Throughout our life, there may be times when we are more anxious than usual. However, stress is something different, as it is responsible for numerous mental and physical illnesses. Therefore, we need to learn how to manage stress to prevent it from taking its toll. Here are five tips to get you started.
From the beginning of time, exercise has been known to improve mood. However, these are not just empty words; this is backed up by science. For decades, numerous studies have shown that the body releases endorphins when exercising.
In turn, exercising helps to keep the body active and energized. What does this mean? Basically, that the body will be able to “rehearse” the states of alertness and reaction that relieve stress. Consequently, the brain will receive the message that it is prepared for what lies ahead.
You’ve surely heard of serotonin, known as the happy hormone. When we exercise, the brain produces it in greater quantities. Its results are staggering, as it gives us a greater sense of well-being, which is key to relieving stress.
Do an electrical stimulation workout
Did you know that electrical stimulation helps to relieve stress? When training with electrical stimulation, the brain produces more endorphins than usual. These block the pain receptors so that they don’t affect the body, preventing them from triggering a negative response. Without a doubt, a world brimming with benefits.
Sport with others
Doing sport with friends or family can be a perfect way to relax. The key lies in exercising outdoors and choosing one that tickles everyone’s fancy. Why outdoors? Because it is the best place to de-stress and leave all your troubles behind. However, you should stay away from spaces that are too crowded or too close to the city, as they produce the opposite effect.
Aerobic or pre-choreographed classes
Aerobic exercise is ideal for letting off steam, since it keeps all the muscles of the body activated. As a result, there is that sense of preparation that we mentioned earlier. All this positively affects serotonin levels which, in turn, raises self-esteem.
2. Sleep well
What does sleeping well mean for you? For many people, it is simply lying down on a comfortable bed. On the other hand, others believe that it is linked to the number of hours of sleep they get. In fact, it is a combination of different factors and conditions that are required for you to truly rest from the stresses of day to day life.
The first thing to consider is that the brain does not remain inactive when we are asleep (it never does, to tell you the truth). So, you need to create a nice environment to sleep in. Noisy or brightly lit places are a no-go. Just because we can sleep under these circumstances does not mean that we are actually getting any rest.
On the other hand, be aware of how much sleep you are getting. Eight hours is said to be the average needed, but this information should be qualified, since it depends on age:
- Newborns (between 4 and 12 months): 12-16 hours a day.
- 1- 2 years: 11-14 hours.
- 3- 5 years: 10-13 hours.
- 6-12 years: 9-12 hours.
- 13-18 years: 8-10 hours.
- Adults: 7-8 hours.
- Elderly: 7-8 hours.
Another important aspect is to sleep continuously during these hours. This means not spreading the recommend number of hours over a 24-hour period, as this is inefficient and can damage health. Obviously, newborns and children up to 5 years of age are exempt, as they need their naps.
3. Follow a healthy diet
Numerous studies have linked nutrition to our mood. So, what we eat can affect our bodies differently, from a psychological point of view. We are, of course, referring to healthy products.
Several foods have been proven to help trigger serotonin production. Dark chocolate and coffee have traditionally been the leading exponents in this regard. In both cases, these are dairy-free versions, since they have a higher cocoa and caffeine content, respectively.
On the other hand, it’s a good idea to add to this list products that are rich in tryptophan, a substance that increases serotonin production. It is an essential amino acid that the body can’t produce on its own, so it must be ingested through foods like turkey, chicken, cheese, nuts or fish.
4. Best relaxation techniques
Have you ever tried meditating, and consciously relaxing? If you are one of those who believe that all you have to do is just close your eyes and let your mind go blank, you need to change your mindset. Here is a selection of the best relaxation techniques to help you release tension from your body.
Meditation is perfect for managing stress. It is about training our mind to focus and redirect our thoughts to delve deeper into our state of mind. All of this may sound too tough, but it is something that comes with practice. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you:
- Choose a nice place. You should set aside a room in the home devoted exclusively to meditation.
- Get away from it all. Leave your cell phone somewhere else and try to leave your worries to one side.
- Put on relaxing music. This can help the heart to adapt to its rhythm, leading to a greater feeling of relaxation.
Next, we recommend looking for guided meditations online. The most important thing is for this time, no matter how short, to become something sacred. This is the only way to make a lifestyle change.
Yoga is no longer an ancient practice known only in some regions of the world. It is now one of the most popular stress-reducing techniques on the planet. Through different postures, the muscles will tighten and then relax. The result is a feeling of total well-being from head to toe.
Another aspect that is cultivated through yoga is breathing. Good coordination between your breathing and the postures that are performed is what will help to relieve stress. Not just that, but yoga has been proven to help improve patience in the medium and long term.
From its beginnings, Tai chi was a self-defense technique in the East, but it has become one of the Western world’s favorite ways to relax. Unlike other disciplines, it involves smooth movements combined in a fluid manner to relieve tension in the muscles.
You have probably heard of tai chi on numerous occasions. However, there are several different techniques, so you should choose the one that best suits you. The key is to be aware of the effects of each one, which can be anything from improving health in a certain area to relaxation, which is what we are after.
5. Enjoy your loved ones
The pandemic has taught us that we cannot live without spending time with those we love. So, now, more than ever, we should learn how to manage our time so we spend it with those we really want to be with. Remember that family and friends are the main source of well-being.
Within this last point, one thing should be made clear: we should work to live, not the other way around. How many times have you turned down a night out with friends because you’ve got back exhausted from work? When was the last time you got the family together for lunch? There is little point in doing sport and leading a healthy lifestyle if we don’t share it with our loved ones.
Remember, we are also social beings. So, humans couldn’t survive without contact with others. Of course, this contact needs to be pleasant and take place in environments that we feel truly safe in. How about organizing a get-together with friends? Maybe the sign you’ve been looking for is out there.
Now that you know how to manage stress, how about making these 5 tips a part of your life. Who knows? They could turn into your New Year’s resolutions. 2022 is just around the corner. Now is your chance to turn your life around. Remember: feeling anxious is normal, but you shouldn’t let stress get the best of you. If you are looking for more inspiration to set yourself new goals, subscribe to our blog. We’ll help you achieve them!