No one is oblivious to stress nowadays. It is a normal part of our lives. We all undergo stress at some stage of our lives. However, it is not a current issue. History of stress roots back to our ancestors. According to the American Psychological Association; stress developed in our ancient ancestors as a self-defense mechanism to protect them from predators, and other threats. Stress initiates “fight or flight response” in our bodies. By increasing our heart rate, blood pressure and energy levels, it arms our body to deal with a problem.
Although, it is a natural phenomenon, yet its potential to harm us cannot be ignored. If left unchecked, stress can cause headache, stomachache, loss of appetite, insomnia, fatigue, muscular tension, heart attack, and even death.
Many people go for pharmaceutical treatments to cure stress. But such procedures, they have numerous side effects including drowsiness, weight gain, and nausea. Conversely, stress can be countered naturally. By following some simple actions, we can control stress and prevent it to impact our lives negatively. Here, are 10 scientifically proven techniques that can help De-Stress ourselves.
1. Exercise Daily
Exercise not only helps us to stay in shape, it does more than that. It is not only good for our physical health, but it is also quite useful for our mental wellbeing. Exercise helps to release hormones known as endorphins that assist in lowering stress hormones, and make us happy.
So next time, when you need motivation for a workout, remember that it will clear your head and cheer you up. Just challenge yourself to take a 10-minute walk, on a daily basis, and feel the difference.
2. Breathe Deeply
Deep breathing exercises have always been a solution to angry outbursts, constant anxiety, and other symptoms of depression. Breathing slowly and deeply can significantly reduce our stress levels. Medical science also agrees with this fact.
WebMD states that breathing exercises can help you relax, because it helps in hampering the anger. So, either you do breathing exercises, or just take a few deep breaths; they can help you in reducing tension and stress. So, relax and breathe the stress out of your body.
3. Make the Most Out of Natural Herbs
Natural herbs act as a savior for us for a long time. Most of the modern medicines also comprise of such herbs. Use of natural herbs as a stress and anxiety relief remedy, is tried and trusted.
Cannabis or medical marijuana is an amazing plant that is famous for its mind-altering and medical properties. Its therapeutic and spiritual use dates back to ancient times, and many cultures around the globe, has taken advantage of it. Its magical powers include relief from tension, anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
A number of amazing cannabis strains is available out there, which produce remarkable results. Some of the well- known strains are ‘indica’, ‘sativa’, and ‘hybrid’. Consumers believe that indicas have sedating effect, sativas boost energy, and hybrid exhibits both properties.
4. Buy Yourself a Plant
Houseplants not only purify air around us; they also have potential to relax us. Research has shown that only being around plants lowers our stress levels. One Washington State University study has found that, a group of stressed people were entered in a room full of plants. The people who saw the plants experienced four points drop in their blood pressure, while the people who did not look at the plants only had two points drop in their blood pressure.
So, buy yourself a plant. It will not only beautify and purify your place, but it will also calm you down.
5. Switch Off Your Phone For a While
Mobile phones keep us attached with them most of the time. Not to forget that they also stress us greatly. No one denies that fact. So switching off your phones for a while can de-stress us greatly. Also, it can provide us with an opportunity to utilize our time more productively.
You may have heard of the term ‘social media detox,’ well, it is the one of the most inexpensive yet effective ways to get rid of stress. Excessive use of mobile phones especially social media can take a toll on our lives, and it contributes to your stress more than anything. Hence, a social media detox is a great way to unwind yourself, if you cannot manage to switch off your mobile phone.
Just take a break from your phone and social media every now, and then, give yourself enough time to relax and rejuvenate.
6. Watch a Comedy Movie or TV Show
A good laughter is the best relaxation therapy. Laughter increases our intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates our heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by our brain. Dr.Suzanne Steinbaum, who is an attending cardiologist and director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, stated that once you start laughing, it forces you to feel better.
Laughter first triggers our stress response and then it neutralizes it thereby, creating a rollercoaster that eventually leads towards the feeling of relaxation. Therefore, watching a comedy movie or a TV show can make our mood delightful, and it can chase the stress away from us. Even just anticipation that a particular film might be funny will release more endorphins to fight stress.
7. Visit Your Friends & Family
There is no doubt in the fact that without friends there is no fun. Research has revealed that the level of a stress hormone cortisol is decreased when you visit your friend during stressful times.
Even only by sharing your problems with your close friends you feel relaxed. Friends motivate you when you feel down. Therefore, they give you desired support and you feel much better.
What if your friend is not available to you? Then you can also have a pet. Studies revealed that having a pet (cat or dog) can lower the stress levels significantly.
8. Relax your Muscles Progressively
Stress stiffens your muscles. Relaxing them can make you feel good. Let’s begin with your toes and gradually work your way up, tighten your foot muscles to the maximum and then relax them, then tighten the muscles of your legs and then relax them. Repeat this practice until you have reached your face. This ritual can help in fighting anxiety and stress. It is mostly recommended by doctors to patients that come with depression and anxiety-related disorders.
9. Eat Well
Food and mood go hand in hand. Therefore, when you feel stressed or low, your favorite food is a good option. But this does not mean you should consume unhealthy food like fries, pizza or burger daily. It can make you feel good for a while but eating it regularly is not a good option.
Having a small number of vegetables in your food is a feasible option. Eating healthy food improves your energy, saves you from lethargy. Your physical and mental health gets better. You should avoid junk food and choose fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Potassium helps in regulating blood pressure, which increases due to stress. Researchers have found that eating a banana during stressful times can boost energy and recovery process. Eating or drinking something sweet is comforting because it restricts the production of the stress hormone, glucocorticoid also guards against bad effects of stress such as heart attack and stroke.
10. Visualize Things That Comfort You
Visualization is a powerful therapy that can calm us considerably. For example, if you feel down imagine a place that relaxes you and makes you happy. Imagine you are in the mountains; quiet and calm or somewhere near the seashore. You can also imagine a loved one that makes you happy. You will notice that in just a matter of time you will feel happy and relaxed. This technique can also be used to cure insomniac patients.
A bonus tip: Try and engage in all those activities that make you feel good about yourself. Divert your attention as much as you can and steer clear from things that trigger stress and anxiety. And needless to mention, don’t forget to smile. It takes nothing to smile and laugh and it is something that can cheer you up instantly.
As you know, stress is a common but a major part of our lives. It is that one thing that needs to be treated right away or else, it can get worse with time. Follow the tips mentioned above and get rid of anxiety and stress. I hope it helps you out. Let us know in the comment box below! Have a great day!
About the Author:
Jack is a psychotherapist and neurodegenerative disorders’ expert. He has been practicing in New York for 25 years now, and since then he has been fighting to make marijuana legal in the United States for it comes with numerous health benefits. You can read his blogs at https://thegreenace.ca/category/the-green-ace-blog/.