Stress is a natural response your body has to fight against changing and challenging conditions you might encounter daily. Given the numerous strenuous activities and challenges like financial responsibilities, work-life balance, and family issues you might be experiencing, it’s an unavoidable part of life.
Stress is unique from conditions like anxiety and depression, which are among the most common psychiatric conditions in the U.S., affecting 40 million Americans and requiring medical treatment.
Nevertheless, it’s important to engage in stress management techniques to avoid your stress progressing into a serious illness. Here are several suggestions to manage and relieve the burden of stress.
How to Relieve Stress?
Undoubtedly, stress can be a major factor in our daily lives. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce its effects. Here are a few tips to help you start reducing stress today!
Ditch the sedentary lifestyle, and be more physically active
According to a recent ADAA report, exercise and other forms of physical exercise boost endorphin production and sleep quality, which both help lower stress levels.
Exercising daily, especially 15-30 minutes of aerobic exercises like swimming, biking, and dancing, can help you cope with stress. The best part? You’ll be stronger physically as well!
While it might seem obvious, eating healthy is incredibly important. Why? Your diet influences the state of your health and determines your resilience against certain health conditions.
Studies show that people with diets dominated by processed foods and added sugar have a higher tendency to experience high stress, making it important to eat natural foods that are rich in nutrients. Try cutting down on highly processed foods and eat more whole foods like veggies, fruits, fish, and nuts.
Eating more healthy and more natural foods is one of the best ways to reduce stress.
Want to learn more about healthy nutrition? Here are some readings from our blog:
- Guide to Building a Balanced Plate Overview – Healthy Eating Plate
- Mindful Eating Guide
- New Regularity in Diet: Functional Foods
Minimize phone use and screen time
The world has gone hyper-digital, and as a result, computers, smartphones, and other screen devices have become a part of our life. Though these devices are helpful, using them too frequently can increase your stress levels.
A handful of studies show that excessive use of smartphones induces stress and can even cause mental illnesses if not controlled. Spending too much time directly in front of a screen can affect your psychology and sleep quality, resulting in higher stress levels. Cut down on your screen time to sleep better and make you feel less stressed.
Supplements as a stress solution:
Certain minerals and vitamins are essential to regulating your mood and stress levels. Not getting enough of these nutrients in your body can put your mental health at risk and hike your stress levels. Some studies show that certain dietary supplements can help improve your mood and relieve stress. This can be one of the most effective stress reduction strategies if you aren’t getting enough of these minerals and vitamins through your diet.
How to Control Stress?
As long as you are engaged in strenuous activities daily, you are bound to experience stress. Thus, it’s important to learn how to control it. Here are some stress management techniques you can try:
Self-care is golden
Making time to practice self-care is key, as it is one of the most therapeutic stress management techniques. Self-care activities can include:
- Going for a walk
- Going to the spa for a massage
- Indulging in a hobby
- Taking a warm bath
Studies have found that people who engage in self-care activities have improved life quality. This is also one of the ways to reduce stress. Taking time for yourself is essential for leading a healthy life.
Caffeine? Too much isn’t ideal
Caffeine is found in beverages and foods like tea, coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks and stimulates the central nervous system. Having too much caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety which can lead to sleep problems.
In turn, sleep problems can increase symptoms of stress and anxiety. Every person has a varying level of tolerance to caffeine, but if it makes you feel awkward or jittery, it might be worth cutting down your consumption. Decaffeinated drinks can be a better substitute.
Besides, numerous studies attest that coffee is healthy in moderation. The FDA recommends drinking 400mg of coffee daily, underlining that it’s important not to take too much. Stress management techniques hinge on cutting out behaviors that can raise stress levels.
Spending quality time with friends and family
Social support from friends and family members is another way to reduce stress. They are key to helping you through stressful times and situations. Adults with low social support have higher chances of experiencing stress, loneliness, and symptoms of depression, according to an article that explores the effects of social support on mental health.
So if you are looking for stress relief, a solid social support system is just needed. If you don’t have friends or family around, consider joining a club or a sports team. Having strong social ties is important for your mental well-being.
Ditch the procrastinator lifestyle
Procrastination can really hamper your productivity, so it should be taken seriously as a stress management technique. Doing tasks at the right time is ideal. If you keep procrastinating, you can eventually end up with too many tasks to do and induce stress in the process of trying to finish them all at once. Try getting things done promptly.
Stress can seriously impact your well-being, so it is important to know how to manage, address, and relieve it when you experience it. But if your stress feels out of control, it may be worth checking in with a medical professional.
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