Manage Stress

Breathe Easy: 7 Key Ways to Manage Stress

Around three out of four Americans experience stress at least once a month.

Whether it’s at work or when we’re home, many of us feel stressed, which can take a toll on our health. Perhaps you’re feeling this and you want to find ways to breathe easy.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are seven ways to manage stress.

  1. Focus on Your Breath

When the demands of life have stressed you out, focus on your breathing, as it can relax you within minutes. A major benefit is that you can do these stress-reducing techniques even when you’re in public because they’re discreet.

One is where you breathe in through your nose and let your belly fill with air. Count to five as you inhale. Make sure you hold this for a second and then gradually exhale as you count to five again.

Another trick is to breathe in through your nose and imagine this pure air spreading throughout your body. As you exhale, imagine that you’re exhaling any stress or tension that has accumulated.

  1. Move Your Body

A great way to manage stress is to regularly exercise. It’s recommended that adults get around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to stay healthy.

You don’t need to spend hours in the gym. Instead, find an exercise that you enjoy.

For instance, going for a walk lets you enjoy a change of scenery and relieve any stress. You may also try yoga, as it combines movement with meditation, which is a fantastic way to unwind after a long day.

But if you’re still struggling, check out these behavioral health services, as they have the experience and expertise to help you.

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet

If you suffer from chronic stress, then make sure you follow a nutritious diet. Many of us are guilty of over-eating or indulging in junk food when we feel low. But this is the worst thing we can do.

These are packed with refined carbs that cause your blood sugar to spike. The problem is, when this eventually nosedives, you’ll experience more stress and anxiety.

Instead, load up on fruit and veggies, along with oily fish, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce stress symptoms.

  1. Enjoy Your Favorite Activities

After a day packed with stressful situations, set aside time for your favorite activities. Aside from relieving anxiety, hobbies make you feel better, which can carry over into other areas of life like work.

Creating art is a fantastic way to relieve stress, as you focus on coloring or drawing rather than your to-do list. You should also listen to calming music, as it’s known to lower your blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a stress hormone. Or pop on an energizing song so you can dance away your daily stresses.

You should also write away your anxieties by breaking down your feelings and pinpointing the main causes. Then, make a list of five things you’re grateful for, as gratitude relieves anxiety. You end up focusing on the positive aspects of your life.

But sometimes, especially after a long work week, we don’t want to do anything. And that’s fine!

You don’t have to always be productive. Instead, sit back and fully relax to recharge.

  1. Confide in Friends

Whenever you feel stressed, take a break and confide in a friend. Social support is important, especially when you’re struggling. So share your problems with trustworthy friends.

And ask for a hug! Physical touch relieves stress since our body releases oxytocin, which is associated with higher levels of happiness and less stress.

You should also join an organization or seek professional help if you lack a supportive network.

  1. Encourage Positive Self-Talk

Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Many of us are guilty of self-criticism and self-doubt, which can only enhance our stress. For instance, if you’re telling yourself “I don’t have time for this” or “I can’t deal with this”, it’ll only make matters worse.

Instead, reframe your internal voice and speak in a compassionate matter. To help, imagine you’re speaking to a friend and then use that as your inner monologue. Positive self-talk is crucial because it helps you develop a healthier outlook so you feel less stress.

For example, tell yourself “I am worthy” and “I am proud of myself for trying since it took courage.”

You should also laugh often, as it releases endorphins that elevate your mood and decreases cortisol and adrenaline. So put on your favorite comedy movie and indulge in an afternoon of light-hearted fun to relieve stress.

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is important since it maintains our overall health, boosts our immune system, and lets us think more clearly. Note that adults need at least seven hours of shut-eye to stay healthy.

Having trouble sleeping? Then turn off your screens an hour before bed, dim the lights, and find ways to relax. For example, catch up on your reading or take a long soak in a bubble bath to unwind.

You should also light candles or get an essential oils diffuser so you can enjoy the stress-relieving properties of aromatherapy.

That’s How to Breathe Easy and Manage Stress

Hopefully, after reading this article, you know how to breathe easy to alleviate stress.

Try different breathing techniques to calm down, reach out to loved ones, and spend time doing your favorite activities. You should also eat a balanced diet, get a good night’s shut-eye, and prioritize exercise. Good luck!

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