Life can be stressful. It usually starts when things go wrong, your control starts slipping away, and you suddenly start feeling increasingly anxious and tense. But just because stress is an inevitable part of our lives, doesn’t mean we have to let it defeat us.
Whether it’s life, love, work, kids – or another kind of stress, here are seven simple ways you can deal with it.
People have always said that laughter is the best medicine, but recent studies have shown it’s actually true. It turns out laughter doesn’t just make us feel good. All kinds of LOL’ing can increase blood flow and oxygen levels throughout the body, which in turn automatically reduces the stress-causing hormones. So, find something funny to laugh at and reduce the stress in your life. If you need some inspiration, funny animal videos are always a crack up.
We’re all social creatures. That’s why we enjoy spending time with our friends and family. But it turns out that having a cheeky chin-wag with our mates goes further than fun, as it can also help improve our mental health. In fact, one study showed that spending time with good friends releases natural stress-relieving chemicals like oxytocin and endorphins. Oh, and people with strong social networks also tend to live longer. So get the girls and guys together, head to dinner (restrictions allowing) and have a great time. You deserve it.
Music is the only universal aspect of every culture on earth. So it’s probably not surprising that it also has a profound effect on how we feel. While soothing sounds are probably the best at helping us Sail Away from stress, listening to almost any type of music you enjoy can lower the heart rate and blood pressure. Get up and dance to it and you’re also getting those endorphins running hot, another great reliever of stress.
While cleaning may sound like a chore, it can also be a great way to relieve stress. It may sound like a crazy miracle cure, but it’s really not. And a study in 2015 showed that when we feel stressed, we tend to gravitate towards repetitive behaviours like cleaning. Cleaning provides us with a sense of control, and living in a clean environment also helps you stay relaxed longer. So give the shelves a dust, mop up the kitchen, or organise your closet. And bonus points if you combine cleaning with music and laugher!
Being mindful while doing some deep-breathing exercises is an excellent way of managing your stress levels. Practising mindfulness relaxes your body and calms your mind, which allows you to centre your thoughts, challenge negativity, and gain some perspective on things. Melt away all that tension with your mind, like a Jedi-mind trick. Because these aren’t the stress droids you’re looking for.
We’re not saying you need to go on one, but you do need a balanced one. That just means eating regular healthy meals and drinking enough water each day, which isn’t 8 glasses btw. And while it’s tempting to call up Dougie for a delivery, Pizza isn’t actually a food group. So instead, go for something with fresh ingredients or maybe just eat some fruit. Healthy eating is a great way to lower stress as well as improve your immune system and your overall health.
Everyone has been going through a lot lately. So if these tips aren’t working, there’s always help available . It’s not too weak to speak out if stress is getting the better of you. A professional will provide you with the right coping tools for you to manage your stress.