Stress is sneaky and can sometimes grow out of control, sometimes leading to physical symptoms that may include headaches, long-term weight gain, or chronic diseases.
Luckily there are things that you can do to lower your stress levels, helping to keep your cortisol levels manageable.
Try these strategies to cope with your stress:
1. Acknowledge your stress. The first step is to acknowledge that you are stressed. By thinking about the stress in the first instance you can decide if you simply need a break, or if this is a more long-term issue that needs more effort to resolve
2. Chew gum. Research has found that chewing gum is a good way to reduce stress. To experience the benefits of chewing gum, ensure that you’re chewing it vigorously.
3. Inhale essential oils. Essential oils such as lavender or sandalwood have been found to help calm the mind during times of stress and anxiety.
4. Go for a walk. There are a couple of reasons why walking is good for stress. To start, it helps you to escape your current situation, and secondly, any type of exercise will help to release endorphins, which are a type of neurotransmitter that can lighten your mood.
5. Take up yoga. Yoga is a type of exercise that has become popular among those looking for relief from stress, anxiety and depression. When you perform yoga, an effect that’s the opposite to your flight-or-flight response will be produced. This helps to lower your cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate.
6. Practice mindfulness. Rather than focusing on negative thoughts and what if’s, try to anchor yourself in the present and focus on what you can achieve. One method you could try is to sit and meditate while paying attention to your breathing. Let any sounds, sensations, and emotions pass through you.
7. Write away the stress. When you write down what you are stressed about, you can logically think of ways to tackle the issue or circumstance. This will help you to focus more on the positives than the negatives.
8. Talk about your situation in the third person. This method helps you to exert self-control over any negative emotions.
9. Take a hot bath. Taking a bath in hot water helps to release endorphins and increase blood flow to your skin. Stress increases pain, and a hot bath will help alleviate both. If you are suffering from chronic pain, a hot bath can help to keep your muscles loose and reduce flare ups in people with arthritis.
10. Clean your room, desk, or dishes. Cleaning is another way to practice mindfulness. Plus, it is another form of exercise, which helps to release feel-good endorphins.
11. Reach out to your friends. An effective way to reduce stress is by talking to a friend. Sometimes hearing about your troubling issues from someone else’s perspective will help you to look at the challenge differently and find possible solutions.
12. Try foam rolling. Foam rolling will help you to release those built-up knots and ultimately reduce stress.
If you find yourself easily triggered by simple mistakes and lacking in patience, perhaps stress has built up to a level where action needs to be taken.
Chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety, and many serious chronic diseases. Use these methods daily to cope with your stress and soon you’ll find that you have less stress to cope with!