3 Quick And Simple Ways To Relieve Stress

Stress can be anything in the environment that makes the body react. The response can be physical, emotional, or mental.[1] While stress is a normal part of life, not learning how to manage it can lead to serious consequences on health and wellbeing. Published by Hypnosis in London on 31 October 2016, written by Malminder Gill.

When a person faces a stressful event or situation, the body undergoes a chain of reaction. It starts off with the release of hormones that prepares the body for the fight-or-flight response. This results to the rush of blood to the brain and major muscles to prepare the body to fight the stressor or escape it.

A stressed person will also experience heightened senses especially with the vision and hearing. There will also be a release of glucose and fatty acids in the bloodstream to provide the body with the needed energy.[2]

A little bit of stress in life is vital. In moderate amount, it helps one to function better, enabling a person to meet the daily challenges. It can also serve as a motivating factor in achieving one’s goals. However, the body can only take so much.

When There’s Too Much Stress

Constant exposure to stressors can have detrimental effects. Researchers found out that when the acute stress response is continuously activated, it can become maladaptive.[3] It can lead to cardiovascular diseases as a result of sustained increase in blood pressure. Chronic high blood pressure can damage the arteries and increase the risk of plaque formation.

The immune system will also affected. Studies have found out that under chronic stress, certain types of cytokines can be dysregulated, leading to suppressed immune function.[4] As a result, a person who is constantly stressed will be more prone to diseases and infections.

The body has its ways of telling a person that it’s going through a lot of stress. It shows through one’s inability to complete or concentrate on a task, discomfort or aches felt in different parts of the body, problem in sleeping (difficulty falling and/or staying asleep), changes in appetite, mood changes, and the feeling overwhelmed.

Quick and Simple Ways To Manage Stress

One’s health and wellbeing is compromised if stress is not managed appropriately. Below are some easy and quick ways to manage stress:

1. Unplug

Constant use of smartphones or other mobile devices and being constantly online in social media can add to more stress. This is based on a study done by researchers from the University of Gothenburg.[5]

Researchers found a correlation between the numbers spent with mobile devices and stress. Demands of availability especially in social media and the guilt attached of not responding right away can play a role in the stress induced by these activities.

Being constantly online can also lead a person to neglect his/her other needs like sufficient sleep/rest, social interaction, and physical activity which are all vital in relieving stress.  

A person doesn’t have to quit social media or the use of mobile devices to manage stress. He/she can just set limits on the use of these gadgets or being online.

2. Make healthy lifestyle changes

These changes include eating the right food, incorporating regular physical activity, and sleeping more.

Food

There are certain foods that have calming effects and can help stabilize blood sugar level. These include green leafy vegetables, yogurt, oatmeal, salmon, and blueberries. These foods are rich in vitamins, healthy fat, and antioxidants that help the body prepare better for the fight-and-flight response.

Exercise

Physical activity reduces stress in different ways. It reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol, stimulates the release of feel-good hormones endorphins, and with its physical effects like improving strength and stamina, it can boost one’s self-image, helping one succeed in completing tasks.[6]

Sleep

It’s through sleep that the brain and body recharges. When a person is deprived of sleep, he/she cannot function well. The lack of sleep can disrupt one’s concentration, judgment, mood, and may make a person feel more stressed.[7]

The National Sleep Foundation recommends having 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for adults for optimal functioning.

3. Reach out

Social interaction is a basic human need for various reasons. One of which is for emotional health and wellbeing.

A person with positive social connections are less likely to get sick and are less likely to get depressed. Experts stressed out on focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to relationships. Having at least one close confidant can lead to better health and less stress.[8]

Reaching out isn’t just limited to family and friends. One can also reach out to therapists who can help them cope with what they’re going through.

I’m a certified hypnotherapist in London and for years, have helped clients deal with a number of issues including stress.

Hypnotherapy is an effective and safe way for managing stress. In my practice, I combine hypnosis and coaching to help clients have that inner sense of calmness, balance, and ease.

Stress is just part of living; don’t let it break you. Know that you can ask for help to overcome whatever you’re going through right now.

References:
[1] “The Effects Of Stress On Your Body”. WebMD. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
[2] “How The Body Responds To Stress”. Boundless (2016): n. pag. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
[3], [4] Neil Schneiderman, Scott D. Siegel. “STRESS AND HEALTH: Psychological, Behavioral, And Biological Determinants”. Annual review of clinical psychology 1 (2005): 607. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
[5] “Can’t Tear Yourself Away From The Computer? Too Much Time Online Can Lead To Stress, Sleeping Disorders And Depression”. Mail Online. N.p., 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
[6] Publications, Harvard. “Exercising To Relax – Harvard Health”. Harvard Health. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
[7] Apa.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
[8] RAISON, CHARLES, BEHAVIORAL PROGRAM, and EMORY MEDICINE. “Social Interaction For Stress Relief?”. ABC News. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
Image: Sodanie Chea

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