The 21st-century lifestyle has an overwhelming abundance of everything. And with so many things to cope with, our primal friend ‘stress’ takes over most of our conscience, leaving us unhinged and anxious. Stress is our body’s natural defence against predators and danger, and it prepares us to fight or flight and releases umpteen amounts of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
A few symptoms of stress can range from physical, emotional and behavioural effects and hinder the productivity and the general well-being of a human being. Chronic stress can also lead to complications like anxiety disorder, depression, heart disease, blood pressure problems etc.
Stress management techniques include:
- Exercise: Either full-fledged workout plans or finding opportunities to move your body, exercise is a great stress-buster. It releases hormones like endorphins that block pain, improves sleep, and sedate you. It gives your body a euphoric feeling, and when your body feels good, your mind follows. Running, swimming, dancing, walking, cycling, and cleaning are a few relaxants.
- Diet: The benefits of eating healthy foods majorly impact your mental health. Eating healthily can eliminate stress, boost your immune system, reduce blood pressure, and level your mood. While junk food, alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can seem even more appealing when you’re under a lot of stress, lots of added sugar and fat can have the opposite effect. Antioxidants protect your cells from all the damage stress causes. Including complex carbohydrates, vitamin c, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium are inherent stress busters,
- Prioritisation: Grinding at work and having overflowing to-do lists may be a hustler’s identity, but sometimes focusing on only high-priority and time-sensitive tasks and calling it a day can bring more human satisfaction than anything else. Bring your nerd out; organize your schedules, relax, and pursue your interests and hobbies. You are more significant than the thing causing you so much stress.
The slow movements, stretching and deep breathing of Yoga evaporate generous amounts of stress.
- The 5000-year-old cure of meditation or the quiet exercise of paying attention to your breathing, allowing thoughts to come and go and living in your body than in your mind, cures even the modern-day man.
- Deep breathing calms your nervous system, which controls your ability to relax.
- Learning how to manage your heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure when stress hits through biofeedback can also help you recognize and eliminate the sources of stress.
- When you laugh, you take in more oxygen. Your heart, lungs, and muscles boost, and your body releases those feel-good hormones. Take Laugh Therapy or watch a comedy show!
- Simply ranting about what is stressing you out blows off a lot of steam. Talk therapy breaks down negative thought patterns and gets it all out of your system.
- Dodge stress bullets by not over-committing yourself, sharing responsibility, acknowledging the problem, thinking through before responding, counting numbers while under stress, and simply saying no.
Lastly, as the Stoics believe: “Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest.” You cannot control what life throws at you, but you can control how your mind responds. Be there for yourself and treat yourself like you’d treat somebody you love.
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