Taming Stress: Easy Ways to Destress
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The pandemic has significantly increased the cases of anxiety, depression, and stress worldwide. The uncertainty, fear, and drastic changes we experienced over the last few years have taken a toll on our mental health. However, stress can also be caused by mundane things we must deal with daily, such as heavy workloads, heavy traffic, marital problems, and financial issues. Too much stress can affect a person’s sleep, breathing pattern, mood, and appetite. It is also linked to several cardiovascular diseases.
Ideally, we have to lessen our exposure to stressors or avoid triggers, but unfortunately, this is not always possible. So, what we can do instead is learn how to manage and relieve stress. Below are some of the easiest ways to destress.
A little self-love can go a long way. Studies have shown that people who set aside a little time for self-care daily are reported to have lower levels of stress and a lower risk of burnout. Self-care doesn’t need to be grand or elaborate. It can be done in practical and simple ways like rereading your favourite book, dancing, exercising, going for a walk, or preparing a healthy meal. Some people love to soak in their freestanding baths after working to wash away the day’s chaos. You can also occasionally treat yourself to something a little extra, like getting a massage, going on a vacation, or going on a shopping spree.
Control Your Breathing
Some of the most obvious signs of stress are heavy breathing and fast heartbeats. If this happens, you can trick your brain into calming down by controlling your breathing. There are a lot of breathing techniques that you can try. One is the famous pranayama breathing technique which is a yogic method. This method will make you breathe through one nostril at a time to relieve the tension you are feeling. Other experts may instruct you to take slow, deep breaths to tame your heartbeats and lower your blood pressure. These breathing techniques are believed to balance the mind and body effectively and have the same effect as acupuncture.
Surround Yourself with the People you Love
The mere presence of your family and friends can alleviate your stress. Sure, you can tell them about the things that are bothering you, but if you are ready to open up, that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes, you only need to be with people you feel safe with. Go on a friendly date, have a nice dinner, sit around the TV, watch a movie, or simply have coffee and talk about life. Studies have shown that being surrounded by the people you love decreases depressive symptoms and stress. If you don’t have a support system nearby, consider joining a sports team, social groups, clubs, or volunteering.
Our mental health is just as important as our physical well-being. Although chronic stress is inevitable, we can always find simple ways to manage stress and improve our overall psychological condition. So, be mindful of your choices, be kind to others, and learn to be more gentle with yourself.