How to reduce stress

We all experience stress for different reasons. We also handle stress differently. One thing is for sure, stress affects us all and not in a good way. You might already know this, but stress is a common cause for a large variety of diseases and can definitely do harm to your body. This blog post is all about how you can reduce your stress levels and keep calm. Let’s dig in!

1. Breath deeply

The first and simplest way to manage your stress is to take a moment to breath deeply. All you need to do is take five minutes, find a quiet place, sit down with your back straight and close your eyes. Slowly inhale, feel the air move through your body and then exhale. Here is the science behind it: breathing deeply slows down your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure; in turn, this reduces stress.

2. Exercise

Exercise seems like the worst thing you could do when you have had a stressful day. However, it has the best results and is one of the most important things you can do to manage stress. The best way to use exercise as a way to combat stress is to do it on a regular basis. Here is the science behind it: exercise helps release endorphins which improve your mood; in the long run, it also reduces cortisol, one of the body’s stress hormones. Some other things you might not realise is that exercise improves your sleep (which can sometimes be affected by stress and anxiety).

3. Reduce caffeine

Caffeine can be found in many tasty things such as chocolate, coffee, tea… and the list goes on. It is important to be aware of these types of foods as they increase anxiety, so be wary of your intake and make sure you consume these in moderation. If you find that you start to feel anxious or uneasy, then definitely cut back.

4. Meditate

Meditation is something you might have never considered, and there is no harm in trying. All you need is a few minutes every day, or as often as you see fit to meditate. Studies show that meditation can reduce anxiety over time. The best thing about it is that it’s easy as pie! Sit on the floor with your back up straight. Close your eyes and focus all your energy on reciting a positive mantra or affirmation. If you haven’t a clue what this is, here are some examples: “I love myself”, “today I am joyful”, “I am courageous”. Place all your focus on your mantra so that you find yourself completely undistracted.

5. Say no

If you are the type of person who takes on too many things and can’t seem to say no, then it’s time to change. Most of the time, the inability to say no means you are taking on more than you can manage, which makes you feel overwhelmed and completely stressed out. By saying no you will reduce your commitments and lower your stress levels.

6. Extra tips to consider

There are a number of herbal teas and supplements you can take if you suffer from extreme anxiety. A few to consider are green tea and chamomile, as well as omega 3 fatty acids and many more. Chewing gum can reduce stress as it is believed to improve blood flow in the brain, helping you relax. And last but not least: laugh! How can you even think about stressing when you are laughing. It sounds simple, but (wait for it) there is some science behind this one too. Laughing relaxes your muscles and thereby relieves tension. It also allows more oxygen to flow through your organs.