Stress is a part of our lives, from minor difficulties like workload to major crises, such as financial troubles. No matter the reason, stress hormones flood your body. As a result, your breathing accelerates, your heart palpitates, and your muscles tense. Although you can’t entirely avoid stressful situations in your lives, you can take better care of yourself and practice habits that can help you fight this stress.
In this article, we have listed eight relaxation tips to help combat stress.
- Prioritize self-care
When it comes to our busy lifestyles, we often forget to care for ourselves, which leads to more stress and poor physical and mental wellbeing. It is particularly true for individuals who have caregiving responsibilities.
While it is difficult to prioritize yourself when you have other things on your to-do list, taking care of yourself is essential. It helps improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. Taking adequate sleep, some alone time, enjoying your favorite movie, or talking your worries out with a person you trust are a few things you can do.
However, if the stress persists and you end up in a situation where you can no longer help yourself, it is crucial to get professional help. Whether you are dealing with substance abuse or something else, you can always find programs at institutes like Serenity At Summit that you can trust to help you get better.
- Eat a Balanced Diet
Stress impacts our bodies in many ways, one being our eating habits. Continuous stress often leads you to stop eating or start bingeing, which can be bad for your body. So practice eating a balanced diet. Refined carbs, such as potato chips, cookies, and processed beverages, can increase your blood sugar levels, which, in turn, causes more anxiety and stress.
Creating a healthy diet plan and following it allows you to maintain stress levels. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, fish, different seeds, and nuts are some foods that support energy balance and mood regulation. Moreover, ensure consuming enough water every day to stay hydrated.
- Take Deep Breaths
Deep breathing is one of the simple yet effective relaxation techniques to alleviate your stress levels. It is easy and can be practiced anywhere. All you need is a couple of minutes and a quiet place. Whether in a stressful job interview or sitting in an exam hall, breathing exercises could help you calm down. The good thing is no one will even notice you are doing them.
- Exercise Regularly
Any form of exercise can serve as a stress reliever. You need to get moving to manage stress. It elevates your mood and distracts you from every day worries. A few examples of keeping your body moving are taking a walk, joining a gym, riding a bicycle, or exercising outside.
- Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to increase contentment, mitigate the perception of stress, and reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone. As a result, it allows you to feel more relaxed, energized, and present at the very moment.
Emerging studies show that certain fragrances can modify brain wave activity, decreasing the release of stress hormones in your body. So, incorporating some aromatherapy (body products, scented candles, or diffusers) into your day can help relieve stress.
- Mindfulness Meditation
It is a type of meditation that helps you concentrate on the present. You are intensely aware of what you feel and sense at the moment, without judgment or interpretation. Mindfulness includes guided imagery, various breathing methods, and practices to calm your mind and body. Mindfulness has been linked to treating people with problems like pain, depression, addiction, and smoking.
- Hug it out
Does hugging your loved one relieve stress? Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of the power of a single hug. But, according to studies, a hug reduces the feelings of sadness and loneliness, makes a person feel happy, and may also lower the harmful effects of stress. It is all because of the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine.
So, no matter the problem, don’t hesitate to ask your loved one for a good hug. You need it! And a good hug goes a long way!
- Always express gratitude
Gratitude helps you realize the things you must be grateful for. When you focus on the positives of your life, you start appreciating every little thing. It reminds you of the resources you have to deal with difficult situations, which can be motivating.
Research suggests people who practice gratitude have better physical and psychological health, lesser stress, and overall good quality of life.
No matter how much we try to escape stressful situations, they often appear out of nowhere. Although you can’t always restrain our circumstances which lead to stress, you can control your response to them. Short-term relaxation methods such as deep breathing, walking, mindfulness, and aromatherapy can help combat stress effectively. However, long-term strategies, such as self-care, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and practicing gratitude, will not only relieve stress but are great for lasting health.