5 Ways to Reduce Stress That You Can Start Doing Today

May 24, 2021

Stress is our body’s natural reaction to feeling overwhelmed and strained. Stress is common, and everyone experiences it differently. But feeling ‘stressed out’ can lead to problems like cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, and even depression. Stress is an unavoidable part of our lives, but some practices will help you to get out of all those tense emotions and back to feeling like the best version of yourself! 

Try practicing mindfulness to win against stress. Mindfulness is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

IT IS POSSIBLE to live life without stress! In this article, we’re breaking down several strategies you can use RIGHT NOW to fight against stress. Here are the five ways you can reduce stress and stay mindful:

1. Take Deep Breaths

When you are under stress, you often hold your breath, and you take faster, shorter breaths. When you are relaxed, your breathing is usually more profound, longer, and brings a sense of relief. Deep breathing is a simple, relaxing technique you can use anytime or anywhere. It is one of the best ways to lower stress in your body. When we breathe deeply, it circulates oxygen to our brain to calm down and relax. 

Breathing connects us to the natural up and down cycles, giving and receiving, life and death. When you inhale, you receive air and energy; when you exhale, you let it all go. 

One of the most straightforward breathing exercises is alternate nostril breathing. In Sanskrit, it’s known as Nadi shodhan pranayama. Alternate Nostril Breathing lowers stress, relaxes your body and mind, and promotes your overall health. It also improves lung function and respiratory endurance. Deeping breathing can be done as a part of your yoga practice.

Next time you notice a negative thought or sensation, take deep breaths; Inhale to the count of 4, and hold, then exhale to the count of 4, and hold. Repeat this practice until you feel grounded and centered again. 

2. Sweat Out The Stress 

Working out can help you reduce stress, boost endorphins and keep depression and anxiety at bay. A study published in October 2017 in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggested that one hour of exercise of any intensity each week can help prevent depression. Good thing Body Alive offers fitness classes almost one hour long! 

Research shows that taking any time to work out daily will improve your physical fitness, relieve your stress, and help you live a longer life! Check out the Body Alive schedule to book yourself a fitness class and sweat your worries away.

3. Get Rest!

According to the American Psychological Association, adults who sleep fewer than eight hours are reported to have higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours. Sleep is a stress reducer!  A good sleep calms down your mind and body, lowers the risk of diabetes and heart illnesses.

Making a sleep routine can help you get more sleep. Go to sleep at the same time every day, even if it’s the weekend. And for even better rest, avoid caffeine before bedtime. Getting quality sleep at night helps you function at your best and be happier and healthier the next day!

4. Use Aromatherapy  

Aroma oils or essential oils can be used to decrease the level of discomfort and stress. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Many massage therapists use it as a part of their therapeutic massage. Studies have revealed that essential oils may improve mood, enhance job performance through decreased stress and improve quality sleep. 

Smelling the oil scent is believed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress and even anxiety symptoms because there is a direct pathway from the nose to your brain. Inhaling these oils has psychological and physical benefits. A study from Wesleyan University in 2005 shows that the aroma of lavender eases anxiety and insomnia. Other popular essential oils that promote relaxation are sandalwood, lemon balm, rose, orange, eucalyptus, clary sage, and jasmine.

The right way to use essential oils is to mix with another substance as base elements such as well coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil before applying it to the skin. 

5. Take a Bath or Cold Shower

Taking a bath can help boost your energy, relieve stress, and ultimately, helps you FEEL BETTER! Soaking in a bath versus a shower can help improve your skin condition and help you reduce stress, fatigue, and pain. 

Cold showers help improve blood circulation in the body, reduce stress, and produce more white blood cells. A hot bath helps relieve stiffness in the body, and the steam from a hot shower is a good remedy for a stuffy nose. Often a hot shower reduces tension in the muscles and can help you get better sleep.

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