7 Ways to Reduce Stress
You are constantly on the go. You are working, being pulled in many different directions, making sure everyone else around you has what he or she needs, but are you neglecting yourself? Stress can have various adverse effects on the body. Cortisol, which is the body’s defense mechanism against stress, is produced by our adrenal glands to help us deal. However, when we have high levels of cortisol present, it can cause headaches, increased depression, weight gain, hair loss, a higher risk of heart attacks, and many other unwanted and unpleasant issues. This is why it is so important to find time for yourself to recharge, re-center, and to keep your stress levels at a minimum. Here are my top 7 favorite ways to de-stress and reduce that cortisol production.
Prayer and sitting alone undistracted is a simple way to get rid of unwanted stress, and to restore my calm. Having a little talk with Jesus can indeed make it right. This is the time you take out of your day, in a quiet space, to give thanks and place your hopes, burdens, and desires in the hands of the Most High. Centering yourself spiritually can really renew and refresh you. Even if you are not a person of faith, I still implore you to take time out of your day to sit quietly, and clear your mind. Doing so can reduce negative thoughts, help you to refocus in stressful situations, and increase your creativity.
Reading a good book is one of my favorite ways to relax and get my stress levels down. It allows me to escape for a few hours from everyday life stressors, not to mention, it increases my vocabulary and knowledge. A study completed in 2009 at the University of Sussex reported that reading could reduce stress levels up to 68%. Now if that isn’t enough of an incentive to pick up an interesting read, then I don’t know what is!
3. Listening to Music
Music truly has a relaxing effect on my mind. It absorbs my attention and allows me to tune out unwelcome distractions. Similar to reading a book, listening to music is a respite from reality that decreases the blood pressure, and levels of cortisol.
Traveling to a new environment always allows me time to think, relax, and recharge. You are able to ditch your daily schedule, and have the freedom to do whatever your heart desires. In turn, you become less tense, and are able to return to your daily schedule refreshed and more productive than before.
5. Retail Therapy
Shopping can have a positive effect on your emotional well-being. Of course, I would only recommend this if you have all of your other affairs in order. Meaning, absolutely do not let your lights go off to buy those shoes or those concert tickets. However, if you have the means, going out and treating yourself to something you’ve been eyeing that will make you happy is a great way to take care of yourself, and can reduce both stress and anxiety.
A massage is one of the most obvious stress relievers. Not only do massages relieve stress and tense muscles, they also improve your sleep quality and mood.
Getting a good workout in can be just what you need to relieve tension and stress. Not only does it reduce your cortisol production, it also promotes the production of endorphins, which can heighten your mood.
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but you shouldn’t let it get out control and overwhelm you. It can literally make you sick! Trust me, I know. These were just a few stress relievers, but there are many ways to combat stress. Find the ways that work well for you, and try your best to just relax.