Stress is pretty common in our lives today. According to the American Institute of Stress, 83% of employees suffer from stress resulting from work. Fortunately, for many people, it never goes beyond the workplace. But for some, stress affects a significant part of their lives.
This, unfortunately, could take a toll on your career, relationships, and even health.
Unsurprisingly, pill-popping has become more common than ever before. While these medications promise prompt results, the relief is only temporary, and they could do more harm than good.
So is there a way out? The short answer is yes. The following are some effective ways to combat stress naturally.
1. Monitor Your Sleeping Habits
While sleep is unlikely to take away the cause of your stress, it’s a powerful medium in helping to lower your stress levels. A regular sleep pattern is therapeutic to the body, regulates mood, improves concentration, and supports good judgment and decision making.
This places you in a better position to solve your problems.
Unfortunately, stress itself can interrupt your sleep patterns and make it harder for you to fall or stay asleep. If this is the case, think about sleep aids that can help support good sleep. You will be surprised at how things like blinders, white noise machines, and weighted blankets can help you get good quality sleep.
2. Get a Regular Workout Schedule
Working out is not only good for the body, but it’s also great for the mind.
Exercising helps with stress in two ways. Firstly, it acts as a welcome distraction. This will not take away your stress entirely or resolve the root of it. However, it can give you a period of peace to decompress and be in a better frame of mind to tackle the stressors in your life.
Secondly, working out releases “happy hormones” and in particular, endorphins into the body. Endorphins have been referred to as natural pain killers and have been proven to be effective at alleviating depression.
3. Meditation and Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a technique that helps you to focus on your body, thoughts, and emotions. Here is a simple way to do this:
- Find a relaxed pose to stand or sit in and take a deep breath.
- Breath in slowly, holding it for four seconds, then release slowly over five seconds.
- Pay attention to your breath, acknowledge disruptive thoughts fleetingly then let them go.
- Return to your deep breathing.
Your mind will wander a lot when you first get into mindfulness. And this is okay. The more you practice it, the better you will get at it. This technique relaxes the body and mind and helps you remain in the present.
4. Hit the Outdoors
Too much stress can make you want to be dormant. It’s not uncommon for people to want to stay in bed all day or lie on the couch under a warm blanket.
While this might seem comforting, it does nothing for your stress levels. This form of isolation encourages one to mull in their problems and stress, often encasing their stress levels.
Do not underestimate the power of the great outdoors, fresh air, and chirping birds in alleviating stress, albeit momentarily.
If you live in an area where there is a green park or a hiking trail, this is exactly where you should be when stressed. In the end, you will feel more rejuvenated, and your mind will be clearer.
Word of Caution
If you find yourself experiencing long bouts of stress or being stressed more often than not, it might be time to seek help. Sometimes, you need therapy to help you work through the cause of your stress and some possible, lasting solutions.