By CysterWigs Contributor
Almost every one of us experiences stress of a varying degree on a daily basis. Stress can wreak havoc on your health and happiness. According to a study published in PubMed, stress can cause a variety of health issues such as low immunity, decreased brain functioning and cardiovascular problems.
Therefore, it is always better to prevent stress or address it as soon as you feel it. Fortunately, there are several ways to relieve stress from your day to day life. All you need is just 15-20 minutes to relax and reduce a great amount of stress. Here are 10 simple yet effective ways to get rid of stress in a natural way.
1. Get moving
The best way to reduce stress and stay healthy is to get your body moving. A regular exercise not only improves your fitness but also eliminates a considerable amount of stress. Simple physical activity may reduce the level of stress hormone cortisol in the body, thereby reducing stress.
Exercise also helps in releasing happy hormones in the body such as endorphins. Endorphins act as a natural painkiller and improves your mood. Having better fitness increases your confidence and improves your mental wellbeing.
Try to do physical activity for at least 20-30 minutes every day. Do activities such as walking around the neighborhood or jogging if possible. If you’re looking for more excitement, go dancing or ride your bike to get your heart pumping while boosting your mood
Meditation helps you to connect with your soul and eliminate the unwanted thoughts and fear in an excellent way. It is great for relaxing too. Studies show that this technique when performed on a regular basis may help you handle stress better. It also removes the negative energies and thoughts that tend to occupy your mind. Thus, it relaxes your mind and body almost instantly and helps you to focus better.
The best part about meditation is you can do it almost anywhere and whenever you want. Simply find a quiet place which can be a small corner in your home or even in your workspace. Sit straight on a chair and slowly close your eyes. You may choose a short mantra to recite. This will help in synchronizing your mind and body. You can meditate for 15-20 minutes or longer every day to reduce stress and anxiety. Or give it a try before bed to sleep even better. If you don’t think you can do it on your own, download a meditation app. You can find a number of guided meditations for a variety of topics.
3. Scan your body for stress
Stress can affect different parts of your body and make you feel tired. Scanning your body to release that stress can immediately cause a calming effect and make you feel better. To do this, simply lie on your back and loosen your body. You may also do this in a straight sitting position.
Mentally scan your body starting from toes and move towards your head. You will start noticing stress at several points. Release the stress by relaxing your muscles and you will feel rejuvenated. This a short, simple yet effective way to relax, especially when you are busy at work. Again, you can find body scan guided meditations online or through a meditation app if you need help with this.
4. Try yoga
Yoga is yet another activity that can help reduce stress. The effective asanas or poses in yoga can help stretch your muscles and reduce tightness. Yoga can also help reduce the level of stress hormones in the body, thereby enhancing your mood.
According to one study, yoga may greatly help in controlling the stress disorders such as anxiety as well as depression. So try a class and reap the benefits of yoga to attain a great mind and stronger body.
5. Simply laugh
It can be difficult to laugh when you are stressed out, but doing this will actually lower your stress levels and instantly enhance your mood. Laughter relieves your body’s response to stress in a natural way. Laughing also helps relax your muscles, which in turn makes you feel lighter and better. So whenever you want to relax and revive, simply laugh. Catch up with friends who make you feel better or simply watch a funny television show.
6. Unplug from work
Need to relax? Take a break from work, especially if you are working more than 40 hours a week. It may seem essential to check your email, take another phone call or complete one more task. Sure, these can be important. But remember, your health is even more important.
Working constantly can stress out your body as well as your mind and ruin your health. So push away from your desk often. It will boost your energy levels and increase your productivity. If you need a marker for when you should unplug, make it a goal to stop working at a certain time every day. This means no work-related calls, emails, texts or actual work itself after that designated time.
7. Deep breathing
Another way to relax and eliminate stress is deep breathing. It helps in activating the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby relaxing your body. When you breathe deeply, you focus on how the air enters your body and leaves. Deep breathing makes your lungs expand leading to a rise in your belly which reduces the heart rate. Therefore, you instantly start feely relaxed and stress-free.
All you have to do is sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Start inhaling slowly and feel the air entering your body. Place your hands in your abdomen and feel the movement. Now exhale slowly. Repeat this process a few times to eliminate stress and anxiety.
8. Reach out to friends
According to another study, social support can lower the chances of mental as well as physical disorders caused by stress. Spending time with friends may make your body release the hormone oxytocin, which in turn reduces stress. So have some friends around, especially when you feel stressed out. It will relax you and help you feel better. Talking about your problems may help you find solutions in a better way and eliminate stress. So be a part of a friends’ network and spend time with them often.
9. Look at what you eat…and drink
Food can greatly affect your mood. There are certain foods that increase the stress-fighting hormone in your body while some foods may aggravate stress levels. For examples sipping more cups of coffee can actually trigger stress instead of reducing it. Even though it is not harmful when you consume in moderation, coffee can make you feel more anxious if you’re drinking a lot on a regular basis. Try cutting back to one or two cups, or make the switch to a relaxing tea blend. A warm cup of chamomile tea can soothe your body and promote relaxation.
You can also add foods such as fatty fishes that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, avocados, nuts, dark chocolate and a large portion of fruits and vegetables to your diet. These foods can help in eliminating stress.
10. Sleep well
Sleep and stress are interrelated and a balance between these two things is extremely important to be healthy. It is found that people who are stressed out find it difficult to sleep, and a lack of sleep could turn into a major cause of stress. If you find it hard to get enough sleep, you are putting your body at more risk for stress and anxiety. It is recommended to sleep for at least 6-8 hours every day.
To fall asleep faster consider going to bed at the same time every night. Create a soothing environment in your bedroom by minimizing lighting and listen to a calming music. You might even want to try a guided meditation for sleep to help you relax and doze off. Do not use gadgets or watch television just before you go to bed. These tricks will help you to fall asleep faster and reduce the chances of insomnia and stress.