Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tips to Relieve and Prevent Stress

Stress is inevitable today owing to the fast-paced life and changing lifestyles. When you’re constantly juggling home, work, friends and other commitments, it can get too stressful, causing physical and mental difficulties. What you need to understand is that relaxation plays a crucial role in managing stress when your daily routine is so hectic. Taking some time off to unwind and springing back up with energy is the key to managing and preventing stress.

You might think that relaxation essentially means a few days off from work or a lavish spa retreat that will keep stress at bay. While these are amazing ways to unwind and rejuvenate, there are other simple daily things you can do in order to calm your mind and prevent the ill-effects of stress. Let’s find out what can help in relieving and preventing stress on a day-to-day basis.

Meditation - Meditation involves deep breathing and practicing of mindfulness, which aids in fighting negative thinking and anxiety. When you’re at work, simply take a few minutes to close your eyes and think of positive, self-affirming mantras. This will help you stay calm and focus on your work better.

Pets - Playing with pets is usually one of the best stress relieving techniques. According to studies, spending time with pets releases oxytocin, a chemical that is responsible for creating a positive mood. The companionship found in pets also helps in lowering anxiety and making you happy.

Exercise - There are immense benefits of exercise and one of them is relief from mental stress. Studies have shown that people who sweat it out regularly are less prone to anxiety when compared to those who don’t. This is mainly because exercise releases endorphins that uplift your mood and lower your body’s stress hormones, like cortisol. Exercise also helps you sleep better and promotes your overall wellbeing. Exercise need not always be boring. You can go for workouts like dancing, aerobics, yoga and so on.

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Music - Listening to soothing music has a calming effect on the brain and in turn relieves you from stress. It can even lower your blood pressure and heart rate, while lowering the stress hormones. Tune in to your hobbies as well and get in touch with what you really enjoy doing, say, painting, playing your favourite sport, singing, writing and various such activities.

Saying No - A lot of us find it difficult to say ‘No’ when we’re asked to say or do something. But compelling yourself to do something you don’t want to can actually stress you out. So practice the habit of saying ‘No’ when you already have a lot of work at hand. Doing so will cut down unnecessary load and save you from unwanted stress.

Time with Family and Friends - We often tend to underestimate the power of a hearty laugh. Laughing helps relieve tension in your muscles and automatically improves your mood by lowering cortisol and boosting endorphins. Watch your favourite comedy show or hang out with friends/family for a fun evening and see how you instantly feel relaxed. When you have a good network of friends/family, it will give you a feeling of belonging and keep depression away.

Gum Chewing - Now this might sound bizarre but studies have shown that chewing gum can lower your stress and help you relax. It is said that chewing gum forms brain waves that are similar to the brain waves of people who are relaxed. It is also said to enhance blood flow to the brain, thereby promoting your wellbeing. 

Journal - Writing down what you feel is another good way to relieve stress from your body. Maintain one stress journal, where you pass your stress on to the paper and get it out of your body; and one gratitude journal for noting down the ample things you’re grateful for. This helps you focus on the positive things in life and in turn reduce anxiety.

Supplements - There are a number of supplements as well that help in lowering anxiety and stress. Ashwagandha, Lemon balm, Valerian, green tea, Omega-3 fatty acids and Kava kava are some such supplements. However, it’s always best to consult your doctor before you start with supplementation for combating stress.

Well-Balanced Diet and Good Sleep - Feed your body with nutritious food because when you’re healthy and fit, it becomes easier to fight physical and mental stress. Avoid junk food, refined sugars and other such foods that can harm your wellbeing. The quality and amount of sleep is also important to stay relaxed and stress-free. When stress doesn’t let you sleep, practice a few minutes of relaxation/gratitude for calming the mind. You can even read a good book till you fall asleep or take a warm bath before going to bed. Going to bed at the same time everyday also plays a major role in giving you quality sleep.

Timely Breaks - Amidst the busy schedule, we usually tend to work without a break and end up exhausted. This can be very overwhelming, causing unnecessary stress. So make it a point to go easy on yourself and take short breaks between work. Dividing your work into smaller tasks, leaving from home/work at least five to 10 minutes early and slowing down on your daily tasks are some ways in which you can avoid stress.

Talking - An age-old solution to relieving stress and anxiety is to talk your heart out to someone. When you talk to a trusted person, it can help release the tension built in your head or simply distract you from your problems for a while. Positive self-talk is also a good way to reduce anxiety. It can help find solution to your issues and make you see things from a different perspective. 

Decompress - Cover your neck and shoulders with a warm cloth for about 10 minutes, close your eyes and relax. Let your back muscles, neck, upper chest and face relax for a while; then remove the heat wrap and massage your muscles gently with a foam roller or tennis ball for a few seconds.
No Caffeine, Nicotine and Alcohol - Stimulants like caffeine, alcohol or nicotine only increases your stress levels. Therefore, it’s best to reduce their consumption or avoid them altogether. Make it a point to include more water, natural fruit juices or herbal teas in your diet instead of stimulants like these.

Time Management - Lastly, managing your time well, prioritising your tasks and delegating them can have a great impact on your mind. By doing so, you’re lowering your stress levels and performing your tasks much more efficiently. 

Eating healthy and staying fit plays a major role in the way your body manages every situation. So enjoy some ‘me’ time with delicious, healthy food and drinks from Deliveroo, brought to you at your doorstep! These are some of the best tips for you to overcome and prevent stress from your daily life. Include them in your routine and enjoy a happy, stress-free life.

This is a guest blog posting.

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