When we usually think about stress, we assume it to be something you can just snap out of. But if that were true, millions of people worldwide wouldn’t have to suffer as much. Because as of now, over 70% of American adults experience stress in their daily lives.
We generally have to deal with two types of stress—mild moments of tension and stress in our daily lives as a traffic jam or an approaching deadline. And clinical stress that often couples with anxiety, depression, or some other mental health disorder.
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Self-Help Ways To Relieve Stress
More often than not, the daily stressors really are that mild that you can just snap out of them. But when it becomes an ongoing daily ritual and interferes with the other aspects of your life, it becomes a crippling problem.
Ideally, the best way to deal with stress is by seeing a therapist if it is spiraling out of control. But since most of the masses neither have the time nor the expenses to undergo therapy, there is a steep rise for natural stress-busting techniques.
So, if you’ve been under quite some stress recently and don’t know where to begin, here are some suggestions.
Socialize More Often
If you don’t make time for friends and family on your good days, you won’t have anyone to run to in your bad ones, simple as that!
We are all naturally social, and we crave social connections. Some lesser than others, but surviving all on your own is just out of the question. At the end of the day, we all need a friendly ear to hear us out without judgment.
A lack of social outgoing is one of the contributors to ongoing stress. Because without sharing your emotions, you’re only bottling it all up. And as far as we know, it never turns out to be good when you do that.
Socializing more can help you get rid of stress both in the long-term and in the short-term. If you’re ever just feeling a little more stressed out than usual, try going out for a cup of coffee or a drink.
Even better? Make frequent dine out plans with friends, family, and colleagues. That way, you’ll be sharing and unwinding quite regularly. And even when there is something bottled up, you know you can ease the burden as well.
Yes, getting up and moving right does seem to be the last thing you want to do. But according to studies, exercise can be as effective in treating stress as anti-stress and antidepressant medicine. Although there aren’t many studies that share the same viewpoint, it does sound justifiable.
However, let’s look at the ways exercise helps improve your mental health and relieve stress.
Exercise relieves your mental stress by stressing out the muscles in your body. Because when working out, your body uses up most of the cortisol available. Cortisol is the stress hormone in your body that induces stress. And with not much of it remaining in your body, you’re naturally better equipped to handle stress.
Another fantastic way exercise changes your hormone balance is by making your brain secrete endorphins and serotonin. These are the happy-hormones, which cause the “feel good” emotion.
The best way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine is by treading softly. If you’re not in a fitness routine already, starting with walking or running is an excellent choice. According to experts, exercises that involve your whole body’s compound movement are best for your mental and physical health.
Jot It Down
Not only to relieve stress, writing down your emotions is one of the most effective ways to be successful. Successful as in being more focused and motivated and tending to your mental health.
Writing down can go both ways. You either want to write down what stresses you out during your day. Or, you want to write about what you’re thankful for in a day. And both of the techniques are equally effective and fine.
By writing down what is stressing you out, you are adopting a healthy unwinding technique. You know, no matter how stressful the day gets, you’ll have a place to unwind in without being judged or advised.
And by writing down what you’re thankful for, you hammer gratitude into your personality. Because we never seem to appreciate what we have and how much of it we have. A daily reminder like that to make you acknowledge the good in life proves to be very effective for handling stress.
You can buy yourself a diary to pen down your thoughts in. But if that is too old-school for your taste, writing it down on your laptop or phone bears the same fruit.
Improve Your Diet
We don’t normally take our diet seriously until we grow a belly that speaks. Diet is one of the most vital parts of a fitness lifestyle. And as much as it affects your physical appearance, it equally affects your mental health.
The type of food you eat is also a factor that can build up stress in your life. Similarly, having a go-to snack to relieve stress is also one of the most common coping mechanisms. And although there is no such food group that specifically builds up stress, foods rich in nutrition like fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and dry fruits deliver promising results in relieving stress.
Not only that, herbal solutions like chamomile tea or a moderate kratom dosage are excellent stress-relievers.
But for the long run, improving your diet, in general, is the way to go. Try to get rid of as many empty calories from your diet as you can. Empty calories are food items that pack high on calories and lack nutrition.
Making small and steady changes to your diet will eventually land you upon an ideal plan. And it’s always good to remember that the best diet is the one you stick to, so choose smartly.
Take Your Time-Outs
Just like your body needs rest after a hard day at the gym, your mind needs rest too.
Despite the soaring awareness of mental health worldwide, it is still the most ignored aspect of our lives. Working tirelessly and without breaks is always going to deplete you of your energy. And it is then that you are the most vulnerable to stress.
Ever noticed how cranky you get after spending hours on a project that wasn’t your job, to begin with?
Taking time-outs and breaks from your work is another effective way of relieving stress. If you feel too worked out in your cubicle, taking 5 minutes time-out to get yourself a cup of tea can be refreshing. Or if you’re more of an outgoing person and enjoy long-distance travel, then planning a vacation every few months or so is going to keep your mind sharp and healthy.
Because only if you’re charged up on energy and have enough going on to feel good about will you be able to handle stress.
Staying long hours back at work may be good for your career and professional growth. But if they start interfering with your life by making relationships and self-time more scarce, then it might be time to cool things down a bit.