Plenty of us are no strangers to stress, and for many of us, it is just as ingrained as the urge to eat or drink. In fact, in 2007, it was suggested in the ‘Stress in America’ study that around a third of Americans were just living with extreme stress, with the study only to be repeated years later in 2020, showing a more thorough understanding of what causes stress in individuals. Unsurprisingly, the stress statistics were also much higher than in 2007 too. So, what can we do for ourselves to manage this sweeping problem?
This piece will explore some of the strategies you can implement to reduce stress and achieve emotional equilibrium.
This is perhaps one of the top strategies we hear the most when it comes to relieving our body and mind of stress, and that is because it is one of the most effective. It could be that getting off the couch is the last thing we feel like doing when we are burned out, but doing some exercise will be much more beneficial in the long run – plus, the couch will always be there afterward!
Walking or jogging are simple activities you can do to get your heart rate going and cover many of the big muscle groups, and they are also something you can do outside in the fresh air, which is another great factor for relieving stress.
If you are particularly stressed, there is a good chance that you do not feel like there is much to laugh about right now – but if you can find a funny movie or a friend you can chat to, then having a good old belly laugh can do a few things for your health. Not only does it relieve your stress response, but it can also relieve tension in your muscles (something common in those who are stressed) and also help improve your immune system, which can be particularly vulnerable when you are stressed. So, if you ever needed a sign to spend some time on TikTok for your health – then here it is.
If you are reading this, you breathe every day all day, so you might wonder how on earth that can change your stress levels. However, it’s the type of breathing that can do different things for our body. Deep mindful breathing tells our body we are safe and that our nervous system can relax, with no need to prepare for imminent danger. There are different types of breathing exercises you can do, so find one to suit you. It is also important to note that if you try any of these techniques and you feel they do not help, it is worth getting your hormone levels checked out, as they are significantly impacted by stress.
Learn to Say No
Saying no can be extremely difficult in a western society that always wants you to say yes. However, all that does is put pressure and stress on us when we need to say no. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no and putting yourself first.