Stress. Once upon a time, it was considered a frame of mind. Now, research has shown that it can literally kill you. Stress stimulates your brain to release chemicals that cause your body to inject large quantities of the hormone cortisol into your blood. Chemically speaking, cortisol is synonymous with stress. Elevated cortisol levels have two negative effects on your body: they suppress your immune system, dampening its response to potentially dangerous viral infections, and they increase your risk of coronary artery disease.
Though it is dangerous to both men and women equally, the symptoms of stress differ between the sexes, as do the sources. Male stress sources tend to cluster around work. A recent study shows that among the most significant sources of stress for women are relationship troubles with their family, relationship troubles with their friends, having difficulty getting enough sleep and concerns about finances and the economy.
While the health benefits of relieving stress are compelling, it is also a basic fact that stress is unpleasant. Relieving daily stress, then, is obviously desirable. Who wouldn’t want to lower their stress for a while? But when people think of reducing stress they generally have something rather difficult to achieve in mind. They think of taking a vacation, getting a higher paying job, moving into a bigger house, or they think of forming habits like exercising more or spending more time with their kids.
But habits take a long time to form, the housing market is unstable, high-paying jobs are few and far between, and vacations are costly and require planning. The fact is that most women encounter so much stress these days that it is almost impossible to feel that anything short of a major life change or event can alleviate it at all. The perceived difficulty of attaining any relief is itself a source of stress.
The good news is that the perceived difficulty is somewhat illusory. There are simple things you can do to relieve daily stress. Here are six easy and effective steps you can take to relieve daily stress.
6 Ways to Relieve Daily Stress
It may sound corny, but science tells us that it actually works. Even people who don’t feel like smiling (or who have nothing to smile about) are not immune to their own bodies’ natural functions. Moving the particular muscles the face uses to produce a smile actually sets your brain’s chemistry to work and reduces blood cortisol levels, relieving daily stress. The effect is rapid, and increases dramatically the more and longer you smile. If your fate is to die of heart disease, every smile you give will actually increase your lifespan.
Read also: 5 Reasons Why Smiling is Healthy
2. Make Other People Smile
This is often done simply by employing step 1. As social creatures, our bodies respond to social stimuli. Smiling is universally understood across all cultures as being indicative of happiness. Being responsible for inducing the happiness of others elevates endorphin levels in your brain, again reducing cortisol levels and relieving daily stress.
3. Breathe Deeply
Stress tends to make us breathe short, shallow breaths. Forcing yourself to take deep breaths for a few minutes – especially multiple times a day if your stress is chronic – essentially tricks the body into reacting as if the mind had no worries.
This is an especially difficult thing to do if you’re really stressed out. Life can sometimes seem so overwhelming that it becomes next to impossible to make it through your days. Who can laugh, in such circumstances? Try to, anyway.
If you can’t laugh about anything in your own life, try living vicariously. Call a friend, someone who always gets you cracking up, and get her talking. Look up funny videos on YouTube. Watch a comedy episode on Netflix during your lunch break. Try to get the kids to laugh. It will often be infectious. Fewer things are as effective at relieving daily stress as laughter.
5. Get a Massage
Simply sharing physical contact with someone is enough to increase dopamine in the brain and significantly reduce daily stress. A proper relaxation massage, performed by a professional relaxation massage technician not only gives you physical contact but also decreases tension in the muscles focused on, and tension is something that significantly contributes to stress.
6. Finally, Hug Someone
Particularly for women, and as mentioned before, physical contact is a big deal. It is like setting off fireworks inside your brain, chemically speaking. Whether the hug produces sexual feelings, maternal feelings or just friendly feelings doesn’t matter as far as the result is concerned: touching others in an intimate way has a powerful effect on your body’s chemistry.
Read also: The Healing Power of Human Touch
Whatever else we may be, we humans are physical creatures. Our bodies are made of chemicals, reacting with each other. We have an advantage there, in that we can exert physical control over those reactions. Even temporary relief is important, because it isn’t just about your happiness – it is also about your health.
How do you relieve daily stress – feel free to share your tips in the comments below.
This helpful guide was put together with the help of professional at Madison Beauty. If you are looking for a relaxation massage in Brisbane, Australia – pay them a visit.