Stress can be defined as a state of worry, mental tension caused by a problematic situation, or a feeling of physical anxiety.
Scientifically, it can be defined as an alarm system in our brains. When the brain sees a threat, it signals to our body to release stress hormones, and the heart rate&blood pressure increase. This also can be defined as a fight-or-flight response which is the reaction our ancestors showed when they saw a threat, such as a wild animal who could kill them. So their comeback is either fight them or run away from the stressor.
The essential thing to manage stress is changing the way we look at stress. Because our causes are not as severe as fighting a wild animal anymore, stress is a normal reaction for our body when we try to see the good inside of it. Because it tries to improve & motivate ourselves in a better way to avoid troubles. However, uncontrolled levels of stress over long periods can dangerously affect people’s health.
So here there are some helpful tips to minimize stress in our daily life.
1-First things first: To be organized and well-planned
Not knowing what to do is a significant part of our stress. In our daily lives, we need to make many decisions which can be annoying sometimes when we are close to the deadline. That is why planning our activities can help us to cope with stress. As a simple example, even planning what to wear the next day can help us to feel less in a rush in the mornings.
The human body is designed to move, but with the latest technological developments, we tend to move much less than before. Standing still for longer times, especially scrolling through social media, can significantly cause us to be stressed. Exercising releases endorphins which work as a stress reliever. It does not only help with stress, but also it is beneficial for general health.
3-Starting a stress journal
We can see the pattern of the things we regularly stress about with this technique. By finding out the design, we can prepare ourselves to show better reactions to our stressors. In this journal, we can list: What caused us stress and how we felt, both physically and emotionally. We can give a point from 1 to 10 for the severity of the stress and how we acted in response. What can we do to make ourselves better for the next time?
4-4 A’s of Stress Management
Firstly, we can avoid manageable causes of stress as people, activities, habits, etc. By learning to say no, we can limit the time we spend with someone who stresses us. We can constantly stop following the news if they are affecting us badly.
We can alter the situation by expressing our feelings instead of keeping them inside. People may not be aware of the things which cause us stress. Excellent outcomes of change can be seen by trying.
One of the best ways to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. We should accept the things we cannot change. Acceptance may be difficult, but it’s easier than resisting to change an uncontrollable situation. It can be seen as personal growth, and we can take some lessons if a mistake has happened. A serious mistake that we made today may prevent some vast mistakes that may occur in the future. Another important part of accepting is learning how to forgive ourselves and others, which can relax our minds.
Finally, we should learn how to adapt to the stressor: We might have specific plans, but learning how to go with the flow is important because life is imperfectly perfect. Reframing problems might help with that. If we are stuck in traffic, we can see it as an opportunity to organize our plans or create time to slow down and listen to our favorite songs because being angry with the drivers will not change when we arrive. Moreover, looking at the big picture and asking ourselves how vital the current stressor will be in the long run might help to have a different perspective. Trying not to be a perfectionist and setting reasonable standards is also essential to have a more relaxed mind.
5-Having a backyard
Spending some alone time, listening to ourselves, and doing something we enjoy daily is also essential. As we feed ourselves every day to have energy for our daily activities, we should also feed our souls as it can release happiness hormones and reduce stress levels.
6-Practicing relaxation techniques for stress relief
The body’s natural relaxation response can be activated with these techniques. They help us to slow down our breathing and heart rate. One of the most popular techniques is meditation. It has different exercise methods such as mindfulness, deep breathing, body scan, gratitude, and visualization. Yoga and Tai Chi are the other techniques that include physical movements activating relaxation hormones.
7-Laugh, laugh, and laugh!
Laughter relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins, protects the heart, burns calories, and so much more! Laughter yoga is a unique activity where you can practice and include laughter more into your life.
8-Picking a healthy lifestyle
Eating a healthy diet plays a crucial role in our stress levels. Consuming unprocessed food should be the critical point of our diets. Unfortunately, most of us consume too much refined sugar, which causes an immediate increase and decrease in blood sugar. It gives us a fast calm initially, but it doesn’t last long, and when the peace goes away, we’re stressed again. This can create anxiety, depression, insomnia, lack of focus, low energy, memory issues, and inflammation. While the daily suggested consumption amount of sugar should not exceed nine teaspoons for men and six teaspoons for women, there are seven teaspoons of sugar in a coke (330 ml).
9-Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs
They might be the shortcuts for running away from stress, but their solution is only temporary. Problems should be dealt with based on clear minds.
10-Getting enough sleep
7-9 hours of sleep is essential for all adults. Unhealthy daytime habits like not limiting napping to 15-20 minutes may lead to insomnia at night. Tips to sleep better: Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. (Note: Avoid sunlight between 12-3 pm in the summer season and use sunscreen.) Stop using technological devices 1 hour before sleep. Keep your room cool. Avoid big meals at night. Best foods&drinks before sleep: yogurt, banana, almonds, milk, chamomile tea, lavender tea, and passionflower (passiflora) tea.
Disclaimer: These techniques are for creating stress management awareness and are general suggestions for healthy people. Please talk to your doctor if you feel down or anxious for more than several weeks or if it interferes with your home or work life. Therapy, medication, and other strategies can help.
Mayoclinic: “Stress Basics”
HelpGuide: “Stress Management”
HelpGuide: “Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief”
HelpGuide: “Laughter is the Best Medicine”
Weightandwelness: “Is Sugar Making You Stressed?”
Heart: “How Much Sugar is Too Much?”
Coca-Cola: “How Much Sugar is in Coca-Cola Original Taste?”
Sleep Foundation: “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?”
HelpGuide: “How to Sleep Better”
Healthline: “The 9 Best Foods and Drinks to Have Before Bed”
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