Even though everyone seems to be stressed these days, from your mom to your pet hamster, the concept of stress wasn’t actually devised until the 1950’s. Presumably after everyone had started to become stressed once the 9-5 work day had been introduced!
But there are lots of reasons for stress, and simply blaming it all on the fact that we’re working longer hours is too simplistic an explanation, and it won’t help us to find a remedy. People can be stressed because they’re far too focused on goals that are demanding a lot from them, such as money and fame, or they can be stressed because they’re finding it hard to balance absolutely everything in their life, from work, family, friends, relationships, volunteering, their own small business, traveling and so on.
Thankfully, in the sixty or seventy years since the concept of stress was first introduced, research has been carried out on ways to combat this potentially debilitating condition. Here are the top 10 ways to beat it:
Listen To Your Favorite Music
Our first tip on how to reduce stress is to listen to your favorite music, it nearly always takes you back to your safe, happy place. When I feel terribly stressed and disillusioned with life, I listen to the songs that I loved when I was a child. Instantly, I’m transported away from my current hectic life and back to a life of freedom and no responsibilities. It always puts a smile back on my face.
You can listen to whatever works for you. Maybe you want to unleash the anger by rocking out in your kitchen to Metallica, or maybe the sweet, soothing sounds of Mozart is what you need right now.
Call Up An Old Friend
Next simple tip on how to reduce stress is to call up a friend. You could call up a friend you just saw yesterday for a chat, but it’s often a lot better to call up an old friend you haven’t spoken to for quite some time.
It’s healthy to stay in touch with people, but we don’t always have the time. Calling up someone who you’ve been neglecting lately and who always knows how to cheer you up is a good idea because it will take your mind off the stressful things that are happening right now and give you something else to direct your mind towards.
Old friends’ voices are so reassuring and comforting, and listening to them brings back fond memories and can help to put things into perspective.
Get Up Earlier
Getting up earlier probably doesn’t sound like something you want to do right now, but if you’re stressed because you’re struggling to get everything done in a day, getting up earlier could be the solution.
When you get up before everyone else, you feel positive because you know you’re getting things done while everyone else is still snoozing. You’ve got the edge, and this means you’re going to be kicking back at noon while everyone else is stressing themselves out as they struggle to meet deadlines and jam their fingers in the printer.
Have A Nap
One of the good tips on how to reduce stress is to have a nap. Lots of young people take naps these days, but you may not be a napper just yet because other people have told you that napping is for the weak, as well as lazy students.
And old people, of course. But napping is important for recharging batteries, and it can also reduce stress levels by wiping out cortisol from your body. Try it!
Fix Up Your Diet
A poor diet can actually make your stress levels a whole lot worse. Lots of people wrongly assume that the bad fats in junk food only head to their thighs and belly, but in actual fact this villainous creatures make their way up to our brain, too, where they tuck themselves away.
What happens is that they adversely affect our thinking, bringing down our mood and making our mind all cluttered. This exacerbates our stress.
So it’s important that you eat lots of good stuff, such as fruit and veg. If you always resort to junk food at work because you work such long hours, plan your meals the night before work. Pack yourself a lunch and treat yourself to nutritious delights. You deserve it.
It’s easy to think that people mindlessly chew gum because they’ve got not nothing better to do. They’re so bored that they have to actually have something in their mouth at all times, even though they’re not going to swallow it! Chewing gum can actually reduce your cortisol levels, which in turn can reduce stress.
Another tip on how to reduce stress is to simply laugh more.
They always say in movies and TV shows that laughter is the best medicine. But is this really true? Yeah, kinda!
Okay, while laughter might not be able to cure every single disease on the planet, it can certainly make you feel a lot more positive about yourself and the world.
When we laugh, we produce more endorphins (happy chemicals) which negate the amount of cortisol (stress hormones) we have swimming around our body. Laughter, then, is us playing a trick on our body, deceiving it into being happy.
Tonight, when you return home from work, put a comedy on. Laugh it out. Ignore the news and watch something funny.
Be Mindful Of The Present Moment
Practicing mindfulness meditation means we are aware of the present moment at all times. Rather than stressing out about what could go wrong tonight or tomorrow, we are instead soaking up the miracles that are happening right now, from the humming of the birds to the succulent smells of our food.
Drink Green Tea
Another tip on how to reduce stress is to drink green tea. Lots of us rely on coffee at work – but lots of us are also stressed. Is there a connection? According to some research, there is.
Moreover, lots of us also guzzle plenty of energy drinks during the day to keep us awake, alert and responsive at work. But these too are also loaded with caffeine, which can contribute to our stress.
Green tea contains a lot less caffeine than coffee, and it comes with numerous health benefits besides a stabler mind. Rich in antioxidants, it’s perfect for soothing your nervous system and calming you down.
Walks can be so calming and meditative, yet far too few of us bother to take strolls these days. “We’re just too busy,” we complain.
If you can walk to work instead of jumping on a packed bus or train, go for it. If you can pop out of your office for ten minutes during your dinner break, go for it. Getting outdoors can provide an instant stress relief.