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How to handle stress like a boss
Ah, stress. It is something that we all want to avoid but have to deal with every now and then–like taxes, or worse, an annoying ex who keeps on sending us drunk texts. As much as we hate this emotional state, it’s something that we all need to learn how to deal with like a true boss.
There are a lot of factors that can leave you feeling anxious, frustrated, and nervous. Basically, when we’re stressed, our body floods our system with a hormone called cortisol which triggers our fight or flight response. The good news is that while we all have a stress response that naturally comes to us whenever we encounter uncomfortable situations, we also have a corresponding relaxation response which we can use to level down our panicked levels.
Having a hard time lately dealing with all your daily troubles? There are a few easy ways to relieve stress that you can try at home. Read on to find out five destress strategies that can bring you back to your zen zone.
5 Ways to handle stress like a boss:
Did you know that meditating for at least 10 minutes a day can not only help you control stress but also decrease anxiety and improve your cardiovascular health? Using this technique as a stress relief treatment was pioneered in the 1970s by Harvard physician Herbert Benson and has been recognized since by therapists and other professionals all over the world.
Meditation doesn’t necessarily need to be in the form of yoga, which is a popular practice that has gained a strong following over the years. In order to trigger your relaxation response, Dr. Benson suggests designating a certain word or sound that you can repeat as you sit quietly with your eyes closed for 10 to 20 minutes (“om” for example). To meditate, find yourself a place that is free of distractions, sit comfortably, and relax your muscles starting from your feet, moving upwards to your face. Breathe naturally and repeat your meditation word at a pace you are comfortable in until you feel your mind reaching a blank, relaxed state. Easy, right?
We know what you’re thinking. How on earth is exercise a stress relief treatment if it makes you end up sweating like a pig and barely half-conscious? While thinking of exercising can be stressful on its own, it has actually been proven effective as one of the best ways to release stress because it increases our overall health and sense of well-being. Scientifically speaking, any physical activity triggers the brain to pump up the production of endorphins, neurotransmitters that bring about the feeling of happiness. So the next time you feel like you’re in a slump, slip on your running shoes and go for a quick run. Believe us when we say it’s worth it!
Listening to music
There is a reason why most of us have the tendency of putting on our earplugs when we feel on the edge. Besides from wanting to block the rest of the world (which is a pretty understandable and relatable mood, TBH), music has been proven to be a powerful tool in lifting our emotions. Music has a direct link to our moods in a way that it can relax both our minds and bodies. In addition to this, this easy way to relieve stress works by absorbing our attention by helping us explore our emotions that might be triggering our stress levels. This is the reason why music is a perfect accompaniment to meditation–or even in hospitals where it is used to reduce the anxiety levels of patients before and after surgery. The type of music depends on the individual’s taste, but we highly recommend choosing the soothing, classical ones over heavy metal tunes, just saying.
Creating a relaxation room
Basically, your home should be able to stand as your safe space from the daily stresses of life. If we’re all being realistic here, however, we know that this isn’t always possible. There are dishes to be cleaned, floors to be swept, and other activities that can be stressful on their own. Creating a relaxation room in one part of your home, therefore, is recommended if you want a literal place where you can escape your worries.
What is a relaxation room? It is simply a space that is dedicated for de-stressing, meaning you can’t use it as a study, home office, or even as a reading nook. It should be free from distractions, meaning it should have no technology and other clutter. This room, moreover, should ideally have soft furniture where you can relax and something that creates ambient noise that can lull you into a relaxed state. Don’t have enough space to dedicate as your relaxation room? You can turn your bedroom into one! Just make sure to make the necessary adjustments mentioned and most importantly to never…
Bring your phone or other gadgets during relaxation time.
Now we are all guilty of scrolling through our social media feed even after we turn off the lights. If you really want to manage stress, however, this is a habit that you should drop. Using our phones or other gadgets keep us from clearing our minds, especially come bedtime when we need to give ourselves a soft landing before going off to dreamland. In addition, social media is a legit source of stress with the amount of information it bombards us with. From bad headlines that can trigger us to feel-good social media posts that can cause social media envy, social media is a definite enemy of de-stressing.
To change this habit, designate a certain time where you have to stop using your phone. Unplug. Turn it off for good measure. You can thank us later.
Encountering stressful situations may be a natural part of our everyday living, but we have total control over how we handle them. It’s definitely a change of perspective that can help us–and in order to do this, you need to take up certain measures like the ones mentioned above. Thankfully, they are all very easy to do and literally cost nothing–except for a change of certain habits!