All of us, at times, experience intense stress due to our personal and professional obligations – lately, even due to current events.Therefore, in order not to let stress affect our daily life, it is important to have in our “quiver” techniques to deal with it.
What might these techniques be? But simple daily habits, no matter how simple they seem at first glance, can really make a difference! For example, we can follow the following:
- We breathe.This advice may seem cliché, but it actually pays off significantly when we’re stressed. After all, breathing has a special place in relaxation techniques such as yoga. We sit in a chair with our feet on the floor and hands on our knees. We inhale slowly and deeply, concentrating on our lungs. While shallow breathing causes anxiety, deep breathing oxygenates our blood and “clears” our mind.
- We exercise.Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to reap its benefits. Experts recommend devoting 150 minutes a week to aerobic exercise, even of mild intensity. In practical terms, this means that a short walk, a bike ride or a few minutes of leisurely jogging can provide immediate relief in times of intense stress. Exercise improves blood circulation, releasing endorphins, the hormones that boost our mood almost instantly. Exercise, therefore, while not eliminating our stress, can reduce the emotional tension we feel, help us clear our thoughts and deal with the source of stress more effectively.
- We eat right.Stress levels and proper nutrition are closely related. When we’re stressed, we often resort to eating high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks. However, if we want nutrition to be our “ally” in dealing with stress, it is important to avoid sugary and fatty snacks, adopting healthy eating habits. We choose fruits and vegetables, as well as fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce symptoms of stress.
- We sleep well.Stress can make us lose sleep, but also the other way around: poor sleep can be a major cause of stress.
Therefore, in order to be able to face the challenges of everyday life, it is important to enjoy a satisfying and deep sleep. To achieve this, we establish a consistent sleep ‘routine’.
We turn off screens well before bedtime, dim the lights and give ourselves time to relax.
- We drink relaxing drinks.A large dose of caffeine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure and therefore agitation, which does not facilitate the management of stress. As hydration is essential for our health, in situations of intense stress we make sure to hydrate with teas that contain a small amount of caffeine or none at all. We choose green tea, which has less than half the caffeine of coffee, while containing antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system. In addition, we can “take refuge” in a classic decoction with chamomile which is known for its relaxing properties.
- We listen to relaxing music.When we feel intense stress, it is certain that relaxing music can help us. Playing soft music has a positive effect on the brain and body, it can lower blood pressure, but also cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.
- We communicate with friends.Communication with friends and loved ones is especially important when we are experiencing intense stress. By talking to our personal ‘support network’, we are more likely to identify the ‘root’ of our problems and arrive at the best possible resolution. After all, the company of our loved ones benefits us in another way, which is none other than laughter. Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and lower levels of cortisol and adrenaline, the hormones associated with stress.
- We try to be positive.We look for the positives in our lives and try to write down three things we are grateful for at the end of each day. We accept the things we cannot change and instead focus on the things we can control.
8+1. We are asking for a…natural helping hand.Valerian is an herb that has been used in traditional medicine, for its calming effect and for its contribution to improving sleep, for at least 2,000 years. The results of many studies show that valerian contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system, has calming and relaxing properties and improves the body’s response to stress. In addition to being consumed as a drink, valerian root extract is also available as a dietary supplement.