words Alexa Wang
Stress has crept into nearly everyone’s modern life, and that is certainly no good thing! Do you feel like stress affects your work or home life? Rest assured you are not alone in that!
But what can you do to manage stress? Well, read on for a selection of great tips we have hand picked for you for daily stress management.
What Causes Stress?
Simply… anything! Causes of stress in your life can come from almost anywhere. This website has lots of great articles with explanations on what causes stress in our lives, such as issues at work or feeling under pressure. Work is not the only place you can feel stressed, though. Common personal stressors include financial issues, the feeling of worrying about a person or situation, or big life changes. All of these are perfectly natural and normal reasons to feel stressed!
Stress Is Natural
Stress, worry, and anxiety are natural chemical reactions in your body. There is an area in your brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for your emotional response to things. When something negative happens, it sends an emergency signal to the hypothalamus, which in turn sends panic signals to your whole body. This initiates the “fight or flight” feeling we have evolved to have.
Why Stress Management Is Important For Health
The issue with this “fight or flight” feeling is that it is, from an evolutionary standpoint, designed to help us in extreme situations. For example, hunting a large animal for food, or running from a predator or dangerous situation. This causes a huge adrenaline rush and the body reacts strongly. Nowadays, simple things like a cluttered email inbox can cause the same stress. During this process the body releases cortisol. A long term over-release of cortisol can cause long term damage such as killing brain cells and even reducing the size of the brain. It can also cause a catch-22 situation where you are more and more prone to stress.
Simple Ways To Reduce Stress
While there are many ways people try to reduce stress, not all of them work. Here are some of our experts’ top tips for reducing stress:
- Talk It Out
If you can find someone you trust and can confide in, like a best friend or family member, it is a great first step to have a chat with them. Someone who you really feel you can open up and let everything out. This sounds unbelievably simple, but it’s true. You may be surprised at just how good you can feel by simply talking. “Getting it off your chest” as they say because it feels like you’ve talked some of the stress out of your body!
- Write It Down
Similar to talking, writing has been shown to have a huge help when it comes to stress. There are a couple of different techniques here. Firstly, consider writing a diary to pour out any thoughts that are weighing you down. This has the same effect as talking through things with someone you trust. Another thing you can try which has been proven effective is writing down things you are grateful for. Each morning write 5 things you are grateful for or happy about in your life. This has been proven to help change the mindset and make daily happiness improve.
The very top thing that you can do on your own to improve your mental state regarding stress and anxiety is to get out and get some exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the enemy of stress! A simple 15-minute run or workout can release enough mood-boosting chemicals in your brain to clear your head. Also, many people find exercise meditative, claiming they feel that they can process all the day’s issues whilst exercising.
Another simple mood-boosting trick is simply to find something to laugh at. Remember the old phrase? Laughter actually is the best medicine! Laughter is genuinely good for you and relieves stress and tension in both the mind and the muscles. It may be hard to make yourself laugh when feeling down, but find something to chuckle at and watch your worries slide away!
- Small Wins!
This is a simple and proven way to improve mood. Finding things to class as small wins. You can’t fix everything that’s upsetting you all at the same time, but if you find small things to count as wins, and make your brain feel like it has success! Doing this process of little wins has been proven to improve people’s mindset and help them achieve more goals long term.
So there are five simple tips for reducing stress in your life. Try them one by one and see which helps you the most. Remember, stress is totally natural, and so are all these ways of beating it!