Everyone faces stress in their life, however, coping with stress is important before it goes out of control.
Excessive stress and tension have serious effects on one’s health and numerous research studies demonstrate the significance of alleviating stress. A study by the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 2010 indicates that individuals having work stress suffer from a greater body mass index (BMI) as compared to others.
Research done at Tel Aviv University, Israel, in 2006 stated that employees suffering from extreme stress have more chances (1.8 times more) of getting type 2 diabetes. Moreover, research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2006 found that excess stress hormones can lead to various skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
If you’re worried about stress issues, here are 11 easy and effective techniques to overcome them.
1. Perform Yoga
Yoga has various benefits. It not only maintains the shape of your body and enhances flexibility, but it’s also effective in reducing inflammation and stress.
According to “The Science of Yoga and Why it Works”, in some cases, inflammation is effective as it is an immune response while dealing with infections, however, if it reaches overwhelming levels, it leads to severe health issues like depression, heart diseases and asthma.
Research conducted in 2010 at Ohio State University stated that people with stress, during an activity such as dipping feet in ice cold water, resulted in lower inflammatory responses in yoga experts as compared to yoga beginners.
2. Adequate Sleep
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that getting enough sleep greatly enhances your health, reduces stress, and improves your appearance. Stress and sleeping disorders work like a vicious cycle as a stressed day leads to improper sleep at night, making you tired which increases stress levels.
The Clayton Sleep Institute in Saint Louis conducted research in 2010 which indicated that individuals suffering from severe stress have disturbed sleep patterns.
3. Talk Therapy
Another effective stress reduction technique is psychotherapy or talk therapy, helping to alleviate anxiety and stress. In this technique, psychotherapist and patient talk about issues faced by the patient and devise ways to lessen disturbed or deleterious thoughts.
Common talk therapy techniques include group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT); however, all of them rely on converting pessimistic thinking of patients into optimistic thoughts while handling everyday stress.
4. Exercise Daily
In order to alleviate stress, choose one exercise and do it every day as it lessens the quantity of cortisol, which is a hormone from the adrenal gland causing stress, anger, anxiety and fear. If cortisol levels increase too much, then it leads to inflammation and organ damage.
While talking to Live Science, Debbie Mandel, writer of Turn on your inner light: fitness for body, mind and soul by Busy Bee Group in 2003, stated that exercise reduces cortisol, making individuals healthy and happy. Additionally, exercise boosts pituitary glands to produce endorphins, the neurotransmitters causing happiness.
CDC suggests doing some kind of aerobic movements like speed walking for at 2.5 hours a week or doing activities that strengthen muscles in the body (back, leg, chest, arms, hips, shoulders, abdomen) for 2 to 3 days a week.
If you go for a walk of 10 minutes, three times a day for five days a week, that gives you 150 minutes of aerobic activity weekly.
Meditation has many advantages like comforting pain, relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, and avoiding relapses among depression patients.
Research at Emory University, Atlanta, in 2008 demonstrated benefits of Zen Meditation in boosting awareness and getting hold of the thought process along with concentrating on breathing. This leads to controlling problems associated with stressed feelings like hyperactivity and attention deficiency disorder. Meditation has all various types and it’s not only about sitting cross-legged. A few of them concentrate on clearing thoughts, whereas, some others motivate the person to think about improving health, and reflect on positive aspects of others and one’s own self. Meditation can be done by lying down or sitting on a chair.
6. Don’t Forget to Laugh
Laughing is an ideal treatment for reducing stress. Research carried out in 2001 at Loma Linda University indicated that participants who watched a funny video showed reduction in stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol. Their endorphins and human growth hormones were raised. They’re the neurotransmitters causing happiness, alleviating depression and strengthening the immune system.
Laughing is effective in controlling physical pain as well as in maintaining emotional pain or stress. A study by Oxford University stated that laughing increases our capability to endure pain as it releases endorphins.
7. Schedule Stress Time
Research by Penn State University in July demonstrated if the employees take out some time to contemplate on things that worry them, then it would be really effective.
If individuals allot a certain time, say 30 minutes a day for stress, it might be useful as they won’t be worrying all day and adjourn stress for a specific time. Furthermore, it is effective in maintaining stressful habits and concentrating on good things happening in their lives.
8. Stop Complaining
Researches demonstrated that whining about your stress even to your closed ones is ineffective in dealing with such issues.
Research by Kent University, England showed that individuals who are perfectionists suffer from stress every day and complaining makes their situation only worse. Stress increased after these individuals discussed their condition with friends.
According to Brad J. Bushman, social psychologist, researcher of aggression & coping and teacher at Ohio State University, whining about stress is useless for all whether they are perfectionists or not. While talking to My Health News Daily, he said complaining boosts stress instead of alleviating it.
In order to deal with stress, try these 3 approaches: humor, acceptance and positive reframing (seeing positive things in all situations).
9. Massage Therapy
Research in 2010 indicated that a massage not only brings comfort and releases tension in your muscles, but also positively influences your hormones. Participants of a study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, Los Angeles, were given a 45-minute massage, leading to reduced vasopressin, a hormone related to aggression and declined cortisol levels.
10. Start Writing
As per the study by National Institute of Health (NIH), keeping a record of stressful feelings can actually reduce them. Writing your emotions during stress makes you realize that you can control and change your condition. It’s effective in devising ways to solve the issues.
NIH states that reviewing your writings can highlight most stressful things, which in turn helps to get rid of things that cause stress and how to avoid them in coming times.
Oxytocin, a cuddle hormone is linked with social relationships is effective in decreasing stress. It is released from brain’s hypothalamus, goes to pituitary gland and sends hormones to the blood.
Various research on animals suggest that hormones can relieve anxiety and stress. A research done on isolated prairie voles (Midwestern rodents) in 2007 demonstrated symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, but these symptoms faded away after inserting oxytocin.
Oxytocin is naturally released during childbirth, sex, and breastfeeding. It’s also produced by ordinary physical contact like hugging. Oxytocin is heightened by playing with your pets as suggested by research published in Hormones and Behavior Journal.