Although it may seem like it, stress does not have to be and never should be a part of your life that you just have to deal with.
We all get stressed from time to time, and that is absolutely normal, but chronic stress that never subsides and you can never seem to get away from is a problem.
It causes both mental and physical illnesses, including depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, and ulcers, and therefore should be reduced as much as possible.
This isn’t always an easy task, but there are some ways that you can help yourself feel better when you suffer from stress, and if you can, you should start practicing them now.
Take A Bath
After a stressful day at work or running the household, a long soak in a hot bath can really make a difference.
The water shouldn’t be too hot, of course, as this will raise your blood pressure and make you feel unwell, and you may need to experiment to find out what temperature works best for you.
The key is that the water must at least be warm, as it is this warm water that increases your blood flow. This will soothe any aches and pains you may be feeling and cause a feeling of relaxation.
If you can add aromatherapy oils or some scented candles to your bathing experience, that is even better, and you will emerge from the tub feeling happy and calm.
A good bath before bed will also aid sleep, and getting enough sleep is another great way to reduce stress.
The idea of meditation may be a strange one to many who have never tried it before but don’t dismiss it out of hand because it really can work to reduce your stress levels.
In order to effectively meditate, you need to ‘zone out’ and make your mind as blank as possible, which will enable you to relax because you are not picking over past events, nor are you worrying about the future.
This can be a difficult thing to do at first, which is why you will need to practice meditation regularly to become good at it. It is worth taking the time to try, though, as it really can make a big difference in your life.
When you are stressed and anxious, your breathing changes, and you will take much shorter, shallower breaths than usual.
This means that you are not getting as much oxygen into your body as you should, making you feel unwell on top of everything else. It also means that your organs and brain can’t function effectively.
By pausing and remembering to take some long, deep breaths, you can lower your stress levels and make yourself feel well again. The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen can get into your bloodstream, which will increase your ability to think more clearly.
It might sound rather indulgent and perhaps even selfish to take some time for yourself to get a massage at a spa or have someone come to your home to give you a professional massage, but in reality, it can be one of the best things you can do when you’re feeling stressed.
When you have a massage, your hormones become more balanced – the cortisol levels in your body reduce, which is the hormone responsible for stress. In its place, serotonin is produced, and this is what makes you feel calm and happy.
Massage is also good for you if you’re suffering from any injuries to your muscles. The massage will loosen the muscles and allow them to move more easily, reducing the pain you are feeling. Pain can cause high levels of stress, so this is another good reason to have a massage.
The key to being really relaxed is to enjoy regular exercise. Not only will this help to de-stress you, but you will also become healthier and fitter in the process, so it is a good idea for many reasons.
When you exercise, you are entirely focused on what you are doing, and, much like meditation, this allows your mind and body to relax and for no other thoughts— negative or positive—to be allowed in.
This sends signals to the brain that all is well, and that there is no need for all the extra cortisol in your body. Less of this hormone is produced, and you will feel better for it.
Get A Pet
Having a pet is a great way to de-stress, and although it isn’t suitable for everyone, it certainly does have its benefits.
Loneliness is a significant factor when it comes to reasons for feeling stressed, and having an animal companion is something that will help you overcome these lonely feelings and reduce your stress levels.
Dogs, in particular, have been shown to help with chronic stress, and this is likely to be because they are the easiest animal to play with, and also because they require daily walks, which is a way to get some exercise, as mentioned above. Lucky Labs have some amazing dogs for sale, and this is a great place to get started.
If you can’t get a pet or would prefer not to have an animal in the house, there are shelters that always need volunteers to help out from time to time, and visiting one of these can help you feel less stressed out.
Follow A Healthy Diet
Your diet affects every part of your health, even how you feel mentally. Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of highly processed foods and added sugar are more likely to feel stressed out.
If you’re always stressed, you might eat too much and choose foods that taste good, which could hurt your health and mood. Also, if you don’t eat enough nutrient-dense whole foods, you may be less likely to get enough nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins, which help control stress and mood.
If you eat and drink less highly processed foods and drinks and more whole foods like fruit and vegetables, beans, fish, nuts, and seeds, you can help your body get the nutrients it needs. In turn, this may make you better able to deal with stress.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a substance that stimulates the central nervous system. Tea, coffee, chocolates, and energy drinks all contain it. If you drink excessively, your anxiety may worsen and persist longer.
Furthermore, too much might make it difficult to sleep. As a result, stress and worry will increase.
How much caffeine a person can handle is different for each person. If you find that caffeine makes you nervous or jittery, you might want to cut back by switching from coffee or energy drinks to herbal tea or water that doesn’t have caffeine.
Minimize Screen Time
Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are all things that many people can’t live without. Even though these things are often essential, using them too much may make you feel more stressed.
Several studies have found that using smartphones too much can lead to more stress and mental health problems. Having too much screen time is linked to lower mental health and higher stress levels in both adults and children.
Also, too much time in front of a screen may make it hard to sleep, which can lead to more stress.
Spend Time In Nature
Spending time outside could be a way to deal with stress. Studies show that being in nature and spending time in green places like parks and forests are healthy ways to deal with stress.
Hiking and camping are excellent choices, but not everyone likes them or has the means to do them. Even if you live in a city, you can go to parks, gardens, and arboretums to find green spaces.