Stress has become a usual part of our lives and the majority of people are under stress and pressure daily. It has taken over all aspects of our life and it’s present all around us, at work, at home, on the street, at the bank – we simply can’t avoid it. We are constantly overwhelmed by extensive to-do lists, work obligations and chores, among other things – which ultimately has a negative effect on our mental and physical health.
To avoid such health problems and issues, we must learn how to deal with stress and not let it affect us, as we can’t avoid it completely. If you’re, like many other people, constantly under stress, read on about some simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety which you can easily implement in your lifestyle.
1. Spend time with friends and family
Some of the simple and proven ways to de-stress suggest spending time with dear people i.e. friends and family. Talking to a friend about things generally or some issues and problems helps us de-stress, as we feel better and calmer when we have someone listen to us and offer us some advice or suggestions, share experiences and talk about feelings. We feel better when we learn that we’re not the only ones experiencing certain troubles. This kind of social support is crucial, especially when going through some stressful times. Moreover, when you’re a part of a social group of friends, you feel like you belong somewhere and that you’re not alone. A recent study found that for women, spending time with their friends and children helps release oxytocin, which is a natural stress reliever. Also, both women and men who don’t have strong friendships tend to suffer from depression and anxiety. So, consider hanging out with your friends as a natural stress reliever and means to fight off depression and anxiety. Treasure your friendships.
2. Meditate and practice mindfulness
Meditation is a proven way to relieve the stress we continually feel. Focusing on your breathing and taking deep breaths helps you reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. For example, yoga relaxes both the body and mind. If you’re new to the whole meditation area, you can start by learning about some beginner techniques, which you can easily upgrade in time. The popularity of meditation, especially in the form of yoga as well as practicing mindfulness is owed to recent studies, which found that these practices have superb health benefits, including better brain function, treating some forms of depression and helping relieve stress and anxiety. When we have peace of mind, we’re able to express ourselves creatively and to be more productive. To implement meditation in your lifestyle, you need to make it a habit. You can start by finding a quiet place and practicing deep breathing. Try focusing on your body energy for about ten minutes a day while practicing deep breathing.
3. Do some physical exercises
Doing regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and it works for so many people. Any form of physical activity works, even taking short walks. If you don’t have much time to exercise regularly three times a week, you can schedule short walks every day. You’ll put your body and mind in a state of meditation if you take a walk in the park or next to the water. Walking helps clear your mind and reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol. Furthermore, it also helps release endorphins i.e. feel-good hormones. Even though it might seem contradictory, putting physical stress on your body relieves mental stress. What’s important is that you find an activity which you enjoy doing. Activities such as walking, jogging, and cycling involve repetitive movements of large groups of muscles and this particularly helps in relieving stress. Walking doesn’t require you to have any special gear, expect for comfy shoes, while for jogging you need some training clothes and running shoes. However, if you’re not a fan of these activities and you’re more of an adventurous type, get yourself a full suspension mountain bike and head to the nearest mountain or some rough terrain and cycle away your stress.
4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Our overall mood is tightly connected to the food we eat. When you eat healthy food, plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts and omega-3 fatty acids, your energy is at a high level, you’re able to be more productive and you feel better both physically and mentally. You should avoid caffeine and alcohol as it dehydrates your body. Instead, you should start your day with a healthy breakfast such as bananas, which are great for repairing cell damage caused by stress or a bowl of oats with fresh fruits and honey to boost positive energy. Other foods, such as the lentils are loaded with vitamin B and as such, they help lower tiredness and fatigue. They also go by the reputation of ‘nature’s happy pill.’ Moreover, yogurt is loaded with good bacteria and it helps to kill anxiety and depression.
5. Get enough sleep
Having enough quality sleep is quintessential when it comes to the presence and dealing with stress in our life. When we sleep, both our body and brain cells regenerate and recover from all the damage caused by stress we feel every day. This enables us to wake up fresh and recharged, ready to face any challenges of the upcoming day. When we deprive ourselves of sleep, we feel tense, stressed out, we ‘re more likely to make mistakes and lose our temper. Having enough sleep makes you stronger, more resilient and able to deal with stressful situations efficiently. Make sure that your bedroom provides a quiet, dark and cool place for sleep as these factors influence your quality of sleep. An optimal number of hours you should sleep every night varies from 7 to 9 hours, and even more for some people. Practice good sleep hygiene and you’ll wake up fresh, energized and ready to face the day.
Dealing with stress is something we should all learn at some point in our lives because if we don’t, it can influence our physical and mental health in a rather negative way. So, if you feel that you’re always under pressure and a lot of stress it’s high time you changed some life habits concerning your sleep, diet, physical activity, meditation and social connections. And you’ll surely see positive results in no time!