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The recent statistics show that 7.5% Indians suffer from chronic stress leading to major mental disorders and only have such disorders are actually treated and cured. Infact, the signs of depression in teens are at a record high.
While stress and anxiety have become common to all age groups today, here are 12 easy ways to keep your stress levels in check:
Ways to Manage Stress
1. Write it Down
One of the easiest and best way to manage stress is to keep a note of what makes you stressed.
Although this can be a little pessimistic step, a more positive version of it would say: to write things down which make you feel blessed or you’re grateful for.
Gratitude will be a constant reminder of the good things in life wand will effectively help in combating and managing stress in your life.
Exercise is the key to overall mental and physical health of a human. Hence, physical activity in almost any form is a good way to manage stress.
Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.
Some Direct stress busting benefits of exercise are:
- It pumps your endorphins: Endorphins are nothing but brain’s feel good neurotransmitters and any form of exercise increases it production in human body. Hence, a hike, trek or an active game of tennis can be a large defeat agent to stress.
- Meditation in motion: After a fast paced game of football, or a relaxed swim in the pool, one often realizes that he has forgotten the day’s worries and the mind is calmer now, such is the impact of exercise on stress. Thus, its more like a meditation in which ones body is active and yet perfectly distracts the minds from intentions and helps to manage stress.
Try to find an activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
3. Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine, scientifically speaking, is a drug to which one may get addicted very soon. It is most often consumed in teas, coffee, soft drinks and are found to a little extent in chocolates too.
High amount of caffeine can lead to negative health effects as it high intake can make the mood soar and plummet, leaving you craving more caffeine to make it soar again, causing you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences and, of course, feel more stress. However, small to moderate amounts of caffeine can lift your mood and give you a boost.
Reduce considerable amount of sleep after caffeine consumption also make the mind restless, leaving one with higher stress and anxiety levels.
Hence, one should reduce the caffeine intake to manage stress. Although if taken in check, caffeine can have some scientific benefits too. Read some scientifically backed benefits of coffee here.
4. Make time for loved ones
The best stress fighter can be a your friends and family. When you’re feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems.
Healthy and open relationships with family and friends are a great contributor to healthy life, especially to ones having hectic work schedules.
Being friends with people gives you a sense of belongingness and makes one feel loved and accepted. Speaking out the worries can help a person feel lighter at heart and wiser in mind.
Studies have shown that men and women with lesser social connections are highly prone to stress and anxiety.
Who knew a friend by your side could actually be your pill to manage stress?
5. Say yes to Chewing Gums
The tip which comes super handy when its time to relieve stress is to chew a gum.
A study showed that people who chew gums have a better sense of well being and reduced stress.
The major reason for the same is that chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain and it causes brain waves similar to those of relaxed people.
Moreover, another recent study found that stress relief was greatest when people chewed more strongly.
6. Avoid Procrastination
Make priority chart and learn to stop procrastinating the important tasks.
Procrastination and last moment load of work can lead you to act impulsively, ending up at a scrambled schedule and work place. This can give rise to major stress, which negatively affects health and sleep quality.
The best way to manage stress is to make a to-do list that is organized priority wise. Set realistic deadlines and aims and start from top making your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks (multi-tasking) can be stressful itself.
7. Yoga at your rescue
Yoga is a mind-body practice, which has many types of integrative health benefits. Yoga puts together for us, physical and mental disciplines that helps us to achieve a peaceful mind and body. It is a great way to relax you and manage stress and anxiety.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Studies have shown that yoga aides in mood enhancement and is an effective antidepressant drug.
Hence, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on the nervous system and stress response.
8. Physical Intimacy
Cuddling, kissing and sex can help relieve stress as it increases the sense of belongingness in a person.
A physical contact helps to release oxytocin and lower cortisol, which reduces blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are physical symptoms of stress.
It is also interesting to know that humans aren’t the only ones who resort to this method to manage stress. Chimpanzees also cuddle the loved ones and control stress and anxiety.
9. Deep Breathing
Take a deep breath in and exhale. You will notice a stark difference in the way you feel already. Our breath is a very strong tool which can be used with ease to manage stress and makes you feel less anxious. Making simple breathing exercises a part of your routine can make a big difference in the way you feel through out the day.
10. Choose Soothing Music
Music has played a key role in treating illness and regain peace of mind for hundreds of years now. But more recently, studies have shown that music can reap the following benefits:
- The right kind of music form and structure can bring a disabled and distressed child’s life in order. It promotes better coordination, expression and communication, and hence develops a better quality of life.
- Listening to music can relieve depression and increase self esteem in a person.
- Music also relieves the physically chronic pains and post operation pains.
- It also reduces emotional distress in an adult and boosts quality of life among cancer patients.
Slow paced and instrumental music can relax the mind by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. They also relax the stress hormones.
11. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a habit or rather a state of mind where one concentrates well on the task undertaken at the present moment, leaving aside all the distractions and temptations towards other agents.
The opposite of mindfulness would be multi tasking, and helps you achieve undistributed focus.
While the habit of multi tasking was originally limited to computers and devices, it now comes handy to human too. Taking up too many tasks simultaneously may eventually slow down human brain, making it prone to errors and forgetfulness.
Studies have shown that students tend to perform better in areas like mathematics, logical reasoning and reading comprehensions when practicing mindfulness, concentrating on breathing and gathering all the wandering attention to that assigned task.
Hence, it can be a great way to manage stress and relieve anxiety in students, teachers, corporate employees or the ones preparing for competitive exams.
12. Laughter is the best Medicine
It’s almost impossible to feel stressed or anxious while laughing, indicating it can be a great way to manage stress.
Laughter brings greater amount of oxygen to our body and organs, relaxes our muscles and relieves our stress responses.
13. Herbal Teas
There are various teas available which help to reduce stress and anxiety. These include green tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and many more.
In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
Watching a comedy TV show, reading jokes, attending stand up comedy live or just going for laughter classes, can help you find humor in your problems.
While there can be too many written ways to manage stress, there is no fixed way, and can vary with each ones interests. A person with lower stress will also have a greater retention power. Here are some tips to increase memory power.