how to reduce stress

Repetitive tasks, packed routines, deadlines, etc. can quickly lead anyone to become stressful. The situation, however, is no help at all as it only reduces productivity and causes damage to physical and mental health. Let us look at some ways to help combat stress and work towards living a happier life.

1) Exercise

1) Exercise

Exercise may seem like an additional stressor, however, exercise is an excellent stress reliever. Exercise lowers cortisol. Cortisol is the chemical responsible for stress. It also releases endorphins which as more commonly known as ‘happy chemicals’.

2) Reduce Caffeine

2) Reduce Caffeine

Caffeine is often the go-to drink for when stressed. Caffeine is found in coffee and energy drinks. We think caffeine helps with stress. The truth is far from it. Caffeine increases anxiety. It often makes people jittery or anxious.

3) Spend time with your loved ones

3) Spend time with your loved ones

In psychology, friends and family play a part in one’s primary appraisal. They are called members of one’s ‘social support’. This term has been coined for a valid reason. Spending time with family and friends boosts optimism and uplifts one’s mood. It gives them a sense of belonging and confidence. Equipped with these positive times, the stress level decreases.

4) Laugh

4) Laugh

Sounds quite obvious, laughing instantly uplifts mood. Scientifically too, laughing has shown better capabilities to cope with stress. It relaxes tensed muscles and immediately releases hormones serotonin and endorphins. Watching a funny telly show or simply smiling at peers is an excellent way of reducing stress.

5) Deep Breathing

5) Deep Breathing

Taking a step back from stressful situations is crucial. Physically and metaphorically, pausing for a moment to breath is vital. Deep breaths in regular fashion help clear the mind. It enables one to think better and more clearly, subsequently allowing them to deal with stress better.

6) Spend time in nature

6) Spend time in nature

Modern-day problems have consumed our lives. We have forgotten the presence of nature amongst these concrete jungles. Every once in a while it is essential to detach from our regular lives and surround ourselves with nature. The fresh air clears out one’s mind and gives a brand new perspective on life.

7) Listen to music

7) Listen to music
Image credit: Frontiers blog

Listening to music distracts the brain. It is an extremely effective stress reliever. Listen to just tunes with no relevant lyrics has a positive impact too.

8) Be mindful

8) Be mindful

To be mindful means to focus only on the situation at hand. To be mindful one must live only in the present. The worries of the future should be left for the future. The problems of the past should be left behind in the past. Being mindful and living only in the present is a stress reliever.

9) Do not overburden yourself

9) Do not overburden yourself

Only take work that is not beyond your means. Going out of your way to help others is an additional stressor. Learn to pick only the work that you’re capable of only if you’re equipped with adequate time and resources.

10) Schedule and time management

10) Schedule and time management

Value your own time and plan ahead! Being organized and efficient with your time is a major stress reducer. Just knowing that you’re equipped with time helps you work better on tasks at hand.

11) Avoid procrastination

11) Avoid procrastination

Falling into habits like laziness is hard to overcome. Procrastination is the greatest stressor. Working on the task well before its due is the best way to avoid last moment stress.

12) Write your stressors

12) Write your stressors

Although writing down your problems may not help you to solve them, they definitely help you look at them critically. Writing in a diary, journaling or simply texting a friend are excellent ways to cope with stress.

13) Get adequate sleep

13) Get adequate sleep

When facing a gruesome deadline, or the night before an exam, sleeping often seems out of the question. This is, in practice, wrong. Getting even a few hours of sleep increases productivity and improves the mood.

14) Maintain a hobby

14)  Maintain a hobby

A simple hobby such as painting, reading uplifts one’s mood and productivity. A hobby is the most effective way to distract yourself from life stressors.

15) Practise self-care

15) Practise self-care

Put yourself and your own mental health before anything else. Take a day off from work when it is overwhelming. Say no to any extra work that comes your way. Occasionally indulge yourself and splurge on buying things that call out to you. A balanced mind can never be stressed!

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