Whether it is with school, work or relationships, we all have sources of worry in our lives. Stress causes our bodies to go into the fight or flight response which, in small doses, can actually be beneficial. More blood goes to our brains and other vital organs to give us a small boost to get us through whatever challenges we may be facing. This used to be helpful in more prehistoric times. Now, we take on extra tasks on a regular basis and the constant stress begins to beat us down. Luckily, there are ways to remedy this extra stress.
1. Limit your caffeine intake to keep your stress levels down. This may sound like an impossible task for those of us that cannot get out of bed without the help of an espresso, but once your body becomes use to the newly reduced state of coffee in its system, you’ll be amazed by how you can still naturally bounce about. Having a nutritious diet will enable your body to take on these extra stressors without as much reaction. Caffeine increases ones irritability and can make a person even more anxious than they were to begin with. Plus, let’s not forget that this drug has the ability to interrupt our normal, healthy sleep patterns. If you still want some pep in the morning, consider switching to green tea from Teavana.
2. Explore common relaxation techniques. Breathing deeply and meditating will lower your blood pressure and help you focus on what you need to do. Some people suggest petting animals to help relieve stress while others may say exercise. Yoga is slow pace, but physical rigor will allow you to slow your heart rate while allowing you to sweat out that built-up worry.
3. Pick up an instrument. Creative outlets for your negative emotions can be infinitely helpful to improving your outlook. While creating artwork and journaling are extremely beneficial, the activity that tops them all may be playing an instrument. Listening to music has been proven to have a calming, uplifting effect on moods. As previously mentioned, our brain interprets a stressful
situation and tells our body to go into “fight or flight” mode, which can sometimes be a hard state to turn off; creating music has the ability to jumble the message from our minds to our limbs so our bodies can properly relax. Because creating a melody is supposed to be a source of fun rather than additional stress, find an instrument that is affordable, simple and easy to tinker around with without formal training, like the music keyboards found at West Music.
4. Make time for a good laugh. A heartfelt laugh that makes you double over with glee does wonders. It releases feel-good chemicals and endorphins, and serves as a welcomed distraction from our burdens. Plus, we can sometimes take ourselves a bit too seriously, so a dose of humor can remind us to keep a balanced perspective. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, take the time to watch a hilarious YouTube video or give a friend a ring for some playfulbonding.
Stress can be very hard to deal with. It rears its head on a regular basis, sometimes every single day. With too much stress, important things such as work and family life can become unmanageable. It’s important to know how you can reduce your stress. Watching your nutrition, meditating, and playing musical instruments are a couple ways you can cope. By relieving your stress, you’re managing your life.
What do you do to help with stress? Let us know in the comments below!