In life, stress is like change—it's inevitable.
Lots of people get stressed, whether it's because of work, home, or other affairs in our day-to-day activities. Some of us even get so used to it that we just ignore it and accept the fact that it's there when it's there. However, did you know that getting too stressed all the time can also be dangerous?
In this blog post, we'll tell you all about the 7 simple but effective ways you can achieve stress relief.
How does stress affect us?
Stress isn't just a feeling we make up in our minds. It's an actual occurrence that affects our physical and mental state. Have you ever heard of the expression, "I'm feeling stressed out!"? People say that because they can actually feel stress taking over every fiber of their being.
The stress hormones in our bodies can trigger either a fight or flight response. Whenever we feel stressed, the rush of adrenaline causes our hearts to beat faster, our breathing to get irregular, and our muscles to tense. It might not be the most severe condition in the world, but it does put us in a very uncomfortable position.
Furthermore, experience too much stress might lead to other more concerning medical issues such as:
- Rapid breathing
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Weakened immune system
- Stomach problems
Stress can also cause other issues like obesity and diabetes because of the so-called "stress eating". Whenever we feel stressed, we indulge in overeating. This can get even worse if you don't exercise at all.
7 simple but effective things to do for stress relief
There is no cure for stress because while it is natural to be stressed at some point of your life, it happens when something triggers us to feel it. It might not completely go away, but there are plenty of things we can do for healthy stress management. By doing these stress relief activities, we can manage stress better and avoid compromising our health. This, in turn, will allow us to live a better quality of life (and will also benefit the people around us).
Here are the following stress relievers that you can try to lower and control your stress levels:
1. Engage in exercise and other physical activities
Exercise isn't just for strengthening your body or keeping you in shape. It's also considered to be one of the best stress relief activities. But won't putting your body to the test only cause you more stress? Not really! As you work out, you are lowering your stress hormone and the endorphins are being released. Endorphins are known for improving our mood and helping relieve feelings of pain.
One of the best exercises for stress relief is yoga. Doing the yoga postures improves our strength and flexibility, which in turn releases physical tension. The deep breathing techniques involved also help us get into relaxation. Furthermore, practicing yoga takes a lot of focus and concentration. The more we develop our ability to focus, the better we can become at dealing with stress management. Other ideal exercises and physical activities that you can try to relieve stress are walking, dancing, and Tai Chi.
2. Listen to music
If you're stuck in a stressful situation and don't know how to calm yourself down, try plugging in that speaker or pair of headphones and listen to some music. Listening to the sounds will not just give us a wondrous feeling but it may also lower your blood pressure and reduce a stress hormone like cortisol. It would be best to listen to calming music like the ones under the classical genre. If that isn't your thing, you can opt to listen to ocean or bird sounds to soothe your nerves.
3. Try some massage therapy
We mentioned that muscle tension is also one of the causes of stress. If you've been buried at work and are looking for quick stress relief, try getting a massage. Massage therapy will not only relieve you of the pain and soreness that your body has been feeling, but it will also help release the tension from your muscles. The experience will totally calm you down and lower your stress levels.
There are two ways that you can receive massage therapy: you can get it from spas or seek the help of chiropractic medicine. In normal massage therapies, the pain you feel in your body can be alleviated because the massage allows a better flow of fluid and energy in the body. Meanwhile, chiropractors are focused on working on our joints, hard tissues, and spine. They will guide us through rehabilitative and therapeutic exercises that will help heal health issues and relieve pain in our body that a normal massage can’t.
4. Avoid highly caffeinated beverages (opt for tea instead!)
Soda, energy drinks, coffee, we all know how much they taste good and how great they are for an instant boost of energy. However, they are also good at giving you instant stress. All those drinks contain caffeine which might only increase your stress and anxiety. It's understandable if you want to drink one to keep you awake, but excessive consumption of it might pose a problem to your health.
One of the best ways to relieve stress is by reducing your caffeine intake. There are plenty of other drinks that you can enjoy and still do wonders for your body, just like tea! In fact, one well-known type of tea that helps with stress management is chamomile tea. It's caffeine-free and it's like a hug in every sip. It contains sedative properties that help the body calm down and it also helps relieve pain and inflammation.
5. Practice breathing techniques
Did you ever notice someone telling you to "breathe" whenever you feel stressed or agitated? It's because breathing is not just to let the oxygen inside our bodies, it's also a way to relieve stress. This is why a meditative workout like yoga incorporates breathing so much into the execution of their poses—makes us feel more at ease and gives us control of our stress levels.
If you need healthy stress relief, try a 3 to 5-minute deep breathing exercise. Short and shallowed breathing will only make you feel more anxious so it’s better to practice it slowly and deeply. Just follow these simple steps:
- Get in a comfortable position. (Either lie on your back on the bed with a pillow under your head and knees or sit on a chair with your head, neck, and shoulders supported by the back of the chair.)
- Inhale through your nose and fill your belly with air.
- Exhale through your nose.
- Put one hand on your belly and the other one on your chest.
- As you breathe in, your belly must rise. As you breathe out, your belly must lower.
- Take three more deep breaths.
6. Eat the right kind of food
Yes, even what we eat affects our stress levels. Sometimes when we are stressed out, we try to make ourselves feel better or distracted by eating food and snacks that aren't all that healthy. This, in turn, may progress to obesity or more severe medical conditions like diabetes if left unmanaged. This is why it's important to reduce what you eat or only eat the food that's good for you!
It may be hard to stay on a healthy diet, but doing so will really provide you with healthy stress relief. Avoid fatty and sugary foods and instead create your own diet plan by adding fruits, vegetables, and fish with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids to the list. By formulating this diet plan and sticking to it, you will be able to manage stress better.
7. Stress less, laugh more
Laughter is also known for releasing endorphins that help improve our mood and lower the levels of stress-causing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing also makes your brain feel happy.
If you're looking for quick stress relief, have a good laugh. Watch some sitcoms, browse through funny memes, or hang out with your friends. Surrounding yourself with positivity is one of the best stress relievers there is.
Live more happily by learning how to manage stress!
It's not easy to avoid getting stressed out. But just like every other matter, you won't get there unless you start. The stress relievers presented above might not be that easy to do but if you truly want to reduce stress and keep yourself strong and healthy, it would be great to give them a shot.
Here at Life of Cha, we want to help our customers experience a better quality of life through natural means. If you need more tips on how to reduce stress, maybe you would like to dry drinking more tea to soothe your nerves. We've got a whole collection of delicious and healthy teas, especially caffeine-free ones, that will help you relieve stress and enjoy life even better.
Contact us to know more!