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Five Quirky Ways to Reduce Stress

Five Quirky Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress is a major problem in today’s fast-paced and busy society. Almost everyone seems to be stacked with back to back appointments, time-constraints, and overly-demanding lifestyles that can render the body’s coping strategies ineffective. However, it must taken into consideration that stress is not altogether a bad thing; as a matter of fact, it can even be a motivating and potentially a life-saving force.

Stress can only pose risks when it becomes uncontrolled and chronic.The detrimental effects of this type of stress on your health and life in general are numerous. Among the most are stress-related health conditions are: hypertension, heart attack, stroke, ulcer, infertility and depression.

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If you want to avoid these potentially life-threatening conditions, you should make the effort to keep your stress within manageable levels, and while there are a lot of stress-reducing techniques out there, I would like to share with you some of the simplest and underused yet effective techniques to reduce stress:

Slow down.

Changing the pace of your usually frantic and frazzled day can do wonders to your stress levels. Make a conscious effort to both walk and talk more slowly, and drive at a slower pace. You may think that slowing things down can cause you to fall behind your tasks and responsibilities but studies have actually showed that doing things at a relaxed pace leads to better performance and higher productivity, as it gives you the chance to think things through thoroughly; thereby, you are likely to come to more well-rounded and fleshed-out decisions.

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Go on a noise diet.

Recent studies have validated the assertion that noise aggravates stress. Several studies have revealed that distracting noise and unpleasant sounds have the ability to stimulate the release of the body’s stress hormones. This shouldn’t be too hard to understand as all of us must have experienced how nerve-racking it is to be in a noisy environment—whether in the home, in the workplace or in public places. However, as much as we would like to have a calmer, more toned-down environment, it is just not going to happen, especially if you are living in the city. So, the next best thing to do is to go on a sound diet. Simply, this means balancing annoying noise with healthier sounds—counter unpleasant noises with white noise or calming sounds. Great ideas include installing a table-top water fountain at your office, opt for noise-cancelling headphones and have regular noise detox sessions by visiting a nearby park or zen garden.

Get a massage.

Among the initial symptoms of chronic stress is muscle tension, where muscles tighten up, around your neck, shoulders and back. The rhythmic kneading, rubbing and stroking of your muscles during a massage stimulate circulation, provide warmth and reduce muscular flaccidity. Recent studies have also showed that massage increases levels of stress-relieving hormones serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.

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Clean your home.

You may not have initially thought of the chore of house cleaning as an effective stress-reliever, but believe me it works wonders. Cleaning your house can get you busy and take your mind off the things that are causing you to feel stressed. By giving you a form of physical activity, it is also a great way to blow off steam and get some endorphins pumped into your system. And ultimately, there is nothing more relaxing than walking into a clean and clutter-free home.

Breathe.

When you are stressed, your breathing tends to be fast and shallow. This type of breathing pattern, when prolonged, tends to cause even more anxiety. Learning to control how you breathe can greatly help you lower your stress levels instantly. You will need to breathe slowly and deeply to combat anxiety and elicit a relaxation response. Whenever you are stressed out, take notice of how you are breathing and take control of it.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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