Simple Ways to Relieve Stress (Part II)

 

Drink tea

A big dose of caffeine creates a short-term spike in blood pressure. It might also cause your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to go into overdrive.

Instead of energy drinks or coffee, try green tea. It has less than half the caffeine of coffee and has healthy antioxidants and theanine, an amino acid that has a soothing effect on the nervous system.

Be mindful

Most of the tips suggested offer quick relief. But, there are numerous lifestyle changes that could be more efficient in the long run. The notion of “mindfulness” is a huge part of somatic and meditative approaches to mental health and has become popular.

From tai chi to yoga to meditation and Pilates, these systems of mindfulness link physical and mental exercises that stop stress from becoming an issue.

Exercise (even for a minute)

Exercise doesn’t really mean training for a marathon or powerlifting. A short walk around the block or just standing up to stretch at work can give fast relief in a stressful situation.

Getting your blood going releases endorphins and can enhance your mood ASAP.

Even though it’s easier said than done, getting enough sleep can do a lot in terms of lowering your stress.

Sleep better

Everyone understands stress can make you lose sleep. Sadly, lack of sleep is also a chief cause of stress. This vicious cycle makes the brain and body get out of whack and only worsens over time.

Be sure to get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn the TV off sooner, lower the lights, and provide yourself time to relax before going to bed. It might be the most effective stress buster.

Breathe easy

The advice, “take a deep breath” might seem like a cliché, but it’s true when it comes to stress.

Breathe in and out deeply and slowly, concentrating on your lungs as they inflate fully in your chest.

While shallow breathing creates stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, aids in centering your body and clearing your mind.

General

Simple Ways to Relieve Stress (Part I)

 

It may surprise you to find out that biological stress is a really recent discovery. It wasn’t until the late 50s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first detected and documented stress.

Symptoms of stress were around long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped plenty of folks deal with stress. Here’s a list of ways to relieve stress.

Listen to music

If you’re overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to soothing music. Playing relaxing music has a good effect on the body and brain, can reduce blood pressure, and lower cortisol, a hormone connected to stress.

Some suggestions include cello master Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach, but if classical isn’t your thing, try listening to nature or ocean sounds. It may sound cheesy, but they have the same calming effects as music.

Talk yourself through it

Sometimes calling a friend isn’t an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can work too.

Don’t think about looking crazy. Just tell yourself why you’re stressed out, what you have to do to finish the task at hand, and most importantly, that all will be alright

Tuna sandwiches are brain food-yum.

Eat right

Stress levels and a good diet are closely related. When we’re stressed, we frequently don’t eat well and resort to eating fatty, sugary snack foods as a pick-me-up.

Try not to munch on sugary snacks and plan ahead. Fruits and veggies are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been known to diminish the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich is really good brain food.

Laughter lets go of endorphins that enhance mood and lessens levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing makes your nervous system think you’re happy. Laughter really is the best medicine.

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