Guest post by Morgan from morganjt.com
When you are stressed, what’s your stress “tell?”
- Rising heart rates?
- Sweaty palms?
- All of the above?
When we are stressed our bodies are flooded with hormones like cortisol. That produce a “fight or flight” response.
Our ancestors may have been stressed when they faced a saber tooth or a mammoth. But today stress comes from very different places and our bodies can’t tell what we’re stressed about. Whether it is because of the traffic jam on our way to work, the last night argument with our spouse. Or a life or death experience when we don’t get our name spelled right at the coffee shop.
Instead of helping us deal with the stressful situation properly, our body triggers a “fight or flight” response. Such response may be a headache, anxiety, depression, etc.
What are the sources of stress?
It’s easy to blame outside sources for our stress. But everyday stress is much more complicated than that. We tend to overlook everyday behaviors that are contributing to the stress in our lives.
We may not have a choice to escape stress (it comes with life). But there are ways we can relieve its effects on the body and mind. Let’s explore these 9 easy tips to relieve stress from everyday life together.
9 Easy tips to relieve stress from everyday life
1- Go for a walk
Walking helps clear the head and boosts the production of endorphins, which help reduce stress hormones. We recommend somewhere with plenty of trees and green. It will bring your body to a state of meditation.
2- Get plenty of sleep (but don’t oversleep)
Sleeping the day away won’t help relieve stress. If anything, it will make it worse. Inconsistent sleeping cycles put the body into more stress, both physically and mentally. Make sure you consistently get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep each day.
3- Take deep breaths
Take a few deep breaths or better yet, try a short breathing exercise. That extra boost of oxygen will help reduce the tension in your muscles and mind and relieve stress.
Meditation can also help relax the mind. Scientists are discovering that meditation increases the amount of grey matter in the brain. It helps rewrite the body to better cope with stress.
Stop! Drop the Doritos!
We’re not talking about stress eating, we are talking about snacking on good food. Food that is healthy and fills you up. Feeling like you run out of energy and nourishment induces stress.
Try half an avocado, almonds and peanuts, a hardboiled egg, an orange or a banana. Warning: Don’t snack in front of your computer. Take your snack and sit away from your computer, preferably somewhere peaceful and green.
5- Have a “proper” down time
Make sure to take breaks during the day. Get away from the screens (TV, computers, tablets, and all other mobile devices.) Unplug from all kinds of screens at least an hour before going to bed.
6- Listen to music
Classical music has been proven to have a soothing effect on us. It helps reduce the heart rate, lower the blood pressure and decrease the levels of stress hormones. But, any of your favorite music will help flood your brain with dopamine as well.
7- Chew gum
There’s a study stating that chewing gum helps relieve anxiety and reduces stress during episodes of multitasking.
8- Essential oils
Smelling some calming essential oils also helps. To start you off, here’s a list of essential oils that can induce relaxation: basil, anise, chamomile, lavender, geranium, mandarin, ylang ylang, nerol and, jasmine.
It is proven that repetitive motions are soothing and relaxing to the mind and body. Whether it is knitting, making jewelry, cross-stitching or making collages. The repetition of a sound or a movement helps put aside stressful thoughts and focus on the tasks at hand.
It is helpful to keep a stress journal in which to keep watch of this 4 points:
- What happened?
- How does it make you feel physically and emotionally?
- What was your response or reaction?
- How can you improve the way you manage stress?
Do you stress out a lot? What are the sources? How did you deal with it?
Feel free to share in the comment section below.