8 Best Ways to Positively Handle Stress

Recently, more of us than ever have been exposed to stress and stressful situations exacerbated by the global pandemic.

Whilst it may seem like a juxtaposition, there are ways to positively handle stress in order to reduce the effect it has on your health and mental wellbeing.

We’ve listed some of the best ways to do so below.

Learn Stress Management Techniques

Unfortunately stress is an unavoidable part of life, and different things can trigger it. Life situations such as moving house, getting married, or even emigrating are common sources of stress, which is why it’s best to not avoid it.

If you avoid stress, you could irrevocably damage your mental health. Instead of trying to avoid stress and stressful situations, manage it.

There are a number of different stress management strategies for both home, and even the workplace. Ask your employer about looking into first aid for mental health courses.

Play Your Favourite Music

Playing calm music has been proven to have a positive effect on the mind and body. Playing calming music, or even your favourite songs up loud has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the hormone cortisol, a hormone that when present indicates stress.

Calming music can include classical music, as well as film and TV scores, or even nature sounds. Recently a new trend on YouTube has been that of soundscapes which include rainy coffee shops, jazz bars and even landscapes from times gone by.

Natural sounds and soundscapes all possess the same relaxing effects, so try one out the next time you’re feeling stressed.

Talk it out with a Friend

Talking is one of the most natural remedies available for those who are suffering from stress. It’s why mental health professionals recommend therapy, or calling helplines when people are suffering profusely from mental ill-health.

If you’re able, take a moment and call either a friend or family member and talk through your problems. Sometimes just having someone else’s perspective or advice can calm us and make us see things from an entirely new viewpoint.

Talk it Through With Yourself

If calling a friend or family member isn’t an option, sit quietly and instead vent your thoughts out loud to yourself.

Sometimes forming the words and actually concentrating on the issue makes us see the matter more clearly, and we can explore potential resolutions.

Try not to feel silly! Instead, think of it as an out loud pep talk.

Eat the Right Things

A nutritional diet benefits stress levels and hormones more than you may think. Sugary, or fatty foods can actually make us feel worse because although we experience a temporary sugar rush, the crash we may experience can exacerbate things.

Instead eat nutritious meals when you’re stressed. Include a lot of fruits and vegetables, and re-energize your brain with fish. Fish contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which is also proven to reduce stress and its symptoms. Even something as simple as a tuna sandwich can kickstart your brain energy.

Laugh, Loudly!

It may be cliche but laughter is truly the best medicine. Laughter releases endorphins capable of lifting our mood and decreasing cortisol levels.

Join a zoom call or a socially distanced meetup with friends and laugh it out, or stick on your favourite comedy. It’s medically therapeutic!

Drink Green or Herbal Tea

Coffee may be the go-to for caffeine addicts but it has the same adverse effects as sugar. Short term spikes in blood pressure and energy only cause long-term crashes on the other side.

In addition, too much caffeine can overstimulate anxiety levels, increasing stress.

Opt instead for green, or herbal tea. Herbal teas contain antioxidants and theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to have calming effects on the nervous system.

Take a Moment to be Mindful

Mindfulness is at the heart of meditation, a traditional practice proven to relax and reduce stress.

The best part about mindfulness is that you don’t need to meditate to perform it. Instead, when you reach a particularly stressful moment, just pause and breathe. Allow yourself a moment to think through your next move, and to assess everything that has happened to have you feeling any emotions you’re currently experiencing.

Address them, and then exhale. Your next move should then come from a place of better understanding and stillness, helping to keep you calmer.

If it’s possible, take up yoga and qigong. Both of these exercises use mindfulness, and target stress reduction in their practice.

Exercise

To exercise you don’t need to throw on your workout clothes and dedicate yourself to an entire session.

A brisk 20 minute walk outside counts as exercise, and better yet – you’re in the fresh air, something proven to reset the mind.

Simply getting moving can release endorphins, boosting your mood and removing you from a stressful situation.

Set a Sleep Routine

Unfortunately this is a double-sided coin, as stress can actually cause insomnia and interrupted sleep.

Lack of sleep then also worsens stress because it interrupts the synchronicity between brain and body.

One way to help this is to try and stick to a rigid bedtime routine. Set a sleep time and a wake time and stick to that. Before bed, lower the lights and avoid screens so that you can signal to your brain and body that it’s time to wind down for the night. Reading a book is also a great accompanier to sleep as it can take your mind off of your worries beforehand.

The next time you are feeling stressed, try one of these 8 methods. We hope that they help you.

Utilizing Combat Breathing to Dominate Anxiety, Tension, and Fear

When in pursuit of a hazardous lawbreaker that may be equipped and going to do practically anything to avert capture, authorities and specialized tactical groups can’t risk letting their bodies combat or flight response take control of their decision making abilities. The loss of focus, shaking, and lack of capability to focus aren’t just important to their own security, however the security of civilians, and even the criminal of the criminal activity.

To gain control over their bodies fear action and adrenaline even in the most extreme of circumstances, police and military training includes what is called “combat breathing”, a tactical breathing technique for the quick relief of the physical and mental impacts of tension that can be utilized with fantastic effectiveness by anybody dealing with stress, stress and anxiety, and even panic attacks.

As anyone who has actually fought anxiety or a phobia understands, the increase of adrenaline and cortisol into the blood and brain throughout high levels of anxiety can immediately and badly impact appropriate performance and be extremely uncomfortable and scary, the fear response itself often being misinterpreted as proof that the person will lose control.

As soon as the reaction that releases the stress chemicals into the body has actually started, it is almost difficult to stop. Battle breathing was created to assist police and military workers in quickly gaining control over their tension responses during remarkable situations and is commonly considered a fundamental element of successful training.

Among America’s many appreciated cops psychologists, thinks about such techniques so imperative to officer training, he was quoted as stating, “Policeman should be taught controlled breathing from The First Day in training to the point where it ends up being so automated they do it without believing.”

Additionally, a previous special forces soldier who taught psychology at West Point who developed the widely used and applauded training resource “The Bullet-Proof Mind.” has actually taught the breathing workout and its favorable influence on efficiency throughout high-speed pursuits for several years.

One sergeant discussed the essentials of combat breathing as follows, “The breathing is done in cycles. Inhale through your nose for a count of four; hold your breath for a count of 4; exhale through your mouth for a count of 4; hold your breath for a count of 4, and then restart the cycle. Breath deeply and methodically – completely filling and emptying your lungs throughout each cycle. This basic strategy will lower your high blood pressure and arousal/stress level, and minimize the frustrating adverse effects of an adrenaline dump.”

When you’re feeling stress and anxiety, fear, or an anxiety attack while driving to the grocery store, when far from house, when mingling, or when doing anything else that brings you stress and anxiety, take a tip from police and military workers whose lives hang in the balance of their ability to manage their stress action and practice fight breathing. This is likewise an outstanding skill to teach children with stress and anxiety conditions or phobias, so practice it with your child or employ other advanced kid stress and anxiety treatment strategies gone over at.

Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

What makes or breaks the best-laid “top ten goals for a healthier me”? Inertia, and it can’t wait to wreck all our plans. Counter-solution: stay focused on the positive stuff we will gain, right? To some, that is applicable and realistic, but to others, that sounds easier said than done.

Enter the concept of planning and aiming smart, not just planning to get tough. Read on to find out how gradual changes increase your chances for inner and outer success, more than just wishing for a shot-in-the-dark grand slam.    

1. Select a goal and aspire to achieve it.

Write down a healthy target, and make sure it is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. An example of a well-written SMART goal is: “I will (particular activity) to burn at least (X target) calories through (realistic: exercise?) in this (time frame).”

Here are some examples of some diet goals broken down into simpler targets:

Instead of the norm: a huge share devoted to carbs, then some protein, then a so-so bit of vegetables, try to set up in reverse order. Half your plate is for vegetables, then split up the remaining portion between a starch (consisting ideally of complex carbs) and a protein.

Another goal could be to drink a glass of water before eating.

Yet another is that for every hour spent sitting, step out and go for brisk five-minute walks. Sitting for most of the day is the hallmark of a sedentary lifestyle, and it is no help for your cardiac health. But remember what we said at the start: it may feel unrealistic to push yourself to exercise when you’re the activity go-getter, so scattering movement throughout your day might just be what suits you. Doing the above will help you achieve a total of a 40-minute walk.

2. Floss!

There are many reliable reports on how flossing daily is strikingly related to a longer life expectancy. Flossing helps you in two ways: it reduces the risk of gum disease, and may even prevent heart disease.

Now here’s something else to make you put that dental floss beside your toothbrush: there is some evidence linking bacteria found in a common type of gum disease to dementia. Just the same, many scientists, for now, can only say there’s enough of a connection to persuade everyone not to take chances. So, try to have healthier gums by incorporate flossing into your dental routine.

3. Get a healthy amount of sleep.

The stuff of nightmares for fitness lovers: getting a near-fatal stroke at a relatively young age. But similar news made the rounds of social media some weeks ago; a fitness instructor (who is also a family man, too) pointed to his stroke’s root cause in his 6 hours of sleep or less.

There is no way around your body’s request for 7 to 8 hours of sleep to repair cells. Try going to bed five minutes earlier each night (or just every few nights, if you find it tough). The point is to hit the seven to nine hours of sleep for adults, recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.

4. Make your social network (the actual real-life variety) add value to your lifestyle.

Tone down on TV and online gaming and devote it to developing better social connections. A good number of people nowadays describe social networking (allotting time for family and friends) as a time-consuming effort.

Nevertheless, these real-life investments are worth the effort when it comes to getting support to be able to face life-changing events (family issues, unemployment, a life-threatening disease, etc).  

Sometimes lifelong friendships start with mere effort to improve your communication with them (start with e-mail, phone or in person) by having a great story to share. What makes a great story? It builds connections, it’s a motive to collaborate, or that it simply implies concern and empathy.  

We could go on and on with great small steps you can take to start a healthy lifestyle. But remember, the lifestyle itself would be just a symptom of your success. The goal and target is a more meaningful time for people who matter to you, and this is possible because you are healthy, you can focus, or put effort into reciprocating them. But it’s easier for your brain to process a healthy lifestyle by breaking it down into SMART goals and aspiring to achieve them.