Tips to Help Relieve Stress
Tips to Help Relieve Stress
Stress is all around us.
It's not healthy. It's not pleasant and yet – we experience stress as a given these days.
Stress can affect you emotionally, mentally and physically. But what is stress, and is it possible to live a life without stress?
Understanding the Stress Response
Stress is a feeling that's created when you react to certain events. It's the body's way of preparing to meet a situation with focus and heightened alertness.
You can probably think of a time when you experienced the fight-or-flight response, a survival mechanism that enables us to perform well under pressure. Faced with something frightening, maybe you felt your heartbeat quicken, perhaps you started breathing faster, and your entire body may have become ready to take action.
The fight-or-flight response can happen at any given moment, be it in a life-threatening situation, or when giving a speech at work.
Not everyone experiences stress the same way, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief.
Stress is everywhere. But if we pay attention to things around us, so it is a relief.
5 Ideas to Help Reduce stress
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn't addressed. Stress can gradually wear the body down; therefore, it's important to restore your inner calm and help your body to get rid of excess stress.
- Nature Heals
Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Nature not only improves your physical wellbeing, reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones; it also connects, so get your walking shoes on; take dogs for a walk, or invite a friend to join you.
- Focus on Breathing
How often do you think about your breath?
The way you breathe can make a big difference to your overall stress level. Breathing makes your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. When you breathe deeply, you're sending a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
- Practice Yoga
The natural opposite of stress is relaxation. Yoga is a great antidote to stress. Breath control, clearing the mind, and relaxing poses are a vital part of any yoga practice and one that translates well to life off the mat. Yoga is a practice that offers an opportunity for a more profound period of relaxation, which can also be a great stress reducer.
There are thousands of free instructional yoga videos online suitable for all levels, so it's really about figuring out what suits you best and start one day at a time.
- Enjoy Aromatherapy
Many scents have a calming effect, but some are more effective against stress and anxiety than others.
The most common essential oils for relaxation are Lavender, followed by Rose oil, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Lemongrass, and Frankincense.
- Express Gratitude
Gratitude refers to a "state of thankfulness", but how can gratitude counter stress? Gratitude is the human way of acknowledging the good things of life. It is a positive emotional response, and cultivating gratitude can help to maintain a relatively positive attitude regardless of what's happening around us.
- Start a gratitude journal
- Write a "Thank you" note and give it to someone
- Count your blessings while on a walk or when meditating
Despite hectic schedules and many responsibilities, relaxation is necessary for good health. A life without stress is unlikely. Still, it is possible to make choices that align with peace.
Learning how to live your best life possible is a process, so don't hesitate to reach out to your family and friends, or a professional if things get overwhelming.
There are some helpful HSE resources here.