bowed down, and your spine curves. All these can be caused by tension knots that automatically form when your body has a lot of adrenaline and cortisol.
Observe when stress makes your body curl into itself, then take the time to stretch. Lift your arms, straighten your back, and reach for the heavens. Bend your body sideways and reach for your toes. Straighten up again, and you will instantly feel good.
Stretching improves circulation, which allows oxygen to be delivered to your vital organs. This will reinvigorate not only your body but also your mind. You will be able to think more clearly and regain confidence.
Being in a constant state of stress can negatively affect both the mind and body and bring about a variety of illnesses that are not easy to recover from. If you often deal with stress, the above tips can help you improve your physical and psychological health.
Kelvin Garner is the founder of Garner General Trading, a one-stop solution for all fitness needs in the UAE. The Garner team has spent many years sourcing a high-quality and affordable range of home and commercial gym equipment. Garner General Trading is there at each step, from selecting the right equipment for your personal needs and space available to the professional setup in your home.