Stress is a very common occurrence. So common, in fact, that a good number of people tend to ignore the symptoms. Sometimes for way too long.
If left unchecked, stress can cause extreme health problems both mentally and physically. No one is exempt from dealing with stress, it’s just a fact of life. It’s how you cope and manage it that’s the key.
6 Ways to Help Cope and Reduce Stress
There are ways to help a person deal with the stress before it gets out of control. Listed here are 6 common ways to help cope with stress so you can continue to live a healthy and happy life.
1. Practice Breathing Techniques
It may seem like just an old wives tale your grandmother used to swear by, but deep breathing techniques are actually medically proven to be beneficial.
But then, you would have to be living under a rock to not have heard of the whole “just take a deep breath and calm down” story. It’s quite common and extremely beneficial.
Basically what’s happens is slow, deep breathing distracts the mind from what’s causing all your stress because it is so focused on the intake of fresh, clean air and then the release of it. Deep breathing can actually help you build a tolerance to the impact stress has on your life – which is a good thing for your overall health.
Training in yoga, breathing exercises and mediation can all help you master the art of breathing through your stress.
2. Write for a Release
When you’re stressed your mind just runs rampant with thoughts that create even more problems. Often these thoughts get so distorted your problems seem to become so much bigger than they actually are. Therein creating even more stress.
Humans weren’t made to be left alone to their own imaginations for too long.
Instead of just letting those thoughts and feelings run wild and compound upon themselves, let it out. Sit down and write what you’re thinking and feeling. Scribble away at your notepad or save it all to your hard drive.
You don’t have to be a poet about it, no one has to see it but you. The point is to just get what’s troubling you out of your head so you can focus better and reassess the situation that has you so bothered.
3. Go for a Walk
Walking is actually the number one way to relieve and manage stress.
If you’re feeling tension build up in your body or brain and things just seem to be getting a little overwhelming. Drop everything and go for a short walk. What happens is that your brain gets distracted by the plethora of sights, sounds and smells available to it the brain is forced to focus on something else.
Stress can cause an extra build up of energy and walking can help release it. Not only will you be relieving stress, you’ll be walking towards a healthier lifestyle.
Besides, the extra exercise will help you sleep at night. 😉
4. Participate in an Activity that Makes You Laugh
It may sound counterproductive since when you’re stressed it usually means you have a lot of things to get done, but taking time to laugh actually helps.
When you laugh your body releases hormones called endorphins which counteract the harmful chemicals the body produces when you’re stressed. Laughing basically provides your body with a shock treatment that allows your body to bring in fresh oxygen, stimulate your muscles and ease tension.
Besides, it’s always good to take a break and laugh every so often.
So find a funny movie to watch, listen to a hilarious podcast, read a funny story, or whatever makes you laugh a little.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Yes, there are a good number of people who just can’t sleep when they are under stress, but you should really try to get more.
In today’s technologically advanced age people are glued to their glowing screens all day long. It actually causes us to lose sleep by messing with our circadian rhythms – which is totally bad.
Here’s the deal…
Our lives are kept in balance by our circadian rhythms, which is basically like a set of strict patterns our body operates by so we can eat, sleep, play and function without feeling completely drained. By exposing ourselves to long periods of exposure to computer, tablet and TV screens we are disrupting our personal circadian rhythms to the point that our body doesn’t want to settle down for the night.
Our brains think that it should still be awake. Thereby not allowing us to relax enough to get the proper amount of sleep that is required for our brain and body to function normally. It adds stress to our bodies and minds causing everything else that’s happening our lives to affect us differently.
So instead of being glued to that computer monitor for 8-10 hours straight, take regular and frequent breaks. That doesn’t mean just looking away from the screen, it means completely removing yourself from the area and go perform some other task.
Like going for a walk.
6. Take in a Cup of Tea
It’s not the tea itself that’s stress-relieving – although some tea enthusiasts may argue the point. It’s the whole ceremony of it.
Making and drinking tea in most cultures is a deeply personal and ceremonial task. Tea is rich in thousands of years of history, ceremony and meditation.
If you’re quick to make that cup of tea and chug it down without further thought you’re not really understanding tea at all. You may as well be drinking a glass of water.
Take the time to make it properly. Focus on the tradition of tea. Sip it, don’t chug it back like a glass of ice-cold water on a hot day. Clear your mind and reflect.
Taking tea is a time for peace and mediation. It is something to be savored. Following the ceremony of it can help focus your mind and allow you to think clearer and more decisively.
And…there’s just something comforting about a nice, hot cup of tea cradled between your hands.
Don’t Let It Get Out Of Control
Letting stress get out of control can do serious damage to your body. It’s very unhealthy and can lead to so many problems. Sometimes we can help control it through these (or other) techniques, but when we can’t we shouldn’t be afraid of getting help.
There are many more techniques for combating and relieving stress. What are your ways of coping?