Everybody has experienced stress or some symptoms of it. Whether in our work life or private life, there are many situations which can onset stress – it’s part of human nature and can have a significant impact on day-to-day life if not addressed.
Stress is completely unavoidable but there are ways to combat it – it’s important to keep on top of stress especially if it materialises in one of its more intense forms such as chronic stress, otherwise known as long-term stress; this can have a damaging effect on the body, impairing the normal running of the immune system which can make you more prone to cold and flu.
Stress is a very personal thing as is the way we deal with it – here are some techniques and tips which should you give you a starting point where you can twist and form them into your own.
Chill out with a friend
Good company is one of the most effective stress relievers – much of this is about speaking through your issues which will allow you to unpick one of the threads leading to the root of the stress, it’s also a way of acknowledging the issue which is often the first step to conquering the problem.
If you can’t think of anybody you can have these sorts of conversations with then why not try a new hobby or take up some classes so you can meet like-minded people. There are also many platforms online which connects people up with others around the world so you can chat about whatever issue you desire. If you’re interested in this, check out 7 Cups which locks you in with therapists anonymously.
Yoga is an excellent practice for those experiencing stress – it is considered to be an effective stress reliever as it engages a part of the nervous system (the parasympathetic system) which relaxes muscle tension, blood pressure and heart rate. Check out our post which dissects four fantastic types of yoga so you can find the style to suit you.
Mindful Breathing Exercises
This exercise holds a huge number of benefits and requires a limited amount of resources – just a quiet space. Get yourself as comfortable as you can (sitting, standing or lying) before taking a deep breath inward through your nose for five seconds and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Keep repeating this process until the movement through your air passages becomes more natural – carry this on for 3-5 minutes. For more information on this topic, check out our article on daily mindfulness techniques which explores other types of everyday exercises you can get involved in to maintain mindfulness.
Meditation is an incredibly effective stress-reliever – meditation requires you to apply all of your focus towards the body’s natural cycles allowing you to access a more wholesome trail of thought absent of daily stresses and problems. This subsequently offers a new perspective which can be a helpful tool to have particularly in the middle of a stressful situation. To start meditating, all you need to do is sit cross-legged in a quiet room and attune all your focusses to your breathing patterns, follow the deep breath through your nose and the long exhale through your mouth. Begin with 3 – 5 minute bursts of these exercises.
Get outside in the sunshine
Getting out in a local park or nature spot is an incredibly effective an simple way of relieving stress. You’ll gain the benefits of being in the sunshine and the calming effect nature tends to have on us; although there’s no clear answer as to why this is, some studies point to the presence and scent of flowers - scents such as jasmine, lavender and freshly cut grass are some of the most calming.
If you are experiencing intense feelings of stress – lethargy, high emotions and insomnia, then you should book an appointment with a doctor or get in touch with the mental health charity NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) which is designed to assist people in their own mental health problems as well as concerns for others.