Stress is the inescapable reality of our modern lifestyle, whether you work in an office, are a student, or are a stay-at-home mom. Under normal circumstances, some amount of stress can be healthy, but the risks of prolonged exposure to stress far outweigh any benefits. Since there’s really no escaping it, the best way to deal with the problem is by learning to cope with stress effectively, without it getting the better of you. Failing to tackle stress early can lead to various health issues like diabetes and hypertension, while it also increases the risk of depression and mental disorders.
Here are some useful self help tips that will help deal with stress:
1. Squeeze a Stress Ball
Stress balls didn’t get the name for no reason. They are a great way to relieve stress and have fun or vent! The theory behind the stress ball suggests that when you continuously squeeze a squishy ball you are actually redirecting the stress and anxiety to the ball. For better results try rhythmic squeezing – breathing in and squeezing, breathing out and unclenching the fist that holds the stress ball.
Visualization is another technique that helps you relax and de-stress. Create an imaginary refuge, where you can escape at any time, when you feel the stress getting to you. Imagine yourself lying on a beach, trekking, flying, or doing whatever it is that you love to do. Try this out even when you are not stressed, so that you become familiar with your imaginary refuge; this enhances its effectiveness when you are faced with stressful situations.
3. Shake A Leg
You don’t need a partner, an occasion or a specific venue to get grooving. All you need is the privacy of your room and your favorite music. Hell, you could even have two left feet and it wouldn’t matter. When you dance, your stress hormone levels are lowered. Experts point out that dancing can relieve and reduce stress, as it increases levels of the feel good hormone, serotonin.
Breathing exercises and meditation are extremely effective at relieving stress and several studies have shown that the practice of pranayama (yoga deep breathing) can stimulate the release of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins and serotonin. You can start by practicing breathing exercises or meditation for just a few minutes before you begin your day. Once you’re accustomed to the practice, you’ll find that it’s a useful tool to relax in stressful situations.
The relaxation technique that you use should be simple. If it demands a lot of time and requires you to empty your pocket, you will feel burdened and the effort could be counterproductive. For example, a vacation to de-stress is a good idea, but if you exceed your budget it will only add to the stress when you get back.
If all else fails and you are completely overwhelmed, just take a deep breath and get away. Take a timeout and return to the problem once you’ve calmed down. Do not let stress take over your mind and body.
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