According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress has been classified as the health epidemic of the 21st century.
In general, the levels of unhappiness and stress-induced anxiety in the modern world are creating a rampant health crisis for people. Stress is the body’s way of reacting to any circumstance that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these circumstances with physical, mental, and emotional responses.
During stressful events, the body releases a burst of chemicals such as adrenaline that can be helpful in providing energy to get certain tasks done. However, in the long term, stress can lead to significant health problems.
Symptoms of prolonged stress exposure include muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, and lack of sleep. While a change in circumstances or factors that lead to stress would be ideal, we have to learn how to manage stress in a healthy way.
Here are four fun and science-backed ways in which you can reduce stress after a tough day:
1. Dance baby dance!
Or do any other form of exercise. Harvard Health Publishing mentions that “Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers, and mood elevators.”
The kicker is the alteration of behavioural factors coupled with a sense of routine. As and when the physical transformation of the body happens, the level of emotional well-being will also increase due to improved self-image and confidence. Moreover, exercising will induce a sense of routine and discipline in life that will help to manage stress on a recurring basis.
2. Just breathe
A study titled “The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative affect and stress in healthy adults” observed that diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing can help as a simple, effective, and convenient way to relieve stress. It also has the ability to reverse the response to stress, reducing the negative effects of chronic stress.
The idea is to do mindful breathing and become aware of the breathing pattern so as to enable the body to respond to stress, as concentrating on the breathing pattern will help one notice when to deliberately relax the breathing and take charge of it.
3. Turn up the music
A study published on ScienceDirect mentions the positive effect of music on one’s stress levels. It observed that music has the ability to lower cortisol levels and hence, lower the stress levels. Rhythmic music can have a relaxing effect on the mind, especially slow and harmonious music.
Music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones. So, turn up some jazz and see the stress disappear.
4. Welcome some aroma into your life
Chemicals present in essential oils help your smell receptors send messages to the part of your brain that controls your mood. Aromatherapy works by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system (the part of the brain that controls emotions).
In fact, a study even states that lavender oil is regarded to help stress levels and anxiety when inhaled directly or indirectly or applied to the skin through massage, lotions or bath salts.
Stress is a part of our lives but it is in our hands to manage it well and not have it affect us in any negative way!