We all get stressed from time to time, and a little bit of stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when you’re stressed day in and day out, all that extra cortisol can take a negative toll on your body. Numerous studies have pointed to the adverse impact of stress on health, from disrupting your sleep to raising your blood pressure.
Reducing stress is important for overall good health and for improving preexisting health conditions. Here are some useful tips you can try for combating stress to start feeling cool, calm, and collected once again.
Get some fresh air: Stress can easily be reduced by stepping outdoors and getting some fresh air. Plus, vitamin D, which is obtained from sunlight, can also aid in stress reduction as it elevates serotonin – the ‘feel good’ hormone.
Stick to rituals: Having a routine can help you reduce stress. For example, taking a bath before bed or walking the dog after dinner. When we create a routine, we get comfy, and over time this can help us deal with stress much more effectively. Even when you are feeling powerless and bogged down, sticking to your routine can help you get back in control.
Get out of your head: Overanalyzing can trigger a mountain of negative thoughts, which can only contribute to further stress. In order to stop that fight in your head, distract yourself with an activity that you enjoy and focus on the task at hand instead of what’s in your head.
Get spiritual: Practicing religion or getting spiritual can help you out in times of stress. Studies have shown that strong beliefs and spirituality boost happiness during those difficult periods in your life. Whether you’re religious or not, pursue something you really believe in and allow your stress to come down.
Visualize calm: Remember as a kid you were told to use your imagination? Now that you’re older, you probably don’t resort to this ability much, but visualizing happiness and serenity can reduce stress and create a sense of calm. Go to a quite space, close your eyes, and start picturing a happier place or happier times. If you need help, there are books and audios you can utilize to get you to that place.
Take a bath: Water is known to have a soothing effect on our mind as it connects us to the times when we were in the womb. Soaking regularly in a bath tub can be your end-of-the-day stressbuster. For added stress relief, add in scents like lavender.
Be grateful: It’s easy to focus on the bad and forget about the good, but taking the time to express your gratitude can help you reduce stress. Whether this is calling up a friend to say ‘thank you’, or writing a list of your blessings, it is an easy solution to turn your negative thinking around and to see what good you have in your life.
Exercise: Exercise triggers the release of endorphins – endorphins make you happy. It’s that simple. When we work out, all those feel-good chemicals are released, making us calm, relaxed, and destressed.
These are just some helpful tips to reduce stress. It’s also important to avoid binge eating, smoking, and drinking alcohol as these harmful habits will only worsen the negative impact stress already has on you.
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