Stress management tips: 7 simple ways to relieve your stress
Dealing with stress is a part of our modern, hectic and fast-paced lifestyle.
Stress leads directly to low self-esteem, headaches, irritability and fatigue which can limit our mood and productivity.
Stress can also directly affect your sleep. The National Sleep Survey found that stress and anxiety was one of the leading causes of sleep disturbance.
Whether it’s work or relationship related, we all find ourselves under pressure from time to time and it can play havoc with our daily routine.
Relieving stress can prove easier said than done.
Stress is, after all, a state of the mind that affects everyone differently.
We can’t always change these external pressures or simply sleep on them to make them go away.
So if you feel yourself starting to be overcome with stress, here are seven easily fulfilled tips to reduce your stress.
1. Take a short break and go for a walk.
When you are stressed it is easy to say you “have too much to do” and you can feel like you simply don’t have a spare minute to take a break from your busy schedule.
However getting away for just 15-30 minutes a day puts a physical and mental distance between you and your cause of stress.
It allows a chance to have a break, take in your surroundings and refocus your mind before resuming with your daily tasks.
According to reports, walking (or any regular exercise) can reduce your stress in a number of ways:
- More endorphins, your body’s feel good receptors, are released in your brain, improving your mood.
- Studies have shown that it can reduce blood pressure.
- It can raise your confidence and ability to handle problems.
- It gives you a break from daily tasks and allows you to refocus.
2. Reduce your caffeine intake.
It’s not uncommon to have those days where you feel you need a little boost to help you through a tedious morning.
It may even be part of our daily routine! It works for some, but it can leave the rest of us feeling irritable and stressed.
According to a recent study, coffee has effects that are, “long-lasting and exaggerate the stress response both in terms of the body’s physiological response in blood pressure elevations and stress hormone levels, but it also magnifies a person’s perception of stress.”
It may be hard at first to scale back or eliminate that daily caffeine intake, but in the long run, as you become less reliant, it work wonders for your stress reduction.
3. Disconnect from technology.
This one might be hard for some of us…
Technology is part of our lives now and whether we’re up late refreshing our social media pages or watching just one more of the latest must-see TV series; it can be hard to escape.
In our modern age, a complete disconnection from technology is simply is not feasible.
However there are still two steps you can take to disconnect from technology to reduce stress.
Firstly, if you are feeling overwhelmed, try taking a break from your phone and find an alternative to do.
Perhaps it’s a quick for twenty minutes or sitting down with a family member or a pet.
It will allow you to ‘get away’ from the pressures of technology and may help reduce your stress.
Alternatively, try disconnecting from technology an hour before you go to sleep.
The idea of ‘blue light’ (the light emitted from all digital displays) is becoming more and more relevant as health professionals work out the negative effects it can have on your brain.
At time, if we’re staring at our phones right up until the moment we sleep, it can leave our brains feeling wired and working overtime even whilst we sleep.
It can also throw off our circadian rhythm and make a good night’s sleep nearly impossible, which only adds to stress.
4. Try these breathing techniques.
This is an old, tried and tested way to beat feelings of anxiety and stress.
There are a few different techniques for deep breathing, but they all have the same effect; getting a larger than normal volume of air into the lungs and holding it there for a short time.
If you are feeling stressed, try this breathing technique:
- Take 5 seconds to slowly inhale a larger than normal volume of air.
- Hold it in your lungs for 5 seconds.
- Take 5 seconds to slowly exhale the air.
- Do this 9 more times.
In less than two minutes time, this exercise can significantly reduce any stress and anxiety you are feeling.
- Discover more breathing tips here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/
5. Drink tea!
As any true Brit knows, there’s nothing better for relieving stress than sitting down and having a strong brew.
Taking just a short break out of your hectic day to stop and have a nice cup of tea gives you a moment of worry free peace.
It also gives you the chance to chat to your friends, family or colleagues about things other than work.
Try setting aside some time to have a cuppa with some friends/family/work colleagues each day.
It will also set you into a daily routine so you have something to look forward to.
6. Listen to music
We all have our favourite songs, albums and playlists that remind us of more fun times.
When you’re feeling stressed, try putting some earphones in and playing some of your favourite music.
Not only does music have a unique link to our emotions, on a biological level, it can also slow your pulse and heart rate, allowing you to feel more relaxed.
Listening to music before you sleep can also be beneficial for relieving stress and helping you fall asleep.
It is recommended you find a track of around 60-80 bpm as this is closest to our resting heart rate.
Alternatively, some find natural soundtracks very soothing so you could try listening to a rainfall or thunderstorm track whilst you sleep.
7. Get a good night’s sleep.
This last point may seem idealistic bearing in mind it is often stress and anxiety that leave us having sleepless nights.
There’s a vicious cycle because it is hard to get a good night’s sleep if you are stressed and it is hard not to be stressed if you do not get a good night’s sleep.
But there are steps you can take to improve your sleep quality and fulfilling some of those may help you fall asleep at night.