If you’ve ever suffered from stress, and there’s an incredibly high chance that you have, you won’t need me to tell you how debilitating and awful the condition can actually be.
People often wonder “what is the best stress reliever?” and truthfully, there is no right or wrong way of beating stress, it’s simply a matter of finding out what best works for you.
Stress being recognised as a true medical condition is actually a relatively recent discovery, having been first recognised and documented as a medical condition back in the 1950’s.
As far as recommended treatments and techniques are concerned, many experts agree that rest and relaxation based techniques are some of the most popular and most effective, and are far better than drugs, prescription or otherwise.
If you happen to suffer from stress then fear not, because there are a number of simple and effective techniques that you can put into practice that can, and will, help you to effectively beat stress and to live a healthy, happy, and enjoyable life.
Here is a look at just six simple and extremely effective stress busting techniques that you can try yourself that will have you calmer and more relaxed than you ever thought possible. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.
What are the ways to reduce stress?
Eat a healthy and balanced diet
One of the best things you can do in order to beat stress is to eat a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients.
One common error that people seem to make on a daily basis is to eat a diet that mainly consists of unhealthy processed foods with little to no nutritional value inside them.
Not only are these foods virtually free of any healthy ingredients, they’re actually also pumped full of artificial chemicals, additives, flavourings, and preservatives that can damage your health.
As if that wasn’t enough, most processed foods contain saturated or trans fats and high levels of salt and sugar, all of which can again have a negative impact on your body, your health, and your overall stress levels.
Rather than processed or frozen junk foods, try to eat a healthy and balanced diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods in particular are jam-packed full of vitamins that strengthen the immune system and so help keep stress causing chemicals at bay.
Get plenty of protein from lean sources of meat or fish, get plenty of healthy fats in your diet, and get your carbohydrates from complex sources such as rice, potatoes, and pasta.
Base your diet around these foods and you’ll already be at a real advantage.
Speak to a friend
Sometimes when we’re stressed we bottle up our emotions and suffer in silence. Something or someone may be bothering us, but we don’t say anything and we simply keep everything bottled up inside us.
Keeping our feelings and emotions bottled up is not healthy in the slightest and we need some way of venting and letting off steam as it were. A great way of really getting things off your chest is to speak to somebody about what is bothering you, a friend or family member perhaps?
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or under pressure, take a few minutes, pick up your phone and call a friend or better yet see them in person.
Having a healthy relationship with friends and/or family members is incredibly beneficial due to the fact that there is very little more comforting than a friendly and reassuring voice combined with helpful and smart advice.
It may not sound like much, but setting aside just a few minutes in the evening to speak to somebody who matters can really put your problems into perspective and can help you to feel much calmer and more relaxed.
Try to laugh more
This may be easier said than done, but if possible, try to laugh and smile more than you normally do.
Laughing has been proven to help encourage the pituitary gland within the brain to release endorphins into the body, which make us feel calmer, happier, and more relaxed and content.
Endorphins are sometimes referred to as happy chemicals, and for good reason too. Stress is often caused by the hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, and endorphins have been found to counterbalance the negative effects of these two hormones.
Laughing actually tricks your nervous system and makes it think that you’re happy, encouraging more endorphins to be released. Either try to smile more to yourself when you can, or watch or read more of your favourite comedy films, programmes, or books in your free time.
Try simple breathing exercises
Another very simple and very effective stress busting technique is to try some simple breathing exercises.
Deep breathing has been proven to be an extremely effective method of beating stress, and when you try it for yourself, you’ll immediately see why.
Deep breathing helps to relax muscles within the body and helps to calm down the mind itself. Often it is simply when we constantly think and worry about our problems that we begin to feel worse than we did before, and continuing to worry can prevent us from truly being able to relax.
Deep breathing exercises can be done anywhere, they can be done quickly if need be, and they are extremely effective at helping to shut the mind down, preventing it from worrying about any issues that could be causing you to feel stressed.
Get more exercise
We spoke about healthy eating, but there is another healthy lifestyle related technique that you can introduce into your weekly regimes, and that is to try to get more exercise.
Exercise is obviously hugely beneficial from a health and fitness based standpoint, but as well as that, it’s also ideal for helping you to combat stress as well.
The reason why exercise is so beneficial for helping to combat stress is that it helps to improve circulation which in turn can lead to an increase in oxygen and nutrients being transported around the body to the various muscles and major organs.
As well as that, exercise is also another ideal way of releasing more endorphins into the body, helping to make you feel calmer and happier. This burst of endorphins and energy will quickly lead to an improvement in your overall mood and general well-being almost immediately.
“Stress and pain are the two most common factors leading to the release of endorphins. Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. In contrast to the opiate drugs, however, activation of the opiate receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.” Via medicinenet.com
As for the exercise you perform, well, that’s really down to your own personal preferences. Some people go to the gym and lift weights, others use cardio equipment, some go running outdoors, some cycling, some swimming, and some play games with friends and family members.
The truth is that any form of physical activity that causes you to break a sweat and increases your heart rate is going to be beneficial at boosting your fitness levels and helping you to manage your stress levels.
Does music relieve stress? Of course it does, so listen to calming music
When it comes to managing and beating stress, experts agree that one of the best possible things a stressed individual can do to help them beat their problem is to meditate and/or listen to tranquil, calming, and relaxing music.
There are a number of different forms of calming and meditative music out there but brainwave entrainment music such as ‘binaural beats’ is proving to be especially popular with individuals from all walks of life.
These tranquil and calming forms of music have been proven to have an incredibly positive effect on your brain and your body.
They can reduce your blood pressure, they can reduce cortisol levels, and they can help you to free your mind and to relax and unwind by providing a calming and relaxing environment.
You can listen to the music during the day in your free time, or for an especially relaxing experience, why not light some candles, hop into a warm bath, and let the soothing sounds wash over your body.
Listening to music at night time whilst you drift off to sleep will also help you to relax and drift off into a deep and peaceful stress-free sleep.
So there you have it, just six simple and effective techniques you can put into practice to help you beat stress fast.
The next time somebody asks you “what is the best stress reliever?” you can now answer them by providing a few of the examples that I listed above.