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by Matthew Zhao

3 Quick Tips and Tricks for Managing Stress

 

In light of recent events, stress management is crucial and extremely important. Whether you’re a high schooler, college student, or part of the workforce, its easy to get caught up in the work that’s due and get overwhelmed. Over time, continuous strain on the body can lead to health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses. Mentally, it can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and more. This is why stress management is so important. Effective stress management can lead to a more balanced life, with more social relationships and relaxation, and happiness, which can lead to longevity. Here are some tips and tricks for managing stress!

 

1) Exercise 

 

Aerobic exercises are key to health. Not only does it help with metabolism, heart function, and relaxation, but can also help with relaxation, and happiness. The mental benefits of relaxation are neurochemically based. Exercise can reduce levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that are the body’s mood elevators. Endorphins are responsible for what we often call, a “runner’s high”” and for the feelings of relaxation and optimism that you often get after a good workout in addition to the fatigue. . 

Another kind of exercise called autoregulation exercises can also help relieve stress. This exercise revolves around the fact that when a person is stressed, muscles are tense, as well as headaches and neck pain often occur. Autoregulation exercises are techniques used to replace stress with a cycle of repose. Breathing exercises, often paired with meditation, are one way of approaching autoregulation exercise. Progressive Muscle Relaxation, as well as mental relaxation exercises can also help mitigate levels of stress. 

2) Stepping Back

This may sound counterintuitive, especially when work is piling up around you, but stepping back will help you vision the wide picture. Self reflecting is a great way to evaluate your current situation and help you to make the best possible decision. When work piles up and you start to feel stressed, stop and close your eyes for a second. Think about what is causing your stress, what you are currently doing to reduce stress, and what you can do to decrease/control your stress. This allows you to quickly organize your thoughts, and make the best possible decision. Whether that’s not pulling an all-nighter and waking up earlier in the morning, or prioritizing and sacrificing certain assignments, you’re able to make the decision that’s best for you. Pairing that up with a quick breathing or mental relaxation exercise, you’ll be all set to continue your work. 

3) Using external resources

 

Whether that’s lighting a candle, or taking supplements, using external resources to your advantage creates an environment and condition perfect for you. Certain essential oils, produce scents like lavender, rose, neroli, orange, and pine are calming and soothing. Working in an environment with such scents can help you unwind yourself. 

Supplements, like lemon balm, green tea, and ashwagandha, are all proven to promote stress reduction. However, supplements can conflict with medication and allergies, so its best to consult your doctor before taking one. 

Reducing your caffeine intake has immense effects on stress. Caffeine, a stimulant found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks, when taken too much, can increase anxiety. Everyone has a different reaction to caffeine, but if you find that its making you jittery and anxious, maybe it’s time to cut back.

Lastly, using a stress ball or fidget spinner can help manage stress. Stress balls, as the name implies, are designed to relieve stress as you squeeze and compress it. Using these tools can help you stay on task when in a high stress condition, which can ultimately help improve efficiency. 

Stress is an unavoidable part in life, and learning how to manage it will reduce the likelihood of mental and physical breakdowns. Effectively managing stress through exercise and various techniques can mitigate stress in the long run. Self reflecting can help you assess the situation and make the most calculated decision for you. Lastly, using outside resources helps you to create an environment that’s most beneficial to you while you work. These methods will help you relieve stress in the long term.

 

Additional resources:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress#:~:text=Over%20time%2C%20continued%20strain%20on,such%20as%20depression%20or%20anxiety.

https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/stress#:~:text=When%20stress%20becomes%20overwhelming%20and,complaints%20such%20as%20muscle%20tension.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/if-you-are-happy-and-you-know-it-you-may-live-longer-2019101618020#:~:text=The%20study%20in%20Proceedings%20of,had%20a%20longer%20life%20span.&text=For%20both%20men%20and%20women,defined%20as%20surviving%20to%2085.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety#6.-Chew-gum

https://www.verywellmind.com/aromatherapy-scents-for-stress-relief-3144599

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/ways-to-reduce-anxiety

https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2021/03/how-to-take-care-of-yourself-when-youre-feeling-overwhelmed/

https://www.healthline.com/health/working-out-before-bed

 

Photos:

https://www.healthline.com/health/working-out-before-bed

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/01/07/260470831/mindfulness-meditation-can-help-relieve-anxiety-and-depression

https://www.behance.net/gallery/76990597/My-Mirror-Self-reflection-journal

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/g38055885/best-candles-on-amazon/

https://www.usada.org/spirit-of-sport/science/substance-profile-caffeine/

 

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