It is true that the causes for stress are often very complicated. But guess what? The solutions could be extremely simple. Here are five extremely simple, yet effective ways you could deal with stress!
Listen to Music
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
Call a friend
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle, and there’s no time that this is more evident than when you are under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Talk yourself through it
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing. Don’t worry about seeming crazy—just tell yourself why you’re stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay (trust us, it will be).
Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. Unfortunately, it’s when we are most swamped with work or worries that we forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods, otherwise known as “comfort foods”. Try to avoid the vending machine and plan ahead. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. How about some ‘brain food’ like a tuna sandwich?
Remind yourself that you’re not alone
When you find yourself awake at night, feeling overwhelmed by chronic worries, such as financial problems or a difficult health diagnosis, think of others who are going through the same struggle. When stress feels isolating, it becomes toxic. Focusing on others faced with similar obstacles will serve as a reminder that your life is not uniquely screwed up. And that extra moment can create a little breathing room between you and your stress.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by stress, try this simple trick: do something nice and unexpected for someone else. By turning your attention away from yourself and onto something bigger, you can reduce anxiety and increase hope and courage. It’s called as the ‘tend and befriend response’, and that feel-good energy can give you a better perspective. When it comes to lending a hand, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. You can walk a friend’s dog or simply smile at your barista when you drop a few extra dollars in the tip jar. The most important part is that you do something nice, unexpected, and outside of your regular responsibility. It’s more likely that you will get that warm glow boost of hope and self confidence when it’s something that feels like you chose it!