Environments and events often illicit a negative response within ourselves. When this occurs, many of us will allow the situation to create stress within our lives thereby causing anxiety, depression, fatigue, weight loss or gain or even a reduced overall enjoyment of life. American Mission believes in living a healthy lifestyle and have created 24 ways to reduce stress.
The next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, try one of the following methods which have been proven to help alleviate these symptoms.
Cognitive Methods to Reduce Stress
- Progressive relaxation: Tense your entire body and then release. Repeat the process.
- Yoga: Yoga reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for stress. The poses and combination of breathing techniques are an effective means of reducing anxiety.
- Meditation: Studies show that meditation boosts certain chemicals in the brains and hormones that counteract the effect of stress. The mental silence achieved during meditation works in an extremely effective way to combat stress.
- Deep Breaths: Taking deep breaths cause a temporary drop in the blood pressure, as well as reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
- Scents: Essential oils such as lavender can help alleviate stress level too. According to studies, aromatherapy with essential oils like peppermint is associated with mental sharpness and strong cognition.
- Writing: Expressive writing can drastically help transfer the stress from your mind to the paper.
- Art: Art therapy can do wonders for stress relief.
- Nature: With increasing urbanization, stress levels of people have increased significantly. Reconnecting with nature can help you meditate and forget about things bothering you.
Communal Methods for Stress Reduction
- Live Music: Music is known to be used as a therapeutic tool for treating many diseases. It triggers biochemical stress reducers and the “Mozart effect” works to alleviate anxiety, depression, and makes you feel more centered.
- Laughter: A good laugh increases the endorphins levels and increases the oxygen intake which is good for the lungs, heart, and muscles. It also helps alleviate the physical symptoms of stress such as fatigue.
- Religion: a religious community can help reduce stress levels and focus on something that isn’t worldly. Research shows that people who practice religion have reduced stress levels.
- Pets: A study shows that people who take their dogs to work reduce office stress and boost employee satisfaction.
- Massage: Apart from alleviating physical pain, a massage, according to science, can also reduce stress symptoms. It reduces cortisol levels, lowers blood pressure and bolsters the immune system.
Organic or Consumable Methods to Reduce Stress
- Tea: Drinking tea reduces cortisol levels.
- Chewing gum: It can alleviate negative moods and increase alertness.
- Visualization: Visualize a peaceful scene such as mountains and waterfalls and birds in the sky.
- Eating Healthy: Part of working on your core is the intake of nutrients into your body. Therefore, eat healthy and stress will be alleviated.
Physical Activities for Stress Reduction
- Hugs: Hugging reduces blood pressure.
- Self-hypnosis: Your mind controls stress. Self-mediating can relieve stress.
- Walks: A walk outdoors surrounded by nature is a good exercise to manage stress levels.
- Kissing: It releases hormones that reduce stress.
- Sex: It can help alleviate the physical symptoms of stress.
- Exercise: Exercise is necessary to maintain both physical and mental health. It can boost your mood, improve your sleep pattern, sharpen your focus as well as help combat more serious health issues. The endorphin released after exercise also helps to alleviate stress.
- Naps: According to studies, not getting enough sleep can cause anxiety and excessive worrying.