From feeling under a lot of pressure to having responsibilities that you may find overwhelming – there are tons of reasons which can contribute to increasing your stress levels. And that’s not uncommon! We all worry and get upset about things from time to time. It’s a normal part of life, right? But when the stress levels rise, it triggers many health issues such as headaches, sleep deprivation, weight gain, lowered immunity, and many more. Simply put, it can destroy you in many different ways both physically and mentally. If you’re someone who is often faced with stressful situations, there are many certain tips to reduce stress instantly.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr. Sonal Anand, Psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, to tell us some ways which can help stay calm and relaxed, especially in stressful situations.
“Being able to control emotional reactions requires practice and motivation. Our body does have a natural fight or flight response which helps us to deal with difficult situations but putting this response into overdrive because of daily stress can have adverse effects on the body. Physical health and mental health go together so having both in good shape proves to be a good advantage,” says Dr Anand.
1. Breathing exercises: Meditation and deep breathing has plenty of benefits including keeping yourself calm in stressful situations. Whenever you feel anxious, practice breathing exercises.
2. Listen to music: Tune in to your favourite track and try to shake your entire body with little trembles. This lowers the cortisol level and will slow down your pulse and heart rate, lowering your blood pressure and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
3. Change your focus: To control your stress levels, focus on positive things in order to avoid a sense of anxiety and panic. Positive thinking can reduce your stress level and can help you feel better.
4. Go for a walk: If you are feeling anxious and stressed take a small walk. This will release endorphins (happy hormones) that will stimulate relaxation and improve your mood.
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5. Talk to someone: Expressing your worries is the best way to get some relief because sometimes a friendly conversation is needed to relieve your stress.
6. Admit you’re anxious: Always accept that you’re stressed and feeling anxious and then move forward to reduce your stress. This will allow you to express and experience less stress.
7. Playtime: Playing is a great way to reduce stress. No matter if you’re alone or with someone, you can go out to play an outdoor game or you can simply play a game on your mobile.
8. Shake your body: Shaking your body is one of the best ways to deal with stress. Shaking the body is a therapy and a process of warming up that helps to shake out all the tension in your mind and body.
9. Take a nap: If you’re feeling anxious, irritable, and stressed, do nothing, take a break, and take a nap.
Morning exercise, walking, yoga, and meditation can help in de-stressing and giving a positive outlook. This can come in handy while dealing with difficult situations.
An important way is to identify the source of stress. This analysis can help one prepare in advance and have options ready so as to avoid unnecessary stress when facing difficult situations.
Time management is one more important tool required for a less stressful life. Knowing how to manage time gives extra time for thinking and may help in gaining some “me” time.
The way we think about situations and perceive them is what leads to reactions and subsequent behaviours. Hence, it is important to think about the situation in an unbiased manner. If there is a chance of failure, there definitely is a chance of success as well. Thinking about positive outcomes helps in such situations.
Experiencing difficulties to fall asleep or stay asleep is quite common with high levels of stress. Sleep deprivation can make it more difficult for you to manage stress so have a proper sleep routine. Go to bed on time, create a sleeping environment, avoid caffeine before bed, meditate before going to bed, and shut off the screen, mobile, tv, and phones in order to sleep properly.
Control in the form of mental maths, reverse counting, taking a break, deep breathing, distracting the brain, and trying to relax yourself are some tricks that can help in dealing with stressful situations.
If you’ve tried everything but are still not able to reduce your constant stress levels, follow a healthy diet and add essential vitamins and minerals to your diet such as vitamin B, D, C, magnesium, selenium, L-theanine, glycine, and antioxidants. These nutrients will help alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety slowly.