We all know our best friend “Stress” very well. We didn’t choose him, but he loves piggybacking around wherever we go. He’s there by your side when you’re at home, at work, at the mall, at the park, and even when you’re lying sleepless in your bed at night. He’s a marriage you didn’t choose, but you have complete power to walk out of only if you decide.
According to statistics, over 70% of individuals experience periodic physical and psychological symptoms of stress. Work and money are cited as the two leading causes of it, making it a common ailment for young adults who have yet to figure out their lives. About 48% of the stressed are already losing sleep and realize it is affecting their personal and professional lives negatively.
More research suggests that stress can hamper explicit, implicit and working memory. About 35 young adult men were taken for this research, depicting disruptive working memory processing under acute stress. So if you’ve been particularly forgetful and have trouble remembering important details, it is probably due to stress.
The thing about stress is that it doesn’t necessarily stem from work. The absence of work is equally stressful. As some people like to put it: stress isn’t associated with a thing, it is the perception of that thing which instigates stress.
Now that we’ve established that you really need to break off with your best friend for your own health’s sake let’s see how simple things work to create a distance between you and stress.
This is possibly the most recommended solution to beat stress. Life and all that it contains is hands down stressful. But if you take a minute to break free from the rush and focus on your internal balance, it can go a long way in reinstating your inner peace.
People call it different names starting from yoga to chakra balancing, mindfulness, visualization, deep breathing and more. The crux is to stop for a moment or two and use your internal positivity to combat external negativity.
The easiest way is to take deep, slow breaths. Period. Gather all your attention towards your breathing. Inhale goodness and exhale stress. Even five minutes of this can do a lot to alleviate stress and boost your mood.
If you’d like to take it to the next level, try yoga and meditation. These routines aim to channelize energies in your body through specific movements. It does work, always!
Love the Waters
Swimming, bathing or even drinking water when you’re stressed can help you manage it effectively. Research suggests adding lavender bath oil can reduce stress and promote sleep. So if you’re planning to take a good soak, you might as well benefit from essential oils and bath salts.
Water in all its forms is well known for its stress reducing properties. Whether it’s the beach or your swimming pool, floating in water creates a sense of weightlessness, making you feel physically and mentally light. Even your morning bath can make a big difference in your mood.
When you’re feeling inexplicably irritated and/or dehydrated, a drink of water can do a lot in solving these symptoms.
There’s a reason why people hit the gym when they’re feeling off. It’s an instant mood booster, enabling you to transform your negative energies for physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual betterment. Who wouldn’t love to lose a few pounds and look good?
Whether it’s a long walk in the park or the early morning jog, don’t let stress follow you too close behind. Swimming, weight training, cardio exercises, gymnastics, MMA and all other forms of exercise offer similar benefits regarding stress management. Activities such as shoulder rolls and arm swings not only help strengthen shoulders but also release stress.
So put your body to work and enjoy the mental peace it brings. Also, don’t forget to stretch lightly before exercising to warm up your muscles and prevent injuries.
Stress eating is common nowadays. Just to reiterate what you already know: it isn’t healthy. Stress alters your food choices, encouraging you to consume more sugar-intense and high-fat foods. It takes a toll on your health, and the rest is history repeating itself.
Be mindful of what you put in your mouth – simply put, watch what you eat. Be it snacks, lunch, dinner, hi-tea, or any other reason to eat, the healthier you consume, the better you feel. And the better you feel, the more you can keep stress at bay.
No, eating well doesn’t mean shunning your favorite junk food and resorting to salads all day and night. Though having a healthy serving of salads won’t hurt, it doesn’t go well with the sophisticated palate.
The idea of eating well includes (in addition to the quality of food) the time at which you eat, the quantity of food, and your own appetite. Staying hungry or binge eating doesn’t help. Stick to a schedule and add some nutrition-rich foods in your daily diet. Simple changes can work towards a bigger revolution.
We’re all addicted to something or the other. For some people, it is caffeine and/or alcohol. For others, it is smoke and/or drugs. Know and accept it in your heart that these addictions will take you nowhere and will possibly only aggravate stress when their short-lived stupor goes away.
In most cases, these addictions begin as a result of stress and continue as poor habits till you’re medically forced to do something about it. If you can’t completely throw it out, at least limit in a way that allows you to perform other daily activities without fail.
For caffeine and alcohol, in particular, do not consume these before bedtime. Even with the apparent numbing effect, these addictions can cause disturbed sleep, adding to your stress the next day.
There will always be situations that aren’t in your control. Or even if they are, you’ll be bound by other limitations that won’t let you do something about it. Stress is always just a few decisions away. That’s just how life was built to be.
The key is to not let it get to you and instead do something. Either just accept the fate as it is or own up and do something about your situation. Your life and your decisions are your responsibility. Happiness and peace is always an inside job.
Don’t let your best friend “Stress” take you down the wrong path. Also, don’t shy away from seeking help. Most mental health practitioners have incorporated telemedicine into their practice. This means you can seek guidance and ask any questions you might have using your smartphone or laptop. Yes, you no longer have to visit a healthcare facility physically to consult a licensed counselor.