The first week of the school year, every Monday, debates, public speeches, medical check-ups and wailing babies have one thing in common.
They cause stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress (LOL!), the term stress is highly subjective that it defies definition.
6 out of 10 people in the world will complain about being in this state of stress but don’t know how to define it.
At least one thing we do know about stress is that it has severe implications for our well-being; physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally. When you are stressed, it seems like everything is against you, caving in around you until you want to escape this cauldron.
This is where stress relieving comes into play.
A famous quote by Lao Tzu defines the role of our minds in controlling our actions.
If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.
Stress relieving begins in the mind. Once you settle the turmoil in your mind, then your body adjusts to the positivity and relieves itself of this imbalance.
7 QUICK-FIX STRESS RELIEVERS
For most stressed people, long hours with a psychiatrist or seven weeks of yoga can be too much for their stress relieving strategies. You only end up being more stressed in a cobra pose than when you were thinking about your bet slip or your sick best friend in the hospital.7 Quick Fix Stress Relievers for the Worked up Millenial Click To Tweet
1.CHANGE YOUR PLAYLIST
A study was conducted in the UK on participants who were strapped with sensors and made to solve difficult puzzles. The study measured the stress levels of the participants as they listened to various music choices.
Apparently, it happened that the soulful songs, especially Weightless by the Marconi Union, lowered the stress induced by the puzzles by 35%.
This study concluded that listening to warm, soulful songs leads to a reduction of overall stress and stimulates the brain to release endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
Our minds enter into a mode of distress, panic, and anxiety when exposed to loud and chaotic music. It is the subtle beats and tunes that work wonders in a stressed mind.
Opt for music that enlightens and relaxes you rather than that which makes you drop in fits or sweat just by listening to it.
2. YOUR ENVIRONMENT MATTERS
As human beings and creatures that are assumed to have evolved from simple organisms, it is clear that our surroundings play a vital role in stress relieving or stress induction.
Take the example of a construction worker who reports to work and is greeted by the sound of clanging metal, jackhammers pounding concrete, cranes wailing and beeping and rocks blasting the ground.
It wouldn’t be a surprise for this construction worker to suffer stress due to the environment around him or her.
As opposed to being in a serene environment, such a stress inducing environment can have implications on your output and health as well.
Now obviously we can’t change a raucous environment into a serene one with a simple wave of a magic wand. (Although that would be cool!) But we can make some changes that alleviate the stress triggers.
- Open the office windows. According to the Huffington Post, the scent of fresh air with a tinge of pine in it is proven to calm the mind and increase happiness.
- Declutter your desk. I can’t stand a desk full of clutter because of the claustrophobic attack I am likely to have. Have a minimalistic desk with only the necessities you require at the time.
- Invest in sound-proof walls. Offices located in the busy capitals, cities, and towns are subject to loud noises from construction work or recreational activities. Combat the unnecessary noise with ear muffs or sound-proof walls. Padding the floor also reduces the noise from shoes.
- Have a plant pot near you. Aromatherapy is the practice of using scents and fragrances to ease mental distress. Having been in use for so many centuries, it still remains potent in lowering stress. These plants are renowned in aromatherapy.
Everyone knows the “8 by 8” hydration rule which urges people to drink eight glasses of water every day. Although it is not scientifically supported, it still remains hugely popular in the world.
How many times do you drink water in a day?
This question is really important since 1 in 10 people lack access to clean water while the average person drinks 2.5 cups of water in a day. The contrast is real and scary.
Water has a lot of benefits to the physical health of humans but its benefits to our mind are usually not widely discussed.
Apart from cleansing our body of metabolic waste, water lowers the level of cortisol (the stress inducing hormone) in our bloodstream thus acting as a natural stress relieving component. Filling our bodies with fluids at all times is very important in keeping cortisol at bay.
Yoga instructors usually talk in great lengths about the importance of good posture, balance, and proper breathing when striking yoga poses.
As a great stress relieving activity, Yoga has proven to be an all-mind, body and soul sort of exercise and over 200 million people practice it worldwide!
Breathing allows your body to intake oxygen which is usually in deficit when your body alarms go off during a stress attack. Normally people who are stressed have dilated eyes, reddened faces, feel light-headed or dizzy and in severe cases, might faint.
Don’t assume that this is your body’s natural response to stress. Your body is actually short of oxygen at the moment and it may shut down soon. 🙁
Next time you feel pissed off with life’s daily stress, remember to inhale and exhale deeply and let your body cool off a bit.
Here are Awesome Yoga Poses for Relieving Stress to take up most of your mornings or evenings.
5. LAUGH OFTEN, AND LOUDLY.
Laughter is the best medicine.
It is proven that a loud belter of a laugh is an antidote to stress, actually, increases your lifespan and boosts your immune system. All that packaged in an act of nature called laughing.
Let’s pause here, my friends, and just laugh. Start with a chuckle, then laugh. Laugh until your sides burn, your ears tear and you are rolling on the floor.
Here is what you just did:
- You have relaxed your muscles and joints, increasing mobility and functionality of your body.
- Increased your heart rate and worked your blood vessels, thereby protecting your heart.
- Burned 10 or more calories depending on how long and purposeful the laugh was.
- Lifted your mood with the surge of endorphins in your blood
Now isn’t that just super effective than paying to have MRI’s?
The next time you feel stressed, don’t reach for the cupboard to take your painkillers. Instead, watch some comedy and laugh your heart and stress out.
If you are like me and you watched Barbie in your childhood, then you know she was always keen to have her beauty sleep to keep her looking so gorgeous.
So what is it about sleep that makes fictional TV characters look so sparkling?
Well, for starters, sleep reduces the level of another stress inducing chemical in our bodies known as norepinephrine. UC Berkeley researchers found out that sleep helps us to manage stress and give our minds a rest.
With this in mind, stress is more prevalent in individuals who are sleep deprived or suffer from insomnia. This is why you are likely to be in a bad mood if you don’t get good sleep.
Quality sleep is all about correct sleeping posture, sleeping for an optimal number of hours, the right sort of mattress density and waking up roughly around the same time daily feeling refreshed.
Make sure you get proper shut eye before your body shuts down.
7. SLOW DOWN ON THE DRUGS
Yeah. You heard it here.
The tobacco and alcohol could be the source of your stress, and it may be compounding it even more, with 208 million people boasting as drug and substance abusers in the world.
It’s worse to think that a majority of those are millennials. People have their own reasons for using drugs, and one of them happens to be stress. In an effort to drown out stress, they turn to alcohol or marijuana which gives the body a false sense of comfort and relief before the side effects slowly and painfully roll out.
Let’s turn the tide to our favor and stop with the drugs. Not because I am perfect or anything close to it, but because the drugs are doing more harm than good to your mind and body.
The World Health Organization terms stress as the 21st Century Epidemic. Stress claims many lives in a year than diabetes or cancer.
However, the remedy to stress is never far from us when we can do self-treatment and refrain from running to medication or therapy classes. There are cases where stress leads to depression and severe mental illnesses which ultimately beg for more than therapy.
It is very important to curb stress as much as we can and avoid coining any sort of trouble or mess in your life as stress. Our minds don’t need that sort of negativity.
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Share this article out and comment on which stress relieving strategy you think is most effective.