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7 Highly Effective Stress – Busting Strategies

Let go of stress and invite peace into your moment, Inhale tranquility, exhale stress
Stress is an inevitable aspect of life, often arising unexpectedly and presenting challenges that leave us with feelings like tension, anxiety, or frustration. Life’s uncertainties bring stress with them, and the problem with stress is that it accumulates and grows with time. Stress acts as a persistent burden on one’s emotional and physical health.
Just take examples of a few situations like encountering a sudden obstacle while driving, facing a follower, the prospect of job loss, conflicts, misunderstandings, unresolved issues, financial difficulties, debt, or dealing with relationship struggles, they all are stressors that can induce overwhelming stress. Momentary or acute stressors pass with time but chronic stress that persists for a long time impacts mental health, physical well-being, and overall quality of life.
Coping with stressful events is not always straightforward, and the ability to do so may vary. While it’s true that we cannot always control external circumstances, exercising self-control becomes crucial in preventing situations from worsening.
Whenever possible you must try to avoid situations by simply ignoring them, tackling them bravely, seeking help, or practicing self-care. Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension that survives and grows within you. Sometimes situations are unpredictable and not as expected but the severity of stress depends only on your own choices, having control of your reactions and actions can certainly bring positive outcomes rather than bad outcomes.
Temporary stress can turn into chronic stress easily, thus stay more self-aware and start taking care of the problems before they turn big. We may not avoid the stress of our lives entirely on our own, as many uncontrolled events occur without waiting. But if we start practicing things that can bring positive changes in our life then it would be a great counter-response.
Let’s try these stress-busting techniques to avoid chronic stress and enhance your quality of life:

1. Stay stress-free by practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness encourages individuals to regain focus and awareness, pay full attention to moment-by-moment experiences without judgment, and not be caught in worry or rumination. In modern days life is fast-paced and often distracted, our minds are continuously wandering in the past, present, and future. Overreactiveness and a worrisome mind can be a great contributor to stress, anxiety, or depression.
Mindfulness practice helps you develop a non-reactive mind, a mind that is in your control. If you practice mindfulness then in stressful situations, you will not entangled in emotions and worries but you will have the power, to sort out the difficulties, stay calm, and have heightened awareness.
“Mindfulness meditation is living in the moment”
Mindfulness offers a pause, a reset, and an alternate way of seeing ourselves and our environment, as you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations in the present moment as they arise. Mindfulness practice is a technique not to eliminate incoming or perceived thoughts from your mind but the primary goal of this practice is to cultivate a non-judgmental awareness within you for the present moment by paying attention and self-regulation.
Some benefits of mindfulness include self-control, objectivity, affect tolerance, improved concentration, improved emotion regulation, mental clarity, lower stress, and decreased depression.
How to be mindful?
Here are the easy four steps to perform mindfulness meditation:
Step 1: Settle
Put yourself in a comfortable position and a quiet place, so that you can practice mindful meditation. Sit on the chair with a straight back and shoulders, and rest your elbows and arms on the tops of your knees, you can sit on the floor with crossed legs or simply lie down on the floor or bed, it’s simple just like sleeping on your back.
Step 2: Breathe
Gently close your eyes, start taking deeper breaths, and feel completely relaxed. Don’t exaggerate or push yourself. It’s not breathing that we are focusing on but we are about to practice mindfulness. Don’t control your breathing, follow its natural flow and try to get stable with your breathing.
Step 3: Focus
As you control your breathing, this is the time when your thoughts start taking shape and will start pulling you out of the meditation. Slow and deep breathing aids you in disengaging from persistent distracting thoughts and sensations. Thoughts will try to pull your attention away from the breath, don’t put your mind under their influence just notice them but don’t pass judgment or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns and gently return your focus to your breath each time.
Step 4: Stay
With a daily practice of 10 to 20 minutes, you should see positive results like decreased stress, and a sense of calm, peace, and balance within a few weeks to a couple of months. So for example, 10 minutes a day every day of the week, can be a good starting point then change it to 10 minutes twice a day and then maturing to 20 to 30 minutes a day, a daily practice is a must to reap the most benefits.

2. Relaxation techniques to get calm

Everyday stress needs to be lowered and to cope with it you must practice relaxation techniques that can help you decrease the stress both physical and mental, caused by life priorities, illness, or unwanted events. Relaxation techniques can help you with lowering blood pressure, lowering fatigue, reducing anger and frustration, and reducing the activity of stress hormones. Here are a few relaxation techniques that you must practice.
  • Massage
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Music and art therapy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
If one technique doesn’t work, you must try other techniques and find out the best for you that works to calm you and help you with stress reduction. Stop continuing any technique that’s making you more stressed or emotionally imbalanced, be patient with your practice as your ability to learn relaxation techniques improves with time.

3. Stay active to feel good

Stress can cause us to feel fatigued and not want to get up and move around, but staying active acts as a great therapy helping us feel relaxed. When we are active or performing some physical activity our brain’s production of feel-good neurotransmitters bumps up which are called endorphins. Endorphins are called feel-good hormones that can enhance your sense of well-being and cheer you up.
Exercising regularly reduces stress hormones like cortisol, stimulates the production of endorphins, and brings positive effects on your mood by relieving tension, anxiety, anger, and mild depression symptoms. Even ten minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects and is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function.

4. Nourish your body with healthy food

When under stress our body releases stress hormones called cortisols, long term everyday stress releases cortisol hormone more regularly, and due to that many health problems like heart-related, diabetes, and obesity can turn on. You must have heard the word “Emotional or stress eating”, stress can trigger emotional eating which refers to the tendency to overeat in response to negative emotions. Emotional eating is when people use food as a way to deal, suppress, or soothe negative emotions with feelings such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness, and loneliness instead of satisfying hunger.
Emotional hunger does not originate from the stomach, such as with a rumbling or growling stomach. Emotional hunger tends to start when a person thinks about a craving or wants something specific to eat. High cortisol levels released due to stress increase hunger hormones which result in cravings for sugary or fatty foods like fast foods, fatty meats, fried foods, fatty snacks, processed meats, desserts, and others.
As these foods are rich in saturated fats, eating too much saturated fats in your diet can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and obesity if you continue to consume these foods regularly. Put a stop to emotional and stress eating by identifying triggers, fighting cravings, and finding more satisfying natural foodways to feed your hunger.

5. Ditch all unhealthy habits

Stress not only affects your body directly, but it can also lead to unhealthy habits and behaviors, many of which can increase your risk of heart disease. Stress encourages addictive behaviors, bad habits, and other poor lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol in excess, chain-smoking, and other recreational drugs. These are very damaging habits that people under stress intend to choose to counter the stress, but they are dangerous and can disrupt critical brain functions such as self-control, decision-making, memory, and concentration impairment putting you at increased risk for a variety of physical and mental health problems.

6. Connect with the happy world

People under stress may try to isolate themselves by withdrawing from friends or partners. Stressful individuals either experience physical separation from other people or emotional detachment where a person is not able to engage with others via feelings.
Attachment disorders can be temporary concerning stressful situations but long-term stress can turn these detachments more habit forming. Don’t set boundaries with the people, you must talk with people to discuss the situation.
There are many easy ways these days, social media is a great way to get a general public view, you can video call your loved ones sitting far away from you, even you can get help from specialized people through Skype or other media channels. Sharing is caring and everyone wants to help you never feel alone when you are stuck, everyone in the world faces these stressful situations.
It’s true sometimes people need space or time as a coping mechanism when faced with stressful or difficult situations, but don’t be stuck in the zone forever. Things happen, and situations turn bad, isolating yourself from the rest of the world will make you more stressed and depressed. So connect with the world to find the solution to the problem, develop an ability to withstand adversity, and bounce back from difficult life events.

7. Prioritize your sleep

Getting good sleep can help manage stress, reduce anxiety, and support healthy brain function. Prioritizing a regular sleep schedule to get the full benefits, such as muscle repair and memory consolidation. A good night’s sleep is a gateway to improving mood, reducing stress, and increasing resilience.
When you get a good night’s rest, your body naturally reduces the levels of cortisol and other stress hormone. Stress can lead to sleep deprivation and chronic stress can lead to more serious problems like insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders.
Stress-induced sleep apnea increases cortisol hormone and long-term continuous release of stress hormones can be a risk to your health. Stress and sleep are so closely tied to each other that understanding and addressing one of these issues can often lead to improvements for the other.
Start practicing good sleep hygiene to lower cortisol levels:
  • Keep your bedroom quiet and dark
  • Keep your sleep schedule consistent – Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • Keep digital distractions like mobile, laptop, or TV off for half an hour to sleep
  • Avoid caffeine in the late evening
  • Make your environment noise and distraction-free
  • Try relaxation activities before bedtime like taking a bath, reading a book, listening to your favorite music, or practicing meditation

When To Seek Professional Help?

Chronic stress is a prolonged and constant feeling of stress that can negatively affect your health if it goes untreated. The physical effects of stress usually do not last long but mentally they can be alarming. Even with a good self-management plan, sometimes you may need more support. A mental health professional can be a great resource if you have thoughts of self-harm, feel drawn to drugs or alcohol, have frequent crying, or lose interest in living. Seek help right away if you have suicidal thoughts. Sometimes your instinct or intuition tells you that something is wrong, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Remember: Focus on the things that you can control instead of dwelling on what you cannot change. Chronic stress is something many people experience, but it doesn’t mean you have to slog through it, and certainly not alone. The sooner you get care and prioritize your healing, the sooner you can feel more like yourself. “Life is fun and you get it only once, so take care of yourself and seek help.”

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