How stress affects your brain
How to Deal with Stress
Exercise – Be active
Physical activity is an incredible way of reducing and preventing the effects of stress, but you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits. Just about any kind of physical activity can help reduce stress and get rid of anger, tension, and frustration. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it can also be used as a great distraction to your daily worries. In addition to reducing stress, physical activity also helps you stay in shape and is great for your health.
Although the maximum benefit comes from exercising for 30 minutes or more, you can start small and slowly build up your fitness level. Even very small activities count. The first step is to get yourself up and moving.
Here are a few easy ways:
Put on some music and dance around
Take your dog for a walk
Walk or cycle to the grocery store
Use the stairs rather than an elevator
Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you workout
Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with your kids
Go for a swim or a nice hike in nature
Do things that you love – Hobbies
Do something you enjoy. Hobbies are activities that are definitely not related to work. You may feel that you’re too busy to do these things, but making time to do something you enjoy can help you relax. When you invest time in a creative hobby, your mind has a chance to take a break from stressful activities and jump into a fun place with no deadlines, rules, or pressure. Focusing on a hobby distracts you from everything that you have been dealing with in your day.
Another benefit of having creative hobbies is that you can join a hobby group. These groups are a great way to make good friends with similar interests. Even if it is a hobby that you do only once a week, it is still effective.
Here are a few hobbies that you may enjoy :
A creative activity, such as writing, painting, drawing.
Playing with and caring for pets.
Many therapists and psychiatrists recommend meditation in order to reduce stress. A few minutes of practice everyday can help reduce stress.
Research has shown that meditation has benefits on mental health, including an increase in emotional positivity and an increased ability to deal with life’s stresses. Meditation not only involves relaxation, it also creates mindfulness, which helps us recognize unhelpful patterns of thought that make ourselves even more stressed. In addition, it also improves positive qualities such as loving, kindness, compassion, patience, and energy.
It’s simple, sit up straight or lay down with both feet on the floor and close your eyes. Relax your muscles starting with the feet and progressing up to your face. Focus your attention on saying (out loud or silently) a positive saying such as “I feel at peace” or “I love myself.” Place one hand on your belly and breathe deeply. Let any distracting thoughts float by like clouds. This should be done in a quiet place free of distractions. The technique requires some practice and may be difficult at first, but over time almost anyone can learn to achieve the desired feeling of relaxation.
Listen to music
Music can affect both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you release the stress of the day. Music is great for relaxation and stress management.
Studies have shown that listening to slow, relaxing music slows down your pulse and heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and actually lowers levels of stress hormones in your body. Listening to music is one of the easiest things to fit into your routine, and it’s also one of the most effective.
Also upbeat tunes can take your mind off what stresses you, and help you feel happier. To incorporate music into a busy life, try playing CDs in the car, put the radio on when in the bath or shower and listen to music on your earphones when walking the dog.
Some hospitals even use music to help cure patients, or reduce their stress before and after surgery.
Other sounds that also help reduce stress are sounds of rain, thunder, and other nature sounds.
stay in shape
invest time in
take a break
relax your muscles
slows down your pulse
lowers your blood pressure
take your mind off something