Stress may be defined as the mental state when we are unable to cope comfortably with events facing us. These can occur suddenly and be short-lived or be around us for long periods of time. This results in the release of specific chemicals or hormones into our bloodstream, namely adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol, triggering a stress response in the body. When we speak of stress, we usually refer to stress on the mind or psychological stress, rather than that on the body physical stress. Many of us are so used to living with stress daily that we may not even understand what stress symptoms are.
Here are some signs:. Learning to relax and practice mindfulness, even if only for a few minutes a day can help shift perception. Many find yoga, meditation, gardening, walking or simple quiet time alone or in nature can be very restorative and calming. Good sleep will also enable our bodies to unwind and repair, yet many of us suffer from sleeping problems.
Avoiding the TV, work or your tablet in the bedroom will help, and many find herbal teas in the evening are soothing. Exercise is one of the best ways to channel energy during periods of stress. Time should be taken for physical activity such as skiing, jogging, tennis, swimming or any enjoyable form of exercise. It is a fact that people in good physical condition are able to withstand periods of stress better than those who are not. Talking to friends should help to put things into perspective. Many people come to talk to their friendly health store staff for just this reason too — social support is key.
Nature provides many herbs to relax and revitalize the nervous system.
2. Start Exercising (or Exercise More)
Passion Flower, St. Go to bed at any time of day with a great book Host a dinner party Cheer up someone who is feeling down Spend some time doing something you enjoy, like gardening Writing down my thoughts Play silly mind numbing games on the computer Avoid putting things off Find a quiet place and try to visualise a happy memory Do something creative like knitting Play with your pet Get some fresh air Be gentle to yourself Go window shopping Write short stories Call a loved one Talk to a stranger Practice CBT Chat to your friends on Skype or Facebook Take a nap Take a break, even a short one can make a difference Going for a walk at lunchtime Write poetry Eat or drink something you enjoy Cuddle a baby ideally one you know — cuddles with my niece or nephew are amazing for destressing Go out to a Karaoke night Imagine living in a different era, maybe war time or before cars and trains were invented and how much harder life would be Bake a cake Go for a relaxing swim Sit on a park bench and watch the world go by Tidy a room or cupboard other people might find this stressful, but I find it relaxing!
Challenge a friend to a game of Scrabble Breathe deeply for two minutes, and focus on your breaths No, really. I see you, sly skim-and-scroll blog reader, and I see what you just did well, what most of the people reading this post just did. Scroll back up and watch the TED Talk. My writing will stay right where it is, and McGonigal reveals something more important than anything I have to say.
I can wait. I promise. If you shift your mindset to see stress as a helpful force—your body gearing up to seize the day—then stress no longer harms your health. I love how she explains it:.
And when you view stress in that way, your body believes you, and your stress response becomes healthier. Think of stress like food. Too much stress will put metaphorical weight on your shoulders, and too much food will put literal weight on your body.
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In the same way you need the right kinds of food to stay healthy and feel good, you need the right approach to stress: be friends with it. Stress, then, is a neutral force. You can use it for good or bad, productivity or pain. What McGonigal talks about has to do with the two kinds of stress yes, there are tow kinds : eustress and distress. Eustress the good kind—think euphoria builds us up, boosting our performance to bring us to the optimal zone of stress. But when distress hits, you topple and tumble forward down the line to the right side of the graph—into a land of high stress and low performance.
Use them to get to optimal stress. Stress is a gift. It gears you up for the challenges of life. I hope you found this post helpful! I aimed to get you up to speed and give you loads of research on some of the best ways that you can deal with stress to improve your life and be more successful:. If you found the post helpful, then it would be awesome if you shared it.
That way, your friends can see the same evidence-based advice for finally dealing with stress. About Andrew Urevig. Andrew is a freelance writer for hire , and works as a regular contributor for Foundr Magazine. Great info! I love the x10 value concept on pricing structure. It would be great to hear more info on this.
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Woodstock the therapy chicken…. Thanks so much Andrew for this post! Great post, will share it with friends x. Great cources and promo for Instagram. Ive amased followers started 12 , all done by simply by following the knowledge Ive gain by reading and watching your webinar thanks for emailing when i missed it btw. Well done! How commercial kingpin Richard Branson got to afford his own island.
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How Does Stress Happen Feel free to jump down to point 1 below if you want to get right to the actionable advice. This is fantastic. How To Deal With Stress? Strike a Power Pose Power pose — does that sound silly? Here are the poses they used: The study looked at a few cool things, but I want to focus on the bits relevant to stress. The result?
Stress Management–Whose Job Is It?
High-power poses meant less cortisol, and thus less stress: You only have to hold the pose for a minute or two. Read the study itself. This article from the Wall Street Journal investigates some other pros of power posing. Get Perspective and Look at the Big Picture I know this one is a cliche—look at the big picture and let your stress wash away—but I want to take a closer look.
Thinking about what you value is one practical way to see the big picture.
10 Practical Ways to Handle Stress
Then pull back the camera to see an ever-bigger view: the whole room, the whole building, the whole street, the whole city, the whole country, the whole planet, the moon and Earth, our solar system, even the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Perspective of Time: When stressed, close your eyes and fast-forward in time, in ever-bigger increments, to see how little harm this supposed stress will cause you in the long term. Laugh When stress claws at me, I sometimes have to chuckle. The people who watched the comedy video were less stressed.
Researchers at the State University of New York told 80 participants to watch a stressful silent film the video showcased three nasty sawmill accidents, so it was no Sunday picnic. They also had the participants narrate the film: half were supposed to deliver a serious monologue, while half were told to say humorous stuff.
Those told to be funny were less tense afterward. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences reports that study participants who watched a comedy video has lower levels of the stress hormones ACTH and cortisol than a control group. Humor that helps you put things in perspective helps you recover from stress, according to a pair of studies published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
A little study out of Miami University interviewed women confronting the challenge of caring for both young children and chronically ill parents. So go ahead. Laugh your way to a low-stress life, starting with this bit from Louis CK: 4.
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