What is stress?
According to Mentalhealth.org “Stress is a feeling of being under abnormal pressure. This pressure can come from different aspects of your day to day life. Such as an increased workload, a transitional period, an argument you have with your family or new and existing financial worries. You may find that it has a cumulative effect, with each stressor building on top of one another.”
Sometimes it can be difficult to get yourself out of a stressful situation or try to relieve the stressful feelings and emotions. In this post, there’s going to be our top 5 tips to reduce stress.
Meditation has quickly become a popular way to relieve stress and relax the body and mind. When we experience stress, our bodies automatically react in ways that prepare us to fight or run. This is your body's stress response, otherwise known as your fight-or-flight response. However, meditation does the opposite to stress, it forces the body into a state of relaxation.
Meditation helps the body and mind reach a deep state of relaxation by focusing your mind on one particular thing, this may be breathing exercises or by repeating the ‘mmmm’ sound, this allows your mind to not pay attention to every thought that crosses it.
Learning to calm your body and mind, your physical and emotional stress can melt away. This leaves you feeling better, refreshed, and ready to face the challenges of your day.
Exercise can be a great way to relieve stress. However, the thought of exercise can put a lot of people off as they think it means to run a marathon. Exercise can be something as simple as going for a 10-minute walk. Giving yourself the time to escape reality and focus on exercising can reduce the stress load and increase your mood.
When you exercise, your body reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators.
This also allows your mind to take a step back from a stressful situation. This means you can look at the situation with a clear mind and find a new way to tackle whatever may be causing you the stress.
Writing things down
Find a notebook, grab that journal that’s been sitting on the shelf for months or even get the notes up on your phone. Take some time to write down the things that are bothering you. How are you feeling? Why are you stressed? Don’t go too in-depth about it. Keep it simple. It’s a chance to let it all out and escape emotionally. Get those thoughts out of your head and onto some paper.
Once it’s all laid out in front of you, read through it. Take this opportunity to see that the things that could be bothering you aren’t as bad as they seem. Try and give yourself advice. Look at what you wrote and try to come up with ways to reduce those stress factors in your life at the moment. This will not only give you more clarity with your thoughts but also help improve your problem-solving skills. Finding new and innovative methods to cope with your stress.
If you want too, you can write down all the negative thoughts and stressors onto some paper and then physically rip them up. Burn them. Thrown them out. By doing this you can be a really good way of clearing your mind, freeing you from whatever is causing you stress.
If things are getting too much. Take a step back and think about your wellbeing. Relax. Think about what is stressing you out and say “Stop”. Put whatever it is at the back of your mind and take some time to yourself. Read, have a nap, have a bath, listen to some music, do whatever you want to make you happy. It may seem like procrastination, but after you’ve rested your mind and body for a short period, you’ll be able to get back into whatever you needed to do with far less stress running around your head.
Even if you just do nothing. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop whatever you’re doing and just breathe. Self-care is so important, not only for relieving stress but also for your general health. In times like these when we’re all trapped indoors, it’s never been more crucial to take time to reconnect with yourself and forget about the worries in your life.
Talk to someone
Similar to writing down your thoughts, chatting to someone, whether family or friend, can give you that same cathartic feeling. Opening up to someone you trust about how you’re feeling can help you filter through the problems you’re facing and discuss ways you can reduce the tension you feel. The ones you are close to can provide great comfort in times of need. Imagine you’re a bottle of fizzy pop. The more you stress, the more that bottle shakes, building up tension. Keeping it bottled up is not good, it could escape in inappropriate or harmful ways. Talking to a trustworthy person will allow you to open that bottle in a controlled way, letting all that tension out, relieving you of the pressure you’re facing.
It’s so therapeutic to just open up about your problems sometimes. However, if you aren’t comfortable enough to talk about your feelings, then having a good catch up with a friend can be just as therapeutic. Have a gossip, talk about the mundane things in life, take your mind off the topic that is stressing you out. Again, this will clear your mind, helping you to keep focused on whatever you do afterwards. We can connect to people in so many different ways these days, take advantage of that and reach out to someone when you need to.
That is 5 great ways to relieve the stressful emotions you may be suffering with. However, there are loads of ways to cope with stress, what is something you do when you are going through a stressful time or need something to do to wind down?