Stress is a typical reaction to whatever life brings physically and psychologically. While a smaller amount of stress can be positive, for example, being a motivator to succeed. However, too much stress can negatively impact your mental and physical health.
When people’s brains perceive a threat, it will cause the body to release various hormones that can increase your heart rate and make your blood pressure go higher. This reaction is called the “fight-or-flight” response. This response will fill you with adrenaline and force you to cope with whatever is threatening you.
However, your body will return to a more relaxed state once this threat has gone. When this pattern keeps occurring, it can be difficult for people to turn off the alarm system.
All is not lost, though – stress management can effectively help people better cope with stress. In addition, it can improve a person’s mind and help them develop more resilience. If stress management didn’t exist, a person’s body would continually be on high alert. As a result, this can have negative health implications.
This article will explore how you can better manage stress, some stress management tools, and techniques, and improve your daily functioning.
Why Is Stress Management So Important?
If you experience continual stress, your entire well-being could be at risk. In other words, stress causes damage to both your emotional and physical health. In addition, it can limit your functioning and get in the way of life’s enjoyments.
If you are under constant stress and feel like nothing can be done about it, many things can help. Efficient stress management techniques can break stress patterns and lead a happy, healthy, and productive life. In essence, the overall goal is to lead a balanced and fulfilling life and having the right amount of resilience can help you tackle any challenges. However, keep in mind that everyone is different. In essence, stress management will look different for the unique individual. You can find the proper stress management techniques by trying out various tools and techniques and seeing what works best.
What Are Some Activities That Can Help Reduce Stress?
Some of the most well-known and influential activities for stress management include better sleep, eating, and exercise. We will get into these in more specific detail:
Poor sleep quality can negatively impact your day-to-day functioning and overall health. Some stress management techniques for sleep include blocking out blue light from electronics at least half an hour before bed. In addition, some people find benefits from blue-light blocking glasses or getting a sleep-inducing red light bulb.
If you want to manage stress better, you can eat nutritious foods. This implementation of nutrition can improve your mood and overall health. However, restriction and dieting can have negative health implications, so eat enough nutritious food as fuel.
Exercise is an excellent stress management tool. However, high-intensity exercise can increase energy and cortisol, making your stress worse. Some of the best low-intensity exercises that can help with stress include walking, swimming, or yoga.
Some Basic Stress Management Strategies
Although these previously mentioned activities can reduce stress, sometimes you next to take more action. Supplements and other lifestyle changes can help with stress. Here are some ideas:
If you are continually stressed and exhausted, it’s only natural to think that caffeine can help. However, caffeine creates adrenaline and can make people feel more anxious. If you’re constantly feeling nervous and agitated, be sure to lower your caffeine intake. These drinks can include coffee, caffeinated teas, and energy drinks.
Try Plant Medicine
Plants like adaptogens can help manage stress. Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Eleuthero, Jiaogulan, Rhodiola, and Ginseng adaptogens. You can also take theanine which is available by supplement or through drinking green tea, white tea, oolong tea, or black tea (if you can tolerate caffeine).
What Are Some Specific Stress Management Skills?
Here are some specific skills that can help with stress:
According to multiple studies, meditation has been known to reduce cortisol during stressful situations.
Practicing Gratitude and Compassion
Practicing compassion and gratitude and expressing positivity towards other people can help fight against stress. In other words, finding ways of being kind to others can have the bonus of being a stress reducer.
Shifting your Mindset
When you get to a state of ultimate stress, it can help you view the situation as a challenge. Viewing stress in this way can reduce our stress. Sometimes, cheerleading yourself and telling yourself that you’re stronger than you think can help.
What Other Stress Management Techniques Are There?
Some science-based stress management techniques that use the mind-body connection can help. These include:
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This technique reduces cortisol and involves tensing muscles as you breathe in and then releasing them upon breathing out. It’s essential to go through each muscle group at a time. For instance, you can do hands all at once, then move on to forearms, biceps, etc.
Deep breathing can be an excellent strategy for stress relief. For example, you can cycle slow breathing and then move on to faster breathing. Then, you can finish with three extended “Om’s” to help shut off your stress response.
Cold Water Dunk
A cold water dunk has been proven to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. In other words, when you submerge your body in cold water, it can reduce stress. You can take a cold shower or jump in a cold pool to do so.
Stress doesn’t have to overtake your life. You can do many things to reduce stress in your life and enhance your health. Be sure to follow the previously mentioned tips, and you can be well on your way to better coping with stress.