Our life is full of stressful events, almost everyone of us experiences stress every once and a while, and non of us escapes. This post is actually focusing more on how to cope with your stress naturally, but its very important to know that stress is very harmful to your body and brain. A recent study showed that stress may take a toll on the unborn. Women who reported high levels of stress on a life events scale were more likely to experience a spontaneous abortion at 11 weeks or later. So, its necessarily for everyone of us to be familiar with few techniques to reduce stress. Not matter what your source of stress, job related, family, friends, or daily hassles, these tips might be helpful for you to cope with your stress effectively.
Motion Creates Emotion: According to many doctors and psychologists, when people are depressed they become less active. This dramatically slows your heart rate and less oxygen travels to your brain. So, if you felt one day that your are stressed out, then walk around your house, or cook a meal you like, this activity would create motion and therefore, would enhance your mood.
Help Others Deal With Their Problems: You are not alone, you are not the only one who is depressed, sad or stressed out. Most people around have similar issues, sometimes they are good at hiding their emotions, but believe me its there. So, how about trying to help these people cope with their problems? This method actually would help you a lot because you will be shocked to learn that many people have worse problems than you have. You will be saying, Oh, my problems is not that bad and I don’t have to worry about it that much.
Laughter is the Best Medicine: I can’t tell you how many times I read articles about the benefits of laughing on your body, mind and life. Every now and then, researchers find a new reason of why laughing is great medicine.
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.Laughter boosts the immune system.
- Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
- Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
- Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Enjoy Mother Nature: You might forget about your stress if you walk in the park, or go for a picnic. Fresh air, green environment, smell of water, sound of waves might reduce your stress and enhance your entire
outlook towards life. Things that seem troubling, soon will become trivial matters.
Meditation and Relaxation: Try Yoga, or tai-chi. These techniques could seriously reduce your stress and help you cope with it. Its highly recommended that you sign up for a Yoga class if you are depressed, why? Many reasons, in Yoga classes they teach you how to breath and teach you special postures for depression such as bridge pose and camel pose. I personally took a Yoga class last semester, in the beginning I found really hard, but after learning variety of relaxing techniques I bought a Yoga music CD and started practicing Yoga at home. Here is four requirements for achieving the relaxation repose:
- A quiet place in which distractions and external stimulation are minimized.
- A passive attitude.
- A mental device such as focusing your attention on a single thought or world and repeating it over and over.
- A comfortable position such as sitting in an easy chair.
Another relaxation technique that you may use is called autogenic training. Its a relaxation-promoting form of self-hypnosis involving a series of exercises that induce feelings of heaviness and warmth in the body’s limbs.
Social Support: Research showed that people who perceive a high level of social support may experience less stress and my cope more effectively. Also, people who seek social support reported significantly fewer stress-related physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath. Seeking social support is a wise way to reduce your stress, however, people with HIV cancer are at lower risk from dying if they get social support. Throughout our lives, friends are an important stress-busing resource. The important point is our perception of social support. If we perceive a high level, we are better able to cope with stress. Research has also found that social support is associated with faster recovery and few medical complications after surgery, lower mortality rates, and less distress in the face of a terminal illness. Your friends at school or work can prevent of eliminate stress significantly, what you have to do is to find a close friend or a relative and open your heart to the problems you have. Be careful, sometimes social support does not reduce stress and benefit health. in fact, it may produce opposite results, this may occur when the type of support offered may not be what is needed at the moment.
Exercise: Many studies demonstrate that regularly taking part in sustained moderate-level exercise can have significant health-protective benefits. The most commonly advocated type of exercise is aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling, or running, which elevates the heart rate through sustained activity. But how exactly does exercise help us cope with stress? Norepinephrine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that increase arousal and boost mood, are low n depressed people. Aerobic exercise such as running my counteract depression in part by increasing the serotonin activity in the brain and thus replacing depressions’ state of low arousal. So, running does naturally what antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxildo.
Sources and References:
Health Psychology – By Richard Straub