In today’s era, Stress is the new norm. Everyone we talk to, be it our friends or family members, colleagues or even ourselves, are always STRESSED.
What is Stress and what causes Stress?
Stress is our body’s way of reacting to change or demands that our body cannot cope with. When we are stressed, our body feels threatened and our nervous system responds by releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which puts the body in a “fight-or-flight” panic mode. When we are stressed, our hearts beat faster, our muscles tighten, our blood pressure goes up and we breathe faster. Stress also makes us sharper and respond quicker.
Stress over a short period of time is beneficial when we are facing dangerous situations, e.g.when we are facing a robber or when we play competitive sports. In such instances, we will be a lot more alert and hence we will respond a lot faster than usual.
Stress, however, over a long period of time is a health hazard. It can cause high blood pressure, stroke, gastro-intestinal problems, depression and many more illnesses.
So it is important for us to learn how to manage our stress levels. Here EASY ways to manage STRESS.
Yes, believe it or not, our breath is extremely powerful. There is a direct correlation between our breath, our mood and our well-being. Everytime I am stressed or am facing a difficult situation, I close my eyes, breathe in to the count of four, hold my breath to the count of four and breath out to the count of four. I do this as many times as I can until I feel more relaxed. By the time I open my eyes, I am in a different mental and emotional state. Try it!
2. Distract Yourself.
This may come as a surprise to you, but distraction doesn't just work for kids, it works for us too! When I am overwhelmed and stressed at work, I walk away and take a short break. Other times, I distract myself by visualizing a happy scenario. I close my eyes and imagine I am sitting by the beach and listening to the sound of the waves, touching the cold water and watching the sunset. A few minutes of this and I feel happier! Immerse yourself in a happy thought and you will be in a happy state.
Exercise isn’t just good for your body, it is also good for your brain too. Exercising increases the body’s production of endorphins, which is also known as the happy hormone. Our body produces endorphins when we are in love as well! So exercising really helps you get into a happy state. If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, choose a workout you love - like dancing or cycling. The important thing is to get your body moving.
4. Self Care.
When we create a self-care routine, it allows us to relax ourselves. At the same time, we pamper our body. Double win! Things like a massage, meditation, eating healthy, a good night's sleep is the best way of caring for our body and our minds. These rituals (some if not all) are mandatory for your well being on a daily basis.
5. Walking in Nature.
Walking in nature is possibly one of the best ways to reduce stress. Not only is it good for our physical well being, but it is also good for our spiritual well-being. The modern way of living where we are constantly indoors, sitting and playing with our gadgets causes us more stress than we realize. When we break free from that and take a walk in the park, we sooth our eyes, our spirit, our mind and our emotions.
What is your favorite way to manage stress and why?
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