7 Tips to Reduce Stress RIGHT NOW
Today’s hectic lifestyle makes it hard to relax and maintain a good work-life balance. We’re constantly worried about money, health, relationships, and other aspects. Things are even worse for those who are juggling two or more jobs, have large families, or lack a stable income. However, stress doesn’t do any good. It actually shortens your life and affects overall health.
Studies indicate that money is the number one source of stress for Australians. About two millions Aussies worry about their finances on a daily basis. Over 72 percent say that stress affecrs their physical health. In America, work stress is responsible for 10 percent of strokes.
Stress has been called the silent killer for a good reason. This lifestyle factor increases your risk of death from all causes. It’s a major contributing factor to heart disease, depression, anxiety, arrhythmia, and brain damage. Stress shrinks your brain, triggers emotional eating, and affects cognitive function. In the long run, it affects immune function, which increases your risk of diseases.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to fight stress and stop it from ruining your health. Simple strategies, such as meditation, exercise, and positive affirmations, can help. You’re in control over what happens in your life. Don’t let stress get the best of you and drain your energy! Here are seven foolproof ways to reduce stress RIGHT NOW!
Take a Few Deep Breaths
Prolonged or chronic stress raises cortisol levels, causing your body to enter the fight-or-flight mode. This triggers a chain of negative reactions, such as weight gain, sugar cravings, insomnia, and heart palpitations. You may also experience tension headaches and feel out of breath.
Stop and de-clutter your mind. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Stress won’t solve your problems. It actually affects your ability to think clearly and make decisions. Deep breathing is one of the easiest, most effective ways to fight stress and minimize its impact. It also lowers blood pressure and slows your heart rate, which helps calm you down.
Adding a little sunshine to your life is a great way to relieve stress. Go out for a walk, plan a picnic, or do some work in your backyard. Sunshine calms your mind and body, reducing the stress hormone cortisol levels. On top of that, it boosts vitamin D production, which in turn, helps your body absorb calcium more efficiently. This leads to stronger bones, improved immune function, and better overall health.
Studies have found that sunlight increases the release of serotonin, a hormone that lifts your mood. In the long run, it may relieve PMS, ward off depression, and prevent cancer.
Practice Positive Thinking
Positive affirmations aren’t just for those who want to lose weight or gain self-confidence. This healthy practice can offset the harmful effects of stress and boost your mood. When waking up in the morning, tell yourself: It’s a perfect day to start all over and make my dreams come true! Later, fill your mind with positive thoughts, such as:
- I’m deeply fulfilled by my life choices.
- I choose happiness over anger and stress.
- I’m overflowing with positive energy and joy.
- Challenges bring opportunities.
- I’m grateful for my health and the people around me.
Write these things down and stick notes around the house. Repeat them several times a day. Remember that you’re the master of your destiny. Your thoughts shape your reality. Be grateful for what you have and keep your mind open for new opportunities.
Squeeze More “Me Time” into Your Schedule
Each day, do something that makes you happy. It can be a simple walk in the park, a visit to your favorite cafe, or a movie night at home. If you have a hobby, make time for it. Tell yourself: This is me time. I deserve to be happy and do things that bring me joy.
Spending time with yourself isn’t selfish. You only have one life. If you don’t do these things now, you might end up wondering “what if.”
Another simple way to get rid of stress is to exercise. Research shows that physical activity reduces stress hormones and boosts endorphin levels, which helps promote relaxation. A quick stretching session or a morning jog might be exactly what you need to calm your mind.
Some exercises are better than others for stress relief. Pilates and yoga strengthen the mind-body connection, which in turn, helps ease stress. Regular exercise keeps your cortisol levels low, restores hormonal balances, and boosts brainpower.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard. Overtraining will have the opposite effect. For instance, too much cardio raises stress hormone levels, leaving you fatigued and moody.
According to health experts, just a few minutes of meditation can dramatically lower stress levels. This healing practice restores your inner balance and relaxes the body. Back in the ’70s, it was called the “relaxation response” due to its ability to relieve stress.
When you’re meditating, your blood pressure and heart rate drop. At the same time, your breathing slows down and your muscles relax. For a few moments, you get rid of worries and negative thoughts, and find your inner peace. The effects of meditation last for days or even weeks. The more you practice, the more you’ll benefit from it.
Get a Massage
Massage therapy can do wonders for those who are struggling with stress. This relaxation technique eases muscle tension and calms your mind. Its benefits are backed up by science. Moreover, it improves your body image, so you’ll feel better about yourself. This helps lift your mood and increases your confidence.
There are many other ways to relieve stress and find your balance. Guided visualization, music, aromatherapy, progressive muscle relaxation, and acupuncture can help too. If you’re in a rush, drink a cup of black tea. It will calm you down instantly! Or you can take a quick nap to lower your cortisol levels and keep stress under control.
What’s your favorite way to get rid of stress? Have you tried any of the relaxation techniques listed above?