We live in an amazing modern world where technological advancements have made a distinct shift in how we live, work and play. The birth of the internet and all that has transpired since offers us a fantastic way to connect and experience the world like nothing ever before. We, humans, are quick to absorb these new advancements and further integrate them into our lives wherever possible.
However, this exciting and fast-paced way of life doesn’t come without consequences. Due to the ease of accessing, sending and receiving information, the demand for absorbing and producing more can be overwhelming at times, which can cause stress.
WHAT IS STRESS AND WHY IS IT BAD?
Stress is an overwhelming feeling or an agitating sensation a person may experience due to the challenging demands, and often uncontrollable, circumstances of living.
When an individual experiences stress, many negative side effects can take place in the body, some of which include:
- High blood-pressure
- High cortisol levels
- Sleep problems
- Digestive tract issues
In order to avoid these detrimental effects on the body, it is important to find ways to manage stress.
SEVEN WAYS TO RELIEVE STRESS
Unplug – Oftentimes the cause of our stress can be found in work emails, electronic calendars and social media. Taking a break from these pressures even for only a short period of time can help the brain to reset and relax. Focus your energy on your current needs, rather than what everyone else needs from you.
Connect with Others – The benefits of human connection and its positive effects on your mental, emotional and physical state cannot be overstated enough. Meaningful interactions between people cause the brain to release chemicals into the bloodstream that naturally boost mood and the ability to cope with stressful situations. Likewise, giving and receiving attention from a pet can also help to create an elevated outlook on life.
Mindful Breathing – Taking the time to focus on your breathing is perhaps one of the easiest and most effective ways to calm a stress-ridden mind. The additional oxygen from steady, deep breathing exercises helps to lower blood pressure and even release tension in the neck and shoulders. The heart rate decreases and becomes more even, creating a more relaxed mind and body connection.
Exercise – Physical activity is a powerful method of therapy when it comes to maneuvering the ever-increasing pressures of life. Exercise releases mood-boosting endorphins that naturally lift your spirits and calm an anxious mind. A brisk walk, run, bike ride or yoga session has many benefits—both for body and mind. Incorporating a regular exercise routine before or after work also aids in a deeper sleep at bedtime.
Go Outside –Working long shifts indoors under artificial lighting and recirculated air can increase stress over time. Stepping outside for even just a few short minutes of fresh air and warm sun gives your mind and body a boost in mental clarity and much needed Vitamin D.
Take Your Vitamins – Check with your doctor to see which essential vitamins you may be missing. Magnesium, Vitamin D and the B-Vitamin family offer health benefits that can positively affect your mood, and in turn, your ability to successfully manage stress.
Smart Food Choices – It doesn’t take a genius to know that when the body is taxed, so is the mind. The quality of foods and beverages we consume can have a lasting effect on the brain’s ability to remain calm in times of stress. In order for the body to dedicate its focus on mental or emotional threats, it must have the energy to do so. Working overtime to process and eliminate foods with limited nutrition, this can cause additional stress on the body and mind.
In the end, we cannot always avoid the stressful factors that accompany our modern lifestyles; however, there are ways to successfully manage these pressures. Long-term happiness and health depend upon our ability to handle stress. Regularly implementing ways to reduce stress will be of great benefit to those individuals who seek to lead a more meaningful way of life.
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