Stress in psychology can be defined as the emotional strain that one experiences. According to various studies conducted, small amounts of stress is vital for our survival, it keeps us motivated and focused on our mail goal. However, unwanted and prolonged episodes of stress may affect one badly. To break things down for you, let us start with some of the common symptoms that demonstrate stress;
- Increased mood swings
- Inexplicable anxiety
- Muscle Tension
- Low energy
- Inexplicable palpitations
- Increased anger (check out our article on top 10 ways to manage your anger)
- Fluctuations in weight gain/loss
- Poor self-care
Stress may be caused by various factors; these may include workload, financial constraints, relationship issues and any unforeseen circumstances (the COVID-19 blues for example). Generally, stress comes with a few biological changes that cease with time. However, chronic or suppressed stress can lead to serious mental conditions like depression (here is a list of the top 5 places to go to when feeling depressed). Thus it is important to know how to relieve your stress.
- Identify and eliminate the triggering factors: Before you begin to work on your stress, it is very important to identify the factors that may be inducing it. A possible way to figure out the stress causing factors is as simple as listing down all the things that make you feel uncomfortable or any sort of mental strain. For example: thinking about all the work you have due over the weekend may be causing the unwanted stress in your life. Now that you have identified the triggering factor, work towards eliminating it. A simple way is to think of resolving them instead of pushing them aside or suppressing them. Instead of procrastinating about the work load, start doing your tasks, this will eliminate the stress and motivate you too.
- Exercise: Although as simple as it may sound, but channeling the energy or the strain that’s been building up in your body can do wonders. An intense workout or a jog in open air will help distract your mind and towards the end of the exercise you are sure to have a clearer mind which will allow you take the necessary decisions as detailed in the aforementioned step.
- Reduce the caffeine intake: Caffeine may seem like a good solution to drain down the symptoms that are caused by stress. However, caffeine is a stimulant and works to elevate the energy levels and thus aggravating the ‘fight or flight’ response preexisting in your body. Controlled amounts of caffeine may be essential to boost productivity but one should also be mindful of the side effects that come along with it.
- Aromatherapy and essential oils: Aromatherapy is another widespread method used to treat stress or anxiety. Aromatherapy makes use of essential oils and natural extracts to promote health and general psychological and physical well-being. To begin with this method, you can even use a scented candle to test if this method works for you.
- Yoga(t) it: Okay, maybe that’s not a great pun, but the great news here is that you really got it. Regardless of the nature of stress, positive self-talk and attitude is very crucial. Yoga, meditation and reflection are some of the ways that you can use to channel your inner thoughts and find a way through. Many of you may not have heard of it, but laughter yoga is also a popular form of yoga where the attendants are forced to laugh (or rather made to laugh) so that the brain is stimulated to release endorphins that behave as natural stress relievers.
- Breathe: Practicing breathing exercises can help ease you down. The increased oxygen flow is known to counter the effects that come about with the fight or flight situation.
- Sleep it off: Instead of constantly fretting about what should be and what should not, take a break and take a nap. Sleep the problem through and you will wake up with a clear mind to look at things from a fresh perspective with a possible solution to the situation that has been stressing you out.
- Go for counseling: Suppressed stress can lead to depression and other mental disorders therefore, it is necessary to seek immediate help. There is a generic stigma attached to mental health in our society and usually it makes seeking the help you need very abstruse. However, it very important to recall why you come before any of the social stigmas that are hindering you from becoming the best version of yourself.
- Meditate: Meditation is a quick escape from this world full of worries and stress. It allows you to establish yourself in the zen state and reflect upon everything. Meditation is known to produce a deep state of relaxation and thus a tranquil min free of any stress or troubling thoughts.
- Channel it through: Use the additional stress to your advantage and channel the extra adrenaline to achieve something productive. If you are under stress about a presentation at the office tomorrow, start by practicing for it and improving your mistakes. This way you will be able to avoid the feeling of being under constant stress but will also give a phenomenal presentation.
These are some of the many tips on how to relieve your stress.
If you have any other tips, let us know in the comments below.