When it comes to maintaining good health and prolonging your lifespan, finding ways to beat stress becomes mandatory. Of all contributing factors to poor health, disease and death, stress is probably the most malicious. Not only can stress make you feel miserable, chronic stress can also lead to dire consequences from weight gain, to increasing blood pressure and causing diabetes or a heart attack . Stress triggers inflammation and some studies even show that it may contribute to dementia .
We understand that battling stress and anxiety isn’t a walk in the park. However, mustering up the strength to beat stress and boost happiness can help you escape form the risk of many unpleasant symptoms and harmful diseases.
The following are some tips to help you reduce stress naturally, without the need for antidepressants or coffee:
1. Get some sun
There’s a reason winter gives most people the blues. Sunlight affects levels of serotonin – your body’s feel good neurotransmitter that boosts feelings of happiness and positivity. Combine sun time with an outdoor workout, such as a jog, walk or cycling sesh to give yourself a natural high.
2. Dance it out
Exercise elevates mood – that’s not news – but dancing is one exercise that’s foolproof for getting rid of stress. Researchers at the University of Texas, Austin discovered that a single 40 minute session of exercise can improve your mood. Exercising consistently will reduce chances of high stress levels and depression. Even if you hate exercise, dancing to your favorite tunes can work wonders!
3. Spend time with your pet
If you don’t have one, try volunteering at an animal shelter or meeting a friend who has a pet. Interacting with animals brings the fuzzies in us, which is why most doctors recommend autistic, elderly or other disabled patients to have a therapy or support pet.
4. Enjoy alone time
Having a busy work schedule means that you probably don’t get enough time for yourself. Taking some time out to relax or exercise, just to give yourself some quality “me time” is an effective way of overcoming stress and keeping it at bay for good.
Most successful people vouch for meditation because it reduces stress by clearing their minds. This prevents your mind from wandering unnecessarily. You’ll be able to take better control on what you’re focusing on and avoid unpleasant and troubling thoughts. Meditation is as simple as focusing on one thing, your breathing, a mantra or an object for 10 minutes.
6. Get a massage
Getting a day off from your tiring routine to get a massage is a great way to help you relax and calm your mind. Studies show that just 5 minutes of touch massage can reduce your heart rate and thus, counter stress responses. If can’t visit a spa, ask a friend, your partner or a family member to do it for a few minutes. You can also do it yourself on your face, feet or calves.
7. Try yoga
You don’t have to perform a structured yoga routine to feel relaxed. Simply turn on any soothing music and do a few stretches that calm you. Be sure you focus on your breathing and end with lying on your mat, enjoying the tranquil music.
8. Have some dark chocolate
Yes, we mean it. Who knew indulging in a tasty treat without guilt could beat stress. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that help improve bad mood. Studies also show that chocolate can help elevate endorphin levels.
9. Avoid junk
Most people cope with stress by eating their feelings. While digging into a tub of ice cream or chugging on alcohol may seem like a good idea for the moment, they can actually augment stress and create a chronic mess.
Instead, choose healthy foods containing omega 3s such as oatmeal, fish and nuts. Turkey is another great option loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid that comforts you and increases pleasure.
10. Challenge yourself
Setting goals and challenges for yourself that can benefit any aspect of your life, whether it is for work or personal self-improvement is a great way to reinforce emotional resilience, gain confidence and distract yourself from idle time that may gather unwelcomed thoughts.
Thailand fitness bootcamp is on a quest to educate everyone on the endless benefits of positive, healthy living. Body positivity, self-encouragement and feeling great about oneself are integral parts of our agenda along with a wide array of healthy eating choices and fitness plans. Feel to drop us a line or join our bootcamp to kickstart a fun and energetic fitness journey.
1. Chronic variable stress activates hematopoietic stem cells. Nature Medicine 20, 754–758 (2014) doi:10.1038/nm.3589
2. Bacteria Present in Carotid Arterial Plaques Are Found as Biofilm Deposits Which May Contribute to Enhanced Risk of Plaque Rupture. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01206-14
3. Stress related to Alzheimer’s clinical onset