Stress is the response of the body to your thoughts and perceptions and unexpected events. If you are suddenly faced with a person or situation that makes you anxious, your body tells you to either fight or take flight in order to survive. Hormones are released by the body that will make you either fight harder or run faster. When human beings cannot cope up with pressures that rouse physiological responses, this paves the way for stress. Here are effective stress busters you can try.
Effective Stress Busters You Can Try
1. Stop what you are doing
Since stress is the response of the brain or body to an exhausting task you are performing, you should stop what you are doing for a while. An example is doing a report on your computer at work. You can walk away from your computer for a few minutes to take a coffee break, and then come back when you feel re-energized.
2. Eat foods that are nutritious and healthy
Another cause of stress is poor diet. It is best to eat foods that are nutritious and healthy to fight stress. Medical experts say eating more fruits and veggies in controlled portion sizes can help you deal with anxiety and stress.
When you are hungry, you can munch on healthy snacks such as celery, a veggie that is rich in phthalides. You can also eat fresh cherries because they help lower stress and calm your nervous system. Have some lettuce as this also possesses a sedative effect due to its lacturcarium content. Lacturcarium is a natural sedative and it is inside a lettuce’s white, milky juice.
Another stress buster is eating oats as they also contain a sedative effect to remove stress from the body. Eat pasta or rice as this kind of food raises the level of serotonin in the brain so that the body will be soothed.
Consume whole wheat bread which is enriched with B-vitamins. These nutrients help protect the nervous system. You can also get Vitamin B from brown rice, whole grain cereals and wheat pita bread.
Be reminded that 60% of the calories you take every day should come from such starchy foods and they should be distributed in your meals.
3. Exercise at least half an hour every day
A healthy stress buster is exercising for at least half an hour every day so as to remove bad thoughts and let out curbed energy. When you exercise, you will release endorphins, hormones that decrease stress and give you happy thoughts.
4. Practice yoga
One effective exercise which removes stress is yoga as it makes you meditate, practice proper breathing and stretch out your body to calm tight muscles. It relaxes your body, mind and soul and makes you bend gently and stretch slowly so as to remove stress settling in the neck and shoulders.
Here is a great relaxation exercise that helps to relieve stress by combining different elements of deep breathing and yoga.
5. Breathe properly
When you are anxious and stressed out, you tend to have brief, shallow breaths. Because of this, you take in an insufficient amount of oxygen and this makes it harder for your blood to distribute the nutrients you get from food to all the parts of your body. When you breathe properly by inhaling and exhaling slowly and fully, your mind will relax and your heart rate shall decrease.
In one day, perform 10-minute breathing exercises three times for a calm and relaxed body and mind.
6. Talk about your problems
Another stress buster is talking about your problems with a person you trust. This will make you have a wider perspective on things and you will receive the sympathy you need during rough times. When you know that someone understands your plight, your problems become easier to bear.
7. Do what you love
Performing things you like doing will help lessen your stress. You can have a massage, take a warm bath, watch a movie, read a good book or dine out with your family or friends. There are people who escape from their problems for a while by watching a drama where they can look at things in a new perspective. This may help them realize that their problems may not be as bad as they think they are.
8. Enjoy some peacefulness
Look for a quiet area in your house and stay there for a few minutes. It can be under the shade of a tree or in your garden. While you are there, play some music and just enjoy the peacefulness of your surroundings. This is one relaxing stress buster you can do.
9. Soak in your bathtub
You can soothe tight muscles by mixing one-half cup of salt, two cups of baking soda and one cup of Epsom salts. Take half a cup of this mixture and add it in your tub of water. Bathe in this mixture and you will find your muscles loosening.
Before going to bed at night, you can soak in your bathtub filled with warm water mixed with one-third cup of baking soda and one-third cup of ginger. This shall help soothe your body.
Another stress buster is warming some sesame, corn or sunflower oil and rubbing it over your body. Afterwards, take a long hot bath to relax your body.
10. Stop drinking alcohol
Medical experts say unhealthy habits can trigger or worsen stress. You should therefore stop drinking alcohol, smoking cigars and taking illegal drugs. All these will make you ill and increase your levels of stress. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will help you minimize stress.
11. Say NO
When you take in more tasks than you can handle, this can make you stressed out. Say no to some tasks and just take in the activities you can do. If you force yourself to perform many things, you will become overwhelmed and burdened.
12. Try to think positively
Being positive is an effective stress buster. If you are optimistic in life, you will be able to manage your stress wisely. When you think positively and change your outlook in life, your stress will be controlled. Positive thoughts will alter the way you respond to stressful situations.
Remove negative thoughts because they will just stress you out.
Be with people who can help remove your stress away such as a support group. You will all be able to help one another out in dealing with problems and coming up with solutions. This will result to lesser stress in life.
In case you have problems with clearing your mind from negative thoughts, try this relaxation exercise.
13. Avoid stressful people
There are also experts who say a good stress buster is simply avoiding stressful people, places and situations. If you do not like a certain person, try to avoid him or her if possible. If you do not like rowdy people, do not go to bars. If you hate crowds, do not go to shopping malls. You can control your stress by avoiding those that worsen it.
14. Look at the greater picture
You should look at the greater picture of things rather than concentrating on smaller situations. If you focus on little things, this can result to negative thoughts. In every situation you are faced with, try to look at its advantages rather than the disadvantages.
15. Learn to be accepting
Another way to fight stress is to learn to be accepting. When you accept people and situations as they are and that you cannot control everything, your mind will not be burdened with so much bothersome thoughts. Learn to forgive and then focus on moving on from situations that have brought you stress.
16. Believe that there is a Supreme Being out there
For religious people the most powerful stress buster is prayer. When you believe that there is a Supreme Being out there to help you with your woes and problems, life will be easier to live through and this shall help minimize your stress levels.
With these stress-busting tips, you will have a better quality of life.
Photo: Arielle Nadel