Stress can be a real problem for many of us. The chaos of the modern world has been proven to initiate that natural fight-or-flight reaction in our brains, which is not how we are meant to feel 24/7! Recent studies have shown that as many as 18% of adults in the USA admit to regular feelings of stress and anxiety, but only 1.5% of them actually receive treatment.
These numbers are quite shocking and certainly, show the levels of stress being felt today. So, what can we be doing to manage or reduce our overall stress levels? We’ve spoken to experts and compiled some wonderfully helpful tips to share with you today. Read on to find out more about stress management and reduction.
One tip we heard many times was to keep a little stress-busting kit in your home. The fantastic team at lovelyrefinement.com/create-ultimate-stress-relief-kit/ shared their stress relief kit ideas with us, and frankly, there are some great ideas in there. One we liked, in particular, was to keep some very tiny plates and a small hammer in the kit for when you really need to smash out some stressed energy!
Other great ideas to keep within your stress-busting kit could be as simple as a small piece of your favorite chocolate – just enough mind, we don’t want to encourage too much stress eating – or a selection of essential oils and scented candles. If you already know which of these things help make you feel more relaxed, get your stress kit packed up and put it somewhere safe for when you really need it.
You may feel like exercise or running is the last thing you want to do when feeling stressed, but we’ve got news for you: it’s really, really good for you! Repetitive exercise like running, jogging, long walks, or even weightlifting, has been shown to help massively reduce stress. The reasons for this are layered and plenty. Firstly, stress hormones are reduced and expelled with these sorts of exercises. This means that you’ll actually have less chemical ability to feel stressed after a really sweaty session, like magic!
On top of this, your body releases endorphins, or feel-good chemicals, during exercise as well. So after a good workout, your chemical balance is really leaning towards happiness instead of stress. Finally, exercise can help you process. Many find running or weightlifting very cathartic for the mind. Sometimes you may find yourself actually thinking through your worries while working out. Sometimes you just realized you seem to have compartmentalized things during the exercise and can focus on positive things.
Talking It Out
Something that seems more and more undervalued in today’s digital world is the power of conversation. Studies show that talking through your problems with a trusted friend, loved one, or counselor can dramatically reduce stress levels. Maybe you do not feel ready to open up, or maybe you’re trapped scrolling through the digital version of the world and feel like you have nobody to talk to. Whatever the case, we suggest reaching out to someone and having a good chat. Over dinner, with a drink, or in a counselor’s office. All of the above can help more than you may even realize.
The art of meditation has existed for centuries yet has only recently seen a boom in the western world, thanks to the internet’s influence. It is estimated that over 35 million Americans have practiced meditation within the last year, or 11%. These numbers are rising rapidly. Meditation works in many ways, but one of the key stress-reducing factors comes with the mind focusing that it teaches you.
By learning to focus the mind on the breath and the body while accepting and then disregarding other thoughts that enter your mind, you begin to take that focus into your daily life. This aids stress relief by helping you to focus on the good, the comfortable, the happy while respecting and reducing the negative. Meditation also helps relax the body, fight fatigue, and reduce inflammation, which is a bonus for stress relief.
If you haven’t already, give one of these practices a go and see how you get on. While we can’t guarantee they will all work the same for everyone, we can tell you that they are all proven, tried-and-tested ideas, which should hopefully give you some more focus and relaxation in your life. Reducing stress can be both a pleasant and enlightening experience if you decide to work through a combination of these ideas. We wish you all the success on your stress-reducing journey.