How to Reduce Stress and Overcoming Stress

The situations and pressures of everyday life can take a toll on your health and well-being. From depression, irritability and anxiety to physical pain like nausea, dizziness and chest pain, stress can present itself in many different ways.

Finding time and ways to relax will help reduce the negative effects of stress on your body and mind, relieve built-up tension and calm emotions. Here are 10 techniques for daily Stress relief.

1. Get Outside

One of the simplest ways to unwind and relax is to get outside and enjoy nature. Spending time outdoors has manyphysical and emotional health benefits. Connecting with nature makes you feel calm, centered and relaxed.

Spending more time outdoors can help you cope with the stresses of everyday life. Though it won’t check things off your to-do list, being in nature reduces your stress response, so when you return to work, you won’t feel as overwhelmed. If you don’t have time to get outside each day, bring nature to you with a plant or tabletop water fountain for your desk.

2. Try Mindfulness Meditation

One of the reasonsmindfulness meditation is so popular today is because of its relaxation benefits. During meditation, the purpose is to remain mindful and calm. Pay attention to parts of your body that feel most tense and try to relax them. The more comfortable and relaxed you get, the less stressed and anxious you’ll feel.

Over time, a consistent meditation practice may help you gradually improve your stress levels. Practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis may help you get better at putting yourself into a deeper state of relaxation more quickly.

3. Exercise

Though exercise is invigorating, it can also be soothing. After physical activity, your body experiences a reduction in the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. It alsoreleases feel-good hormones called endorphins, which elevate your mood and reduce pain.

Exercise allows you to take time away from whatever is causing you stress. Physical activity connects you with your body, so you become more aware of tight or tense areas that need attention. The more you learn about your body through physical exercise, the more you’ll understand how to relax it.

4. Practice Yoga

Yoga combines several relaxation tools into one calming practice. Not only is yoga a form of physical activity, but it also combines mindfulness with deep breathing to put you into a relaxed state both physically and mentally.

Yoga is also a versatile activity. You can develop a simple yoga practice in as little as 10 minutes a day or practice for up to an hour whenever you have time. You can practice yoga in the morning to center yourself before work, or before bed to prepare your body for deep sleep. You can also take time out mid-day to do a few poses and rebalance your nervous system.

5. Write Down Your Thoughts

Whenever you find it particularly difficult to unwind, it might be because you’re overwhelmed. Writing down your thoughts can help you get clear on how you feel about a certain situation, which can alleviate the stress you’re carrying.Getting thoughts onto paper is a way of emptying the mind so you can take control instead of your stress instead of it controlling you.

Journaling is most effective when you allow your writing to freeflow. Don’t get hung up on things making sense or being perfect. It’s just about expressing yourself. You can combine expressive writing with other relaxation exercises like deep breathing or meditation to further release tension and create a sense of calm.

6. Take Deep Breaths

When we get stressed, we tend to hold our breath or breathe more shallowly, which causes muscle constriction and tension. To counter this, we can practice deep and slow breathing to bring the body out of its stress response and into a more relaxed state.

To practice deep breathing, take a break and find a quiet spot to sit. Close your eyes and take a few deep inhales through the nose and exhales out the mouth. Then, bring your breathing into a pattern called the relaxing breath exercise.

7. Listen to Music

Music is a powerful tool for relaxing the body and mind. Slower tempo music has a soothing quality that can calm your mind and melt away tension. In fact,research has found that music has an impact on brain function, with slower music resulting in lower frequency brainwaves.

If you’re looking for ways to relax, sit in a comfortable position and turn on a calming playlist. Studies have found that classical music is most effective at calming brain activity and relaxing the mind. Nature sounds such as rainforest noises, ocean waves and waterfalls are also soothing. You can listen to calming music anytime you need to unwind, including at night before bed.

8. Use Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is a holistic solution to help with muscle tension caused by stress andpoor posture. Heat from a warm compress penetrates deep down into your muscle tissue, dilating the blood vessels in your sore muscles to promote better blood flow and release tension.

Apply the warm compress on your tight spots for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours for the deepest sense of relaxation. It’s important not to use a heat source that’s so hot it burns your skin. Heat therapy is a relaxation tool you can safely use on a daily or weekly basis to help you unwind.

9. Try a Stress-Relief Device

Stress balls and fidget spinners are popular stress-relief solutions. They’re small, portable items you can quickly grab and use whenever your stress levels rise. These gadgets help you channel your anxious energy into something physical. With a stress ball, the squeezing and releasing motions mimic the tightening and releasing of your tense muscles.

Anotherpopular health gadget for helping with relaxation is the stress-monitor. These are wearable devices that track signs like your resting heart rate and breathing. Whenever it detects a spike, the device alerts you so you can intervene with a stress-reduction technique, like muscle relaxation, deep breathing or meditation.

10. Get Support

Many people today struggle with stress and anxiety, but most people don’t have the tools to manage these challenges in a healthy way. Though relaxation techniques can be healthy solutions to everyday stressors, sometimes they aren’t enough.

You may need support to help de-stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to a family member, friend or co-worker and get the weight off your shoulders. Talking it out with someone you trust can help shift your perspective and give you space to release your tension. It’s amazing how a supportive conversation can make you feel more relaxed.