Stress Awareness Month: Learn How To Deal With Stress Effectively

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Stress Awareness Month
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As we get older, stress is something that grows to become a constant in our lives. Even though it comes and goes, we don’t really think about effective ways to deal with stress. As we normalize it, and let it become a constant part of our lives, it becomes more difficult to deal with stressful situations. This Stress Awareness Month, you can learn how to deal with stress when things get too much to handle.

April is recognized as National Stress Awareness Month. The aim is to raise awareness and bring the much needed attention to the negative impacts of stress. In order to live and practice a healthy lifestyle, one should know how to manage stress. According to the National Institute of Health, knowing how to manage stress can improve mental and physical well-being as well as minimize exacerbation of health-related issues.

Here are a few ways to effectively manage and deal with stress:

Box Breathing 

Box breathing is a type of deep breathing method which is more effective in terms of being more in touch with your energy and your emotions. One of the most impactful ways of deep breathing, box breathing is practiced by US Navy SEALS to stay calm and improve concentration in extremely tense situations. How does one practice box breathing? Imagine a box and inhale counting to four, tracing an imaginary line on one side of the box. Then hold for four seconds and trace the next side of the box. Now exhale while counting to four, repeating the mental tracing and then wait for four seconds before starting it all over again. The method slows down your breathing, distracts your mind, and calms the nervous system, ultimately helping you deal with stress. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This deep relaxation technique controls stress and relieves anxiety and also helps with sleep issues. The practice requires you to tense up one muscle group at a time and then release it, letting out the pain and anxiety with it. It helps if you start with your toes and work your way up to your head. Take a deep breath in and contract one muscle group, such as your feet muscles. Hold for at least 10 seconds and with an exhale release it in a swift motion. As you’re doing this, imagine that you are also releasing all the stressful emotions out of your body. You can relax for a few seconds and move to the next muscle group. Work your way up and by the end of it, you will feel much more at peace. 

Visualization

Visualization is all about imagining your happy place, something that calms you down almost instantly. Your happy place could be a person, a memory, or an actual place which makes you feel at peace. It could be anything, as long as it makes you feel happy and calm. Once you have something in mind, close your eyes and imagine yourself in that environment. Engage all your senses to make the scene more vivid and immersive. Visualizing helps in relaxing the body in so many ways.

Physical Activity 

Any activity that gets your heart pumping can reduce stress. Take some time to indulge in an aerobic activity or practice yoga. Getting physically engaged helps your brain release endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. It is also known as a runner’s high and you can get that rush from an engaging physical activity, such as playing a sport, like tennis or volleyball. Even a short burst of physical activity, like jumping jacks or jogging in place, can help you manage your stress. 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the here and now. Focus on the physical sensations around you, such as the feeling of your feet on the ground or the texture of an object you are holding. Observe what you’re seeing and feeling in the moment. This connects you to the present and reduces anxiety.

Reach Out To Friends And Family

Talking about your feelings is an ideal way to lighten your burden and feel relaxed. Reaching out to a friend to talk about something that is bothering you might just help you and will make you feel a lot better and lighter. So, if you are feeling stressed, connect with someone you trust and simply let it all out. 

P.S. Make sure that they are also in the right state mentally to listen to you. In these situations, it helps if you ask them if they have the mental energy to listen to you.

Aromatherapy

Calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile are known to relax and soothe our nerves. Light up a diffuser with a few drops of essential oil to create a soothing atmosphere. You can also apply a few drops of the essential oil mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, to your temples for instant relaxation.

These are only a few of the many ways to manage stress. Remember that some ways might work better than others, depending on the kind of person you are. So, don’t freak out if a method doesn’t necessarily work to manage your stress! As it is National Stress Awareness Month, be mindful of how you deal with stress and perhaps that can help you manage stress more effectively.

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