Stress is more common than you think

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Mental Health Foundation states that in the past year, 74% of people have felt so overwhelmed by their stress that they were unable to function at their full potential. Many things can cause stress, but it is important to know and utilize effective methods to cope with stress, no matter its cause.

Stock image of mother and daughter on a couch

Simple Ways to Reduce Stress:

1. Exercise

Moving your body releases stress and it helps you build a tolerance against it. It reduces your body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline & cortisol while stimulating the body’s production of endorphins (A.K.A. “feel good chemicals”). Exercise does not have to be complicated to reap the stress-relieving benefits. Simply going on a walk or jog can work wonders for your mental health!

2. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of scents to treat your mood. Common aromatherapy methods are lighting a candle or using essential oils. We use associative learning to connect certain scents to positive moods, some of which include lavender, rose, bergamot, eucalyptus, orange, and more. By using more of these scents regularly, you can promote a calmer, less stressful environment.

3. Reduce Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is a common stimulant in coffee, tea, and chocolate. While it has some benefits, caffeine tends to make some people jittery. If you feel anxious after eating or drinking something with caffeine in it, consider reducing your intake level in order to reduce stress.

3. Write It Down

There are two approaches to writing things down to reduce stress. One is to write down the things, people, or situations that have caused anxious feelings. This releases the weight off your back by getting it on paper and becoming aware of stress triggers. Another way is to replace stressful feelings with gratitude by jotting down what you are thankful for. Focusing on the positive things in your life is proven to promote happier feelings rather than sad ones. Your brain cannot experience opposing emotions simultaneously.

4. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises have been proven to greatly reduce stress, and the beauty is that you can practice this anywhere, anytime! Try following this method: Take in a deep breath while slowly counting to five, hold the breath for three counts, then exhale while slowly counting to seven. Repeat as necessary. This deep breathing exercise will slow your heart rate, allowing you to feel more at peace.

Get more information

To learn more about ways to cope with stress or the services offered by NGHS regarding mental health, visit www.nghs.com/behavioral-health-services.

Related articles: