It’s true that stress is always present in our life. It’s there everywhere we look, everywhere we go, and in everything we do. Even sleeping and doing nothing can become stressful at times. But stress doesn’t have to dismantle our life and prevent us from being happy and healthy. With the following easy techniques, you can cope with stress effectively and live life to the fullest!
Stretch it out.
Headache, fatigue, stiff neck, and cramps are all signs of stress. Chronic stress makes our muscles so tensed that they get swollen and become painful over time. This leads to undesirable symptoms, including pain. Stress also undermines blood circulation, which in turn makes your body more vulnerable to disease. Stretching out is a very convenient way to ease stress when you’re in the middle of a paperwork. Getting familiar with basic stretching techniques can significantly improve your blood flow, relax your tensed muscles and give you great relief.
Breathe, breathe, and breathe!
Before you open your mouth and say harsh words to someone, pause for a minute and take a deep gentle breath. It might be your usual reaction to take small, shallow breaths. But this can just aggravate your anxiety and make you feel more stressed. Take slow, deep breaths when you’re highly anxious. This calms your sympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation.
Laugh out loud.
Feeling stressed with your work or family responsibilities? It’s time to have a good laugh. Just as the old saying goes – laughter is the best medicine. Watch a funny movie, invite over some friends and talk about silly things, or read a comic book. Cracking up promotes blood circulation and increases oxygen flow to your organs – two mechanisms that relieve your body from stress. In fact, just the anticipation of laughter can already pull down your stress levels.
State a positive mantra.
Don’t underestimate the power of positive suggestion. Find a phrase that gives you a sense of relief and motivation. For example, when confronted with a stressful situation, say “All is well”, or “This too, shall pass”. When you feel irritated on your spouse, child or parent, just tell yourself “He/she may have done something wrong but that doesn’t make him/her a bad person.”
Divert your attention.
Can’t think of a nice way to start your report? Have a break and do something that uplifts your spirit. Maybe you can take a walk outside, read a book, do some gardening stuff, or draw your dream house – anything that will distract you from succumbing to stress.
Cite five things you are thankful of.
Feeling down? Close your eyes, place your hands over your chest, take five deep breaths, and cite five things in your life that you are so thankful of. Slowly open your eyes and become completely refreshed!
Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.
Remember the law of attraction? Whatever you pay attention to grows. So if you pay attention to negative emotions, thoughts and feelings, they only get bigger and worse. But if you focus more on positivity, the whole universe conspires to help you become happier.
Focus on the present.
Whilst planning for the future is a good habit, when you’re stressed out it can become extremely overwhelming. Get in tune with your senses. Acknowledge what you feel – good or bad. Be aware of what’s happening deep inside you. Feel the ground beneath your feet, listen to your heartbeat, and feel the wind as it touches your skin. You can surely free yourself from stress by focusing on the now.
Stroke your pet.
When you spend even just a few minutes playing with your dog, or cat, your body releases feel-good hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin. These hormones counter the damaging effects of stress and lower blood pressure and anxiety, and boost immunity.
Drink orange juice.
Vitamin C is effective in lowering your stress hormone levels, particularly cortisol. Apart from orange juice, you can also get vitamin C from grapefruit juice, strawberries, cabbage, and other green leafy vegetables. There’s actually more vitamin C to be found in in kale or red pepper than in an orange, Land these two are less acidic or sugary too.
Wishing you a stress free day.
Part of the Core Health Centre