8 Ways to Reduce Stress

When we’re stressed out our hormones, like cortisol, flood our systems, which leads to our heart rate going up and heavy breathing. High levels of stress can trigger anything from acne, headaches, depression, and anxiety disorders, to worsening existing conditions like insomnia and asthma. Here are some ways to help you relax this spring… 

1. Take a walk 

Taking a walk can help you clear your head and put your body into a state of meditation, especially if you’re going for a walk in a park or near a river (anywhere in nature, basically). This will help boost your endorphins, which in turn, reduces your stress hormones. 

2. Unplug 

Studies show that late night screen use is associated with stress, it’s important to avoid looking at any type of screen for at least an hour before going to bed. During the day, uninterrupted use of screens (whether computer, phone or TV) has also been associated with stress, loss of sleep and depression. If your job requires extensive computer use, take frequent breaks throughout the day to let your eyes rest. Another way to help unplug is turning off your phone for some periods throughout the day (turning on silent would also suffice). This reduces the involuntary stress you have when receiving a message and feeling the need to immediately read and respond. Same goes for receiving a notification from social media. 

3. Jam Out 

Whenever feeling stressed out, put in the headphones and play some of your favorite music. You will flood your brain with the feel-good neurochemical dopamine which will help relax your anxiety. It’s also a fun way to start your morning and get through the morning traffic jams! 

4. Gum 

Gum isn’t necessarily just for warding off bad breath, it can also help relieve anxiety and reduce stress when multitasking. So whether you’re a fan of the original bubblegum flavor or wintermint, pop in a stick to help destress. 

5. Socialize 

Make plans to hang out with your friends. Socializing with people close to you can lower your production of cortisol! Whether going out or staying in, being around people you are comfortable with will help reduce your stress levels. It’s also good to be able to talk about your day with people that care about you and will comfort you after a tough day. 

6. Meditation 

Even if you’ve never done it before, there’s lots of videos on Youtube, apps and sites that have free guided meditation. Give it a try! It might be the answer for you to destress. Meditation helps clear your head and lower your heart rate by focusing on relaxation and deep breathing. If you’re at work and needing a minute of meditation, you can try some breathing exercises. With the right breathing exercises, you’ll be giving yourself an extra boost of oxygen which will reduce tension, relieve stress and help you get through your work day more relaxed. 

7. Exercise 

Like taking a walk, exercise (physical activity of any kind), releases mood-boosting endorphins. Exercise lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your heart muscle and melts away stress. Whether you’re heading to the gym or swimming pool, find an active hobby that interests you so you’ll have fun while working out and destressing. 

8. Stay positive!

Find out what makes you smile, chuckle and lighten up. Whether it’s looking at cat memes on the internet, taking a warm bath, dancing naked in your room or playing on the guitar, make sure to spend a little time every day on the things that make you happy! No matter what kind of stress, or anxiety you might be facing, it’s important you take care of your body and mind because you only live once so you should live it to its fullest!

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