STRESS

How to Deal with Stress

Finding ways to deal with stress is a challenge for many persons, it is essential to avoid developing chronic stress and more importantly to avoiding the development of depression, anxiety, or any of the other negative conditions that result from stress Therefore learning how to deal with stress can also help persons with depression and anxiety by providing relief to some of their symptoms. Many persons attempt to cope with and relieve stress in ways that are inefficient, or unhealthy. Doing so can negatively affect your health and therefore it is of utmost importance that everyone learns how to properly and effectively deal with stress in a healthy manner.

The following are tips and guidelines for dealing with stress:

  1. Practice and implement breathing exercises – According to the University of Michigan Health System deep breathing is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Deep breathing has calming effects on the brain and body resulting in short term relief. One such breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 exercise. You begin by exhaling as much as you can then inhaling for 4 seconds. Then you hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat the exercise between 3-8 times and take note of how you feel after the exercise.
  2. Diet – Studies have shown a link between diet and stress levels. One such study found that caffeine increases stress levels. Therefore reducing the amount of caffeine you intake can potentially reduce stress levels. Furthermore the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine states that dark chocolate, barley, chamomile and peppermint all reduce stress.
  3. Exercise and Sleep – According to the ADAA exercise can effectively reduce stress and also improve sleep which in turns reduces stress even further. Exercise releases endorphins into the body which acts as natural painkillers, working to reduce stress and improve sleep which has also been shown to be effective in reducing stress.
  4. Learn to Relax – Many people look to alcohol, television and other ineffective methods to relax and reduce stress. Although alcohol is often used to relieve stress, an article found on verywellmind.com shows that alcohol can actually compound the effects of stress.. Additionally according to Time in a survey of over 400 persons most people who utilize media as a form of relaxation feel as if they are neglecting the important things and as if they were giving in to media use and this prevented them from benefiting from their free time and relaxation. Therefore it can be said that many people do not know how to properly relax to reduce stress. Listening to music and art amongst others have been shown to be effective forms of relaxation in combating stress. Persons are then advised to turn away from harmful ineffective ways of coping with stress and to adopt more effective healthy means.
  5. Seek Help – Medical Health professionals, therapists and even talking to a loved one can all help in coping with stress.

©2018 Do No Harm Foundation

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