Most of us underestimate the damage of stress. It creeps in our mind and slowly begins to take control over our thoughts and actions. And, a lot of times we don’t realize its effect on our health.
It could result in regular headaches, chest pain, and muscle ache. It’s also the main culprit behind sleep issues, mood swings, a decrease in sex drive, overeating or not eating enough. It’s time to take control over stress.
Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
1. Talk To Your Friends And Family
We know you are a strong person. But everyone needs social support to make them feel better. One of the easiest way to get your mind distracted and comforted is just talking it out with someone. One study revealed women, in particular, felt more relaxed and released oxytocin (an anti-stress hormone) after confiding in their friends.1 Also, the more socially reclusive you are, the higher your stress levels will be throughout your life. So, grab the phone and call your people.
2. Listen To Your Favorite Music
Music is an amazing way to put you in a better mood. Listen to the piano, classical music, or sounds of the ocean. This should help you relax, reduce your blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for stress). You don’t even have to listen to calming music. One study found out you feel much more relaxed listening to music you like and prefer.2
3. Exercise Regularly
Several studies have proven exercise is an efficient way to relieve stress and anxiety. Engaging your body keeps your mind distracted from stress. Regular exercise reduces cortisol levels, improves your sleep, and increases your energy levels. When your body is happy, you feel more confident about yourself, and this works wonders to control stress. Also, people who exercise regularly have lower levels of stress throughout their life compare to those who don’t exercise. Aim to walk or jog for at least 30 minutes daily.
4. Practice Yoga And Mindful Meditation
If you talk to people who practice yoga, they would tell you how wonderful they feel after a session. One study suggests yoga has the same relaxing effects on your mind as antidepressant medications.3 Unlike any other form of exercise, yoga aims to bring harmony between the mind and body. Meditation plays a huge part in yoga. Mindful meditation, in particular, is great to anchor a wandering mind. One study suggests this type of meditation improves self-esteem, which, in turn, reduces stress.
5. Play With Your Pets
Did you know dog owners have been found to have lower levels of stress compared to everybody else? That’s because spending time with pets always puts you in a better mood. It doesn’t matter how your day went, stroking your dog or cat is the perfect way to unwind.
6. Light Up A Few Candles
7. Get Cozy With Your Partner
Cuddling works wonders for your stress. Any form of warm physical contact like kissing, hugging, and sex can dip stress and anxiety levels. Studies have shown it reduces blood pressure, lowers cortisol levels, and releases oxytocin.
8. Turn To Stress-Busting Supplements
Several studies suggest certain supplements can significantly reduce stress levels. Ashwagandha, turmeric, valerian root, green tea, rhodiola have been found to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Also, omega 3 fatty acid supplements were found to decrease cortisol levels by 20%.
9. Laugh It Off
Talk to your friends, watch your favorite sitcom, read a comic book, do anything that makes you burst laughing. Not only does it instantly reduce your stress, it relaxes your muscles, improves circulation, and boosts your immune system.
When facing a stressful situation, remember, only you could take control over it. Learn to prioritize things and say “no” when you need. Here’s to a more cheerful stress-free life!
|↑1||Taylor, Shelley E., Laura Cousino Klein, Brian P. Lewis, Tara L. Gruenewald, Regan
|↑2||Jiang, Jun, Daphne Rickson, and Cunmei Jiang. “The mechanism of music for reducing psychological stress: Music preference as a mediator.” The Arts in Psychotherapy 48 (2016): 62-68.|
|↑3||Pascoe, Michaela C., and Isabelle E. Bauer. “A systematic review of randomised
|↑4||Chen, Miao‐Chuan, Shu‐Hui Fang, and Li Fang. “The effects of aromatherapy in relieving symptoms related to job stress among nurses.” International journal of nursing practice 21, no. 1 (2015): 87-93.|