Healthy Ways To De-Stress

Stress is a killer. It can cause many health issues. When people are under stress, they often do many things to deal with the problem, and not all of those things are healthy. Sometimes people consume alcohol or abuse drugs. Others may overeat or sit and worry. None of those are healthy ways to de-stress. One option to help reduce stress is controlled breathing. Breathing in slowly through the nose, holding the breath, and releasing the air by exhaling slowly through the mouth can help slow heart rate and relax a stressed individual.

Exercise is an adjunct therapy for anxiety and depression.

Exercise helps burn off the hormones of stress. Stress triggers the fight-or-flight response, which prepares the body to run or fight. Exercise produces similar movements and by doing that, burns off the stress hormones and replaces them with ones that make you feel good. It can help lower blood pressure and heart rate while burning calories. It’s not just good as a de-stressor, regardless of your mindset.

Visualization and meditation can help control stress and relax you.

Breathing techniques are part of meditation and visualization but they take it one step further. When you meditate, you are inward-focused and trained to clear your mind and calm your state of being. Visualization uses deep breathing but adds images. Taking a deep breath might be visualized as taking in a cleansing substance that absorbs all the stress and stress-related thoughts. As you breathe out, you might picture the air laden with darkness, representing the stress that leaves the body as you exhale.

Be kind to yourself and have a good laugh.

Do something special for yourself. You should be your own best caretaker. When you’re under stress, take time out to do activities you enjoy. It can be as simple as taking a long bath or walking in nature. The key is it should be something you enjoy. If you love comedy, watch your favorite show, or get together with friends who make you laugh. If none of those are possible, go it alone. Look at your present situation through humorous eyes or fake it until you can make it. Put a grin on your face and force a belly laugh. Pretend you’re acting if that makes it feel more natural. Before you know it, that smile will be real.

  • An unhealthy diet exacerbates stress, even though stress can make you want to eat more junk food. Resist the urge and focus on eating healthier to provide the nutrients for your body to weather the storm.
  • Unplug from the internet, television—unless it’s to watch a comedy—and your phone. Studies show that too much time on computers and phones can minimize well-being. If you’re spending time in front of a screen, it can negatively affect sleep.
  • Enjoy a change of pace with a good cup of herbal tea. While water is also a good substitute, nothing nurtures more than a warm liquid. Several herbal teas can offer relaxation, such as chamomile.
  • Spend time cuddling with your family, or even your pet. Holding another person can release oxytocin that reduces stress hormones. Pets provide that same reaction. One study found that the purring of a cat decreases stress, lowers blood pressure, and provides many other health benefits.

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