Stress is defined as the physical and psychological change in us caused by bodily and emotional tensions. Although stress is a part of life, it would be an understatement to say that modern day people are under increasing stress. The global uncertainties with the spread of pandemic and armed conflicts have weighed on the increase of stress levels. What can be done about stress in these trying times? In this article I would like to share three simple but efficient ways to better handle stress.
1. Healthy Eating to Ease Stress
When stressed out, there is a tendency for people to binge eat as a way to relieve stress. Binge eating usually involves consuming junk foods in large portions, which can lead to undesired weight gain that is a major cause of stress.
The best way to eat healthy when stressed is to eat small meals often throughout the day. When you are hungry, eat a healthy snack rather than a large meal. By dividing your meals into several smaller portions, it is easier to control the amount of food you eat. This not only prevents binge eating, but also helps to control hunger, which is another source of stress.
Although exercising is not always easy in the busy, modern world and can often be thought of as stressful, regular exercises have been proven to decrease stress and be beneficial to our overall well-being. By doing exercise, our endorphins increase, which improves our mood and reduces stress levels.
Even simple exercises, such as stretching and deep breathing, can be helpful in reducing physical stress. Stretching can help to relieve muscle tension, which is a common source of stress. Deep breathing exercises can also help to reduce tension and stress by increasing oxygen flow to the brain. For a quick tip on how to do these stress relief exercises, check out 7 Quick Stretches and 8 Deep Breathing Exercises for more information.
Visualization is one of the oldest and most commonly used relaxation techniques to manage stress. The basic concept of visualization is to train your mind to relax by conjuring peaceful images in your mind. You can do this by focusing your attention on the image you want to achieve, such as a tranquil scene or a favorite piece of music, and then imagining small details of the scene or music.
Visualization can be done by repeating the process until you feel relaxed, which will gradually result in relaxation of the entire body. Once you get used to visualizations, you can try to increase the duration and complexity of your visualizations, which will result in even better relaxation.
Everyone’s triggers for stress and the level of stress they reach are different and so will the ways to handle stress. Therefore, finding the methods that suit you to manage stress will be important. If you are considering therapy as a way to manage stress, therapists can help you identify the causes of your stress, go over your current methods of stress management with you, and assist you in developing your stress management strategies.
If you would like to learn more about how therapists can help you, please check out our blog post 5 Main Benefits of Mental Health Counseling.