12 ways to banish stress

October 5, 2015

Nothing can have a greater impact on your well-being than the way you look after yourself — and one of the best ways to maintain both physical and mental health is to act and think positively. Calm resistance to stress, hostility and hopelessness can work wonders in the fight against heart attacks and strokes. Here are 12 ways to banish stress.

12 ways to banish stress

Improve your zen

  1. If you feel constantly under pressure, it is vital to carve out some time that is just for you, even if it is only half an hour a week.
  2. Progressive muscular relaxation can really help to alleviate the effects of stress on your body. It doesn't take long and it is really simple to do. To start, tense the muscles in your feet, then relax. Then work your way up your body doing the same thing in sequence, from your feet to your head.
  3. If stress accumulates to such a degree that you feel like crying, take heart. Emotional tears are very different from the kind you produce when you're in pain or peeling an onion. Scientists think that a good cry actually clears out stress-related chemicals produced when we're under pressure.
  4. Physical activity is one of the best stress-busters and one of the best exercise tools is easy to use and almost universally available: a staircase. When daily life starts getting you down, run up and down some stairs a couple of times or, if you can spare 10 minutes, go for a brisk walk around the block in the fresh air.
  5. A healthy diet helps to keep your immune system and metabolism functioning efficiently and protects you from the effects of stress.
  6. Cultivate a support network. You might find it hard, but start sharing your feelings on a regular basis with at least one family member or trusted friend.
  7. Avoid using dramatic or overblown descriptions of problems in thoughts or speech. We all do it, but exaggerating everyday difficulties increases their emotional intensity.
  8. Sleep soundly. Not only can stress interfere with your sleep, but not getting enough sleep can also add to your stress levels.
  9. Try to designate one place in your home that's truly "yours," where you can retreat when you need to get away from it all. Keep it free of clutter and make it as calming and restful as possible — with, for example, a favourite chair and a few objects you find visually pleasing.
  10. Meditate or do yoga. When scientists measured the amount of atherosclerosis in the arteries of volunteers with high blood pressure, they found a significant reduction after nine months among those who'd learned to meditate. And studies show that heart rates drop dramatically during a yoga class.
  11. Get a view. Nature is a great stress-reliever. Studies have shown that patients experience less pain after surgery if they have a view of trees rather than a brick wall. And tests on students given a stressful task showed that their heart rates returned to normal faster when they gazed at a real fountain rather than at a digitally created image. Even photographs of restful scenes can help. So if the view from your window isn't great, try hanging a wonderful scenic photograph on the wall, or putting a plant or small vase of flowers in the place where you spend the most time.
  12. Develop your sense of humour. Laughter is an excellent way to release tension from your body and help you to feel relaxed.

Remember these twelve points and put them into practice to help banish stress from your life so that you can be more peaceful and relaxed.

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