Definition of Stress:
Stress is defined as the reaction of the body, to a particular situation or a thought. It is an overwhelming feeling that makes you feel angry, nervous and frustrated. Stress is a perception and is different for every person. Though all stress is not bad, there is good stress, which can help you get things done, and there is bad stress which causes physical and emotional distress.
What are the negative implications of stress on your health?
Stress can cause negative impact on health and if left unchecked and unmanaged, it can lead to various health problems causing:
- Rapid heart beat
- Upset stomach
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Autoimmune disorders
- Low metabolism
- Skin problems like eczema, psoriasis and other inflammations.
10 Best Ways to De-Stress Yourself:
As a response to stress, our body releases hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine. Exercise on the other hand releases endorphins which are like nature’s morphine (pain-killer) and burns cortisol and norepinephrine, making you feel lively and energized. Taking a 20 minute brisk walk every day can boost the serotonin levels in the brain and can help you de-stress.
Meditation is a quick and easy way to relax your brain and de-stress. Meditation is done by practicing relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, visualization and yoga.
Different types of meditation are:
3. Epsom salt hot bath
Epsom salt baths can be very helpful for stress relief. Stress causes our body to drain out magnesium. Epsom salts have magnesium, that also helps in the production of serotonin, the feel good hormone. Epsom salt relaxes muscles and the nervous system , boost serotonin levels, thus is a great stress reliever.
Aromatherapy is also one of the great ways to de-stress, and you can take it with you in your car, office or at home. The reason aromatherapy is so effective is because smell has a direct access to the part of the brain which controls our behavior. Aromatherapy reduces cortisol , the stress hormone in our body and alters the perception of pain. Aromatherapy can be used in form of candles, body oils for massage, diffuser, and lotions. Research has shown that lavender and rosemary oil both reduce cortisol levels.
5. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy not only relives stress but also relaxes you. Massage reduces cortisol levels and increases the production of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Massage also slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure, and block pain receptors in the nervous system.
6. LOL (Laugh Out Loud)
Have you heard the quote that “Laughter is the best medicine” ? Laughter is a powerful stress reliever of all time. Laughter not only helps you lighten your stress but it also stimulated your heart, lungs and muscles due to the fact that when you laugh, you improve the flow of oxygen to these organs. Laughter also releases endorphins, which are the brain’s feel good chemicals. So go watch a funny movie and laugh out loud.
You might ask, how can volunteering help stress levels? Well, stress in our life is always about our problems and our thoughts and our fear of inability to cope with it. Volunteering for a cause that we like, changes our focus by taking our mind off of things that bother us and makes us feel that we can make a difference in the community. This brings other things in perspective as well. Volunteering increases confidence, self-esteem and can make a person feel more positive towards the stress in his/her life.
8. Showing Gratitude
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
9. Certain foods that relieve stress
Yes you heard it right! There are some foods that are great stress relievers. Eating foods that stabilize blood sugar also reduce stress.
- Dark chocolate
- Green, or oolong tea
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Red bell pepper
- Fortified cereals
- Sweet potato
10. Natural supplements that help with stress
- Vitamin B-complex
- Vitamin C
- Lemon Balm
- Passion flower
- Holy Basil
- Cats claw
- Gotu Kola