It wasn’t until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress. Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
Listen to music
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
Talk it out with a friend
When you’re feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends are important
Talk yourself through it OR write down what you are thinking about
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing. it doesn't make you crazy
Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. When we’re overwhelmed, we often forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, Try to avoid sugary snacks and plan ahead. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.
Laugh it off
Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy. Our suggestion: watch some classic Monty Python skits like “The Ministry of Silly Walks.”
Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try green tea. It has less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Most of the tips we’ve suggested provide immediate relief, but there are also many lifestyle changes that can be more effective in the long run. The concept of “mindfulness” is a large part of meditative and somatic approaches to mental health and has become popular recently.
Exercise (even for a minute)
Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean powerlifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a break at work can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantaneously.
Everyone knows stress can cause you to lose sleep. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. Turn the TV off earlier, dim the lights, and give yourself time to relax before going to bed. It may be the most effective stress buster on our list.
The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it holds true when it comes to stress. For centuries, Buddhist monks have been conscious of deliberate breathing during meditation. For an easy three- to five-minute exercise, sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest.
When times are really hard, Try to keep some form of routine going
1/ Get up and go to bed at usual times. Or slightly later if you don’t need to go to work
2/ Have meals at normal times. Spend time planning extra special meals or new menus.
3/ Make sure you exercise. It doesn’t have to be boring or hard work, dancing to your favourite music is really good exercise. Maybe you could skype or facetime with friends and all dance.
4/ Get in touch with friends and family. The ones you never have time to catch up with or your old neighbour
5/ Start an online course. Or youtube, how to draw, how to learn a new language, feels daunting, start with kids Spanish.
Do not I REPEAT Do not catastrophes.
6/ Take some slow deep breaths, count in your head as you breath – in 1 2 3 4 5 6 out 6 5 4 3 2 1
Try the free calm app. Calm.com/blog/takeabreath
If you are self-isolating
Split your day into hours/ periods.
Do you remember how your school timetable was laid out, make a timetable of your day even if 1 hour/period includes – checking out Facebook, exercising which inc jumping about in from of the TV, prepare dinner, clean wardrobe.
Split your day purposefully so that you feel ready to just relax at night by watching a good movie or
watching TV whatever you would normally do to relax.
Or indulge yourself, have a bath, light some candles and play some soothing music.
What a difference a smile makes
Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. A 2010 study found that making yourself smile when you’re feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts. So, if you’re having a bad day, try smiling anyway—it may lead to a genuine smile and lift your spirits.
Lower Blood Pressure
Smiling and laughing more appear to help lower your blood pressure, which is good news for your heart health. A 2009 review explains that laughter causes an initial increase in heart rate, followed by a period of muscle relaxation and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Did you know that smiling more often, whether you’re feeling happy or not, helps your body deal with stressful situations more effectively? A 2015 study published in Psychological Science found that smiling can result in a lower heart rate during stressful tasks. Stress generally causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. So, maintaining a smile when stressed provides you with both psychological and physical health benefits.
Have you noticed that you’re drawn to people who smile a lot? People who smile are perceived as being more likeable than people who don’t smile, according to one 2014 study. Being likeable makes it easier to build and maintain better relationships with people, which is important for your overall health and well-being. A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions have more stable marriages and better interpersonal skills than people with negative emotions. So, keep a smile on your face to help create stronger, healthier social bonds.
Stronger Immune Function
Believe it or not, laughter (which often begins with a smile) appears to help boost your body’s immune system. Mayo Clinic reports that laughter and positive thoughts release signalling molecules in your brain that fight stress and illnesses, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity. One 2015 study found that laughter therapy increases immune responses in women who have just had babies. So, maybe laughter really is the best medicine.
Pain relief might be the last thing you’d associate with smiling and laughter, but there are, indeed, links. Mayo Clinic reports that laughter causes your body to release its own natural painkillers. And a 2012 study found that social laughter increases your pain threshold, creating a higher pain tolerance. So, if you’re in pain due to an injury, illness or chronic disease, watch a funny movie, attend a comedy show or hang out with friends and family who make you smile.
It turns out that the fountain of youth might be right under your nose. A 2010 study found that smiling and positive emotions are associated with increased life spans. Talk about a reason to smile!
Smiling and laughter are beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being. Even if you’re feeling blue, crack a smile and reap the numerous health benefits of smiling.