Many people experience stress on a daily basis. Stress is not a bad thing if it’s within a certain limit. Stress can help us stay awake, motivated, and prepared to avoid danger. For instance, if you have a big test coming up, your body may work harder and stay awake longer as a result of a stress response. But when stressors persist without relief or rest periods, stress becomes a problem.
Everyday stresses such as those related to work, family, health, and finances can often lead to higher stress levels. Although our bodies are capable of handling brief bursts of stress, prolonged or chronic stress can have negative physical effects. When there is a sudden increase in stress, the muscles tense up all at once and then relax once the stress has subsided. The body’s muscles are more or less always on guard as a result of chronic stress. Long-term muscle tension has the potential to cause other bodily reactions and even worsen stress-related disorders.
What happens to the body when it is stressed?
The autonomic nervous system of the body regulates your heart rate, breathing, visions, and other bodily functions. The built-in stress response, known as the “fight-or-flight response,” assists the body in dealing with stressful situations.
When a person is under long-term (chronic) stress, the stress response is constantly activated, causing wear and tear on the body. Symptoms of stress appear at a physical, emotional, and behavioral level.
Effects of Stress and Their Implications for Health
Stress can have a significant physical and emotional impact on health. Stress can cause
- Irritation and rage
- Stomach and gastrointestinal issues
- Heart disease or a heart attack
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Anxiety and depression
The effects of stress can accumulate in your brain and body over time. Long-term or chronic stress can weaken the immune system, putting you at a risk of illnesses ranging from common colds to more serious illnesses.
Stress is inevitable. However, you can make it a goal to keep your daily stress levels low. When you are less stressed about trivial matters, you are better able to deal with larger challenges.
Following the tips below can help you reduce your stress levels each day
Take a few slow, deep breaths from your belly if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Your body’s fight-or-flight (stress) response can be turned off quickly and effectively with belly breathing. To reduce daily stress, try belly breathing or mindful breathing every day.
Laugh more often:
A good sense of humor will not cure everything, but it will make you feel better, even if you have to fake it through your grumpiness. Laughter not only relieves stress but also causes positive physical changes in the body. Laughter activates and then deactivates your stress response. So go ahead and read some jokes, tell some jokes, watch a comedy movie, or hang out with your funny friends. Alternatively, try laughter yoga.
Toning of the voice
As strange as it may sound, vocal toning is a unique technique that reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Try sneaking away to a quiet place to tone up before a meeting with your boss and notice how much more relaxed and focused you feel. It works by working the tiny muscles of the inner ear, which aid in detecting the higher frequencies of human speech, which convey emotion and tell you what someone is really trying to say. Not only will you feel more at ease in that meeting, but you will also be able to better understand what he is saying.
Sit up straight and make the sound “mmmm” with your lips together and teeth slightly apart. Change the pitch and volume until you feel a pleasant vibration in your face and, eventually, in your heart and stomach.
On-the-go stress reduction
When stuck in traffic, listen to music or an audiobook. To see something new, take a different route. Perform neck rolls at stoplights. Sing in the car to keep yourself awake and happy.
While traveling by public transport, take the time to read, have cell phone conversations, and listen to music and try to observe and listen to the sounds around you. Even if you are on the same bus every day, try to notice something new.
When standing in line, instead of being concerned about the passage of time, concentrate on your breathing. Talk to the person in front of you. Take a bite of minty gum.
Choosing kindness in all your interactions is one of the best ways to reduce stress. When someone says something hurtful to you, consider how you can respond lovingly. When someone irritates you, leave the room for a few minutes to calm down and then return with kindness. Aim to perform one act of kindness per day so that you can focus your energy on making others happy rather than on things that stress you out. The act of kindness does not have to be elaborate. A simple birthday greeting to an old friend, for example, does not cost anything.
Get a Pet
Pets aid in the reduction of mental clutter and stress. While it is true that pets can occasionally cause havoc. It is also true that once you have a pet, you will soon consider your pet to be a member of your family. When you are having a bad day, you can cuddle with your pet on the couch and feel their love shine through. When someone hurts you and you need to vent, you can talk to your dog about it. During stressful times, your pet can help you relax and make you feel loved.
Enjoy the Sun
Go outside if it is sunny to boost your mood. Bright light can uplift your mood and is in fact an effective treatment for those who suffer from depression.
Accept and conquer your obstacles
Accept the situation you are in and work towards finding a solution rather than dwelling on the negative thoughts.
- Top 20 tips for a stress-free life. Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/de-stress/top-20-tips-for-a-stress-free-life/articleshow/20984083.cms. Accessed 2/6/23
- 14 ways to become stress-free in 5 minutes. Inc. https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/14-ways-to-become-stress-free-in-5-minutes.html. Accessed 2/6/23
- 15 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety. Accessed 2/6/23