5 Ways to Chase Away Stress ASAP
When you hear the word “stress” it is usually comes with a a deep sigh and sometimes even with a few tears shouting “Ayoko na!” What we often don’t realize is that stress is normal (it’s not only you that goes through it!) and at times, it is even good for us. You might notice that being stressed-out motivates you to focus on your work, yet at other times, you feel incredibly overwhelmed and can’t concentrate on anything. This is because stress can affect us in two ways: the beneficial and motivating kind of stress (eustress) or the angry and anxiety causing stress (distress).
Bright side of stress
In small amounts, stress can have a positive effect on us. Studies show that stress is a vital warning system that produces a fight or flight response. Once the brain perceives stress, it starts producing chemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol which increases the blood pressure and heart rate. With healthy amounts of stress, it can help you accomplish tasks efficiently as well as boost your memory.
While stress can sometimes be the key for optimum productivity, too much of it can put you at risk. Letting it consume your mental state everyday can cause chronic stress that continue over long periods of time. Weakened immune system, high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and even heart disease are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health setback that comes along with stress. This is why it is important to regulate a healthy level of stress. Luckily, we complied 5 hacks you could turn to when you are feeling overwhelmed.
1. Just Breathe
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. While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind.
2. Go Outside
If you are cooped up in your offce space staring at the mountain of paper work or sitting at your study table surrounded by a pile of books you are afraid to look at, do not force yourself to dive into things just yet. The best thing you can do is take a breather first and go for a walk. This will give you time to sort things in your head, and maybe gain a new perspective on how you are going to approach the situation. Why is this effective? Studies show that a physical activity causes our body to produce endorphins, popularly known as the feel-good hormone. It is important to note that if you have a lot of things lined up for you, do not scroll through your social media accounts as a way of “de-stressing”. Chances are you already spent 3 hours on it before realizing you need to go back to work.
3. Put on good music
Don’t have the luxury to go out? Play some music instead. Listen to something that has an uplifting beat tone and lyrics so your body can match the same vibe. Positive music = positive thoughts. You can try signing up for a free spotify account as it offers access to well thought off playlists ranging from creativity boost to chillax tunes. This is very effective because music can be used as catharsis, and therefore it has somewhat healing properties. Just put your headphones on and dive in.
4. Healthy Diet = Less Stress
Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. Unfortunately, it’s when we have the most work that our meals suffer. We often turn to sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up. To lessen stress, avoid fast food chains and instant meals. 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. Also consider cutting down coffee as it could cause a short-term spike in blood pressure and may to go into overdrive. Instead of your daily cup of Joe or an energy drink, 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 and soothing effect on the nervous system.
5. It’s all about a positive mindset
Sometimes a change of thought pattern or belief can help ease out stress. Keep in mind that you are in control of your thoughts even if it doesn’t feel that way. A colleague can be dealing with the same situation as you but does not seem to be fazed by it because they have a positive thought pattern. What you need to do is take a break from all the panicking and worrying. Focus your thoughts on the bigger picture like your goals in life. Remember where your attention goes energy flows, which means you can’t afford to spend anytime engaged in picturing what you don’t want.
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