General information about stress relief
If you suffer from high levels of stress, you are putting your physical and mental health at risk. Too much stress can limit us in our everyday life and has a negative effect on our emotions. You can’t think clearly and your life can get out of control. You won’t enjoy life itself. The bills will keep coming, there will never be more hours in the day and your professional and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have much more control than you might think. Effective stress management will help you overcome the stresses in your life so that you are happier, healthier and more productive. By effectively reducing stress, you will be able to live a much better, more balanced and livable life. This will affect your personal life, work and other social relationships. It will also make it easier for you to overcome challenges. Therefore, you should find the reasons for your stress so that you can effectively reduce and improve them. Below are several strategies and tips that can effectively help you reduce stress.
Identify the causes of stress in your life
Reducing stress starts with identifying the causes of stress in your life. First and foremost, you will look for or find the causes of stress in a move or a failed relationship. This identification is relatively easy, because these things are easy to recognize. It becomes more difficult when you are dealing with chronic causes. Here it is about your subconscious and your own feelings and thoughts in everyday life. For the right identification you should look at your behavior with your habits exactly to be able to reduce stress. For this you have to analyze your behavior objectively and above all be honest with yourself. Only in this way will you be able to access yourself and identify the sources of stress.
Without this understanding, e.g. that you have a problem, your stress level will not reduce, on the contrary. If after some time you realize that your work to reduce this stress is not working, you will react even more stressfully and emotionally.
When you’re stressed, the last thing you probably want to do is exercise. Physical activity is an effective way to relieve stress. Sports release endorphins in the body that make you feel good. In addition, sports are a great outlet when the stress of everyday life gets to you. Sport is a perfect distraction.
If you exercise regularly for 30 minutes or longer, you will quickly see progress in your training, which will increase your self-esteem. Even if they are only small successes, they can have a very positive effect on your stress and daily life. Possible exercises / movements that you can practice:
- Use stairs instead of elevator
- Take the bike
- Find a workout partner to motivate each other
- Perform a HIIT workout, which will allow you to exercise and reduce stress and burn fat at the same time.
It doesn’t matter what sports activities you want to do. Sports are more effective in reducing stress. Cycling, soccer, handball, swimming, running or yoga are the most suitable. The only important thing is that you enjoy it.
A stressful situation in everyday life or at work releases cortisol or adrenaline. These are hormones that are supposed to protect us from danger. They create a kind of flight instinct in us, implanted in the brain by evolution.
However, stress in modern times is rarely resolved by a fight-or-flight response, so physical activity can slow down stress levels and the release of cortisol and adrenaline. This helps our bodies and minds relax again. If you feel stressed, just take a short walk. The fresh air will do you good. Try to exercise regularly, or at least do some physical activity. Regular physical activity also improves the quality of sleep.
Try relaxation techniques
With the right relaxation technique you can relax better and easier. This will also lower your stress level. There are many ways to relax properly. Try a few and find out what works best for you. A popular method is the so-called self-hypnosis, which you can do anywhere to lower your stress level. Furthermore, a positive association is a good way to reduce stress. You should think of an object or a song that has a positive effect on you (e.g. your favorite band). Concentrate on the word or phrase you have chosen. It is a kind of meditation that reduces stress and allows you to focus on other important things.
Establish social contacts to relieve stress more effectively
Social ties are very important, along with the family. With them you can talk about all your problems and get rid of them. Sometimes it is enough just to tell them. It feels good to talk about it with someone. This conversation alone is enough to effectively relieve stress. So it is important to talk regularly with family or friends. The person does not even have to have the solution to your problems. What is important is that they listen to you and show understanding for your situation. It will only strengthen the bond as you trust them with your personal secrets. That’s why it’s so important to always maintain friendships, to have someone by your side (besides family, of course).
It is very important to open up to other people and talk about your problems. Just talking is often enough to make you feel better. You will be distracted from the actual stress and effectively alleviate your stress level.
Stress can cloud your judgment and you don’t make good decisions because you often react more emotionally. Talking to a friend, family, or maybe even a psychiatrist can help you relieve stress.
Take time for yourself and relax
Taking time for yourself is one of the best and most effective ways to relieve stress. Put your own needs first in your life. This way you will be able to handle stressful situations much better.
- Schedule free time: You need a lot of rest in your free time to be able to recover optimally.
- Take time for leisure activities that you enjoy.
- With relaxation exercises you will get to know your body even better. This will help you deal with stressful situations much better.
Manage your time more effectively
People with poor time management experience a lot of stress because they simply can’t get the activities done that they want to get done in a certain amount of time. Usually the good things, which are very important for your body, fall by the wayside. Getting enough sleep or socializing fall by the wayside in all of this.
- Do not overwork yourself. When planning your day, don’t do too many activities where you don’t know how long they will take (example: shopping can take a long time if you go shopping at rush hour).
- Prioritize tasks: Make a list of the tasks you need to do. Start with the most important tasks. Stressful tasks should always be done first. It will make the rest of the day more enjoyable.
- Divide tasks. For large tasks, create a step-by-step plan with small intermediate goals. This way you can focus on these small goals instead of looking at everything in its entirety.
- Delegate responsibility. You don’t always have to do your tasks alone. In most cases you will have people around you who can help you. This way you will be able to reduce stress.
Keep balance and lead a healthy lifestyle
- Healthy diet. With good nutrition you are better prepared for stress. So think about what you eat. Start your day with a balanced breakfast to get enough energy for the day.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Avoid or at least reduce your consumption of nicotine and all drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol. Nicotine and caffeinated drinks stimulate the body and can further increase stress levels instead of decreasing them. In large amounts, alcohol acts as a kind of depressant. Small amounts can stimulate the body. For this reason, alcoholic drinks are not good for lowering stress levels. It is best to drink tea or water. Also, you must always make sure that you drink enough.
- Reduce sugar and caffeine. This will make you feel much more relaxed and calm. Refined sugar is also a stimulant for the human body. You should avoid consuming it completely, or at least reduce your intake to a minimum. Especially ready meals contain a high dose of refined sugar.
Learn to relieve stress in the moment
There are situations in which you need to relieve stress immediately. When you are in a stressful situation in your studies or at work, you should always be in control of that stress. First of all, you should breathe calmly and evenly and not hyperventilate. Use all your senses to calm your body and mind. For many, chewing gum or some sort of scented tree can help distract you and your senses from the situation. This way you focus on that thing and the stress will subside. Here it is crucial that every person reacts differently to stressful situations. So you need to find your “outlet” with which you can quickly handle and resolve stressful situations.
Many people who suffer from a lack of sleep are also more susceptible to stressful situations in their everyday lives. Stress also ensures that we do not have a good night’s sleep. So the quality of sleep is poor, even though we actually get enough sleep. It is therefore very important to prepare well for the night before going to bed and to relax properly. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet place where you feel comfortable. As mentioned earlier, avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol consumption in the evening. It is also important not to work too long and watch TV to relax your brain. Take a warm bath or read a book for a few minutes. It is also important that you go to bed at the same time at least during the week. This time should not vary by more than half an hour. This is the only way to develop a good and, above all, healthy sleep routine.
Keep a stress diary
By keeping a stress diary, you can effectively help manage stress. You will develop an understanding of these stressful situations and be able to deal with them more effectively. Accuracy is the key factor here. Write everything down exactly (place, time, what situation, etc.). Give each stressful phase a stress rating (e.g. on a scale of 1 to 10). This way you will see through your stress diary how the situation came about. If you know why you are so stressful, you will be much better able to treat yourself to lower your stress level.
Have control over yourself
It is very important that you get to know yourself and your body better. Only in this way can you effectively solve seemingly hopeless stressful situations. If you learn to find solutions to your problems, you will have much better control over your life and can effectively reduce stress. Here your stress diary will help you to find solutions for stressful situations. Then, when you find yourself in a certain situation again and notice that your stress level is rising, you can stick to your problem solutions from the stress diary.
Learn to say “no
Very often, lack of time creates a kind of stressful feeling in us. And yet, many people will agree to take on extra responsibilities in this situation. If you learn to simply say “no” to extra or unimportant requests, you can reduce stress and develop more confidence. Most people who say yes frequently want to be helpful to the other person, even though they have little time themselves. They are concerned with recognition, or the possible rejection and fear of discussion.