We all carry a little more stress than normal due to the pandemic these days, but too much stress can backfire on us and cause anxiety, depression and other problems. Once you understand who you are, recognize major struggles, put them in perspective, you can take action and help deal with stress.
Here are some strategies to help improve the effects of stress on our health:
Using cognitive-behavioral therapy, you can help reduce the risk of chronic stress and depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy trains people to recognize negative thinking patterns and replace them with more constructive ones.
Get Out and Enjoy Nature
Being more connected to our devices, and spending large amounts of time consuming media on them, has taken us away from spending more time in nature. Nature is an essential source of stress relief. Interacting with nature can help lessen the effects of stress on the nervous system, reduce attention deficits, decrease aggression and enhance spiritual well-being.
Humor relieves stress and anxiety and prevents depression. Laughter can also help increase pain tolerance, enhance mood and creativity and lower blood pressure. In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
Build a Support System
Relationships are key to health and happiness and being lonely doesn’t help our stress. Building a social support system helps maintain a higher quality of life.
Relax with music
Music can be a powerful stress reliever. Classical music can help avoid anxiety and an increased heart rate and blood pressure. Singing and listening to music can also help reduce anxiety and depression.
Exercising can give you a calmer mind and improve your health. When you put physical stress on your body through exercise, you can relieve mental stress. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don’t. Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be stress relieving.
Cuddling, kissing and hugging can help relieve stress. Positive physical contact can help release oxytocin and lower cortisol. This can help lower blood pressure and heart rate.
No matter which stress relief method you choose, make it a habit and put it to good use.
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