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Stress can affect us in a wide variety of ways, from the way we think and act to our physical health. Stress can have a very negative impact on our well-being, leading to mental and physical exhaustion, a weakened immune system and a lack of motivation. While it can be hard to eliminate stress completely, there are ways to manage it and reduce its effects. Here, we discuss the benefits of stress relief, and 10 effective ways to reduce stress, both in the short and long term.
Uncover the Benefits of Stress Relief
When we are stressed, our body naturally produces cortisol, a hormone that affects our stress levels. Cortisol can lead to increased levels of anxiety, depression, and even physical pain. Stress relief helps to reduce levels of cortisol, which in turn helps to lower our stress levels. Stress relief can also improve our mood and mental clarity, as well as help us to think more clearly and productively. Furthermore, it can help to improve our sleep quality, reduce our risk of developing health problems, and even boost our immune system.
10 Ways to Relieve Stress, Short and Long Term
When it comes to relieving stress, there are a number of techniques both short and long term that can help. Here, we discuss 10 ways to reduce stress:
- Try deep breathing: Deep breathing is a simple but effective technique to reduce stress. It helps to lower cortisol levels and can be done anywhere, anytime. Start by focusing on your breath, then inhale deeply and slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Focus on each breath, count to 10 as you inhale and 10 as you exhale, and repeat for a few minutes.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise can help to reduce stress both in the short and long-term. It helps to reduce cortisol levels, improve mood and mental clarity, and can even help to improve sleep quality. For best results, aim to exercise at least three times a week.
- Practice yoga: Yoga is an effective way to reduce stress and improve overall health. It helps to lower cortisol levels, as well as improving concentration and mental clarity. Additionally, yoga can help to reduce pain, increase flexibility, and even improve sleep.
- Talk to someone: Talking to a friend or family member can help to relieve stress. It can be helpful to talk about the things that are causing stress, as well as other things such as hobbies, goals, and dreams. Additionally, talking to a therapist can help to uncover the root of stress, as well as provide practical solutions for managing it.
- Make time for yourself: Taking time for oneself is important for stress relief. Doing activities such as reading, spending time outdoors, listening to music, watching a movie, or even taking a nap can help to reduce stress.
- Eat healthy: Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for stress relief. Eating a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will help to keep the body and mind healthy. Additionally, limiting the consumption of unhealthy foods such as processed foods and sugary snacks can help to reduce stress.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is important for reducing stress. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to keep the body and mind healthy. Additionally, it is important to maintain a regular sleep schedule, avoiding late nights and long naps.
- Manage your time: Time management can help to reduce stress. Making lists and setting realistic, achievable goals can help to make tasks seem more manageable. Additionally, setting aside time for relaxation, such as taking a walk or reading a book, can help to reduce stress.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on being present in the moment. Practicing mindful activities such as mindful eating, mindful walking, and mindful breathing can help to reduce stress and bring a sense of calm and clarity.
- Seek professional help: If stress becomes unmanageable, it is important to seek professional help. A health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can provide advice and support to help manage stress. Additionally, they can provide tools and techniques to help cope with stress in the long-term.
Create a Calming Environment for Yourself
Creating a calming and relaxing environment at home can also help to reduce stress. Incorporating calming elements such as candles, essential oils, soft lighting, and plants can help to bring a sense of peace and tranquility to the home. Additionally, having a designated ‘calm down’ area with comfortable furniture and books can be a great way to relax after a stressful day.
Get to the Root of Your Stress
It is important to get to the root of stress in order to manage it effectively. This can be done by identifying the triggers of stress and working to manage or avoid them. Additionally, identifying and changing the behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs that contribute to stress can help to reduce it. Emotional awareness is also important when it comes to stress relief, as it can help to identify and manage our emotional responses to stress.
Establish Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress Relief
Establishing healthy coping mechanisms can help to reduce stress in the long term. Practices such as journaling, meditation, and visualization are all effective methods of stress relief. Additionally, activities such as art, music, and exercise can help to reduce stress and improve mood. Lastly, it is important to prioritize self-care and incorporate activities such as taking a bath, going for a walk, or even just taking a break from social media can help to reduce stress.
Relieving stress can be difficult, but it is possible. Incorporating stress-relieving activities such as exercise, yoga, and meditation can help to reduce stress in both the short and long term. Additionally, creating a calming environment, seeking professional help, and practicing healthy coping mechanisms can help to reduce stress and improve overall health and well-being.
- Cherney, K. (2019). 6 Ways To Reduce Stress In The Moment. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-flux/201906/6-ways-reduce-stress-in-the-moment
- Rao, A. (2019). 14 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-relieve-stress-and-anxiety
- Stahl, B. (2020). 8 Ways To Relieve Stress. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/briannastahl/2020/07/07/8-ways-to-relieve-stress/