Whenever I am stressed I tend to reach for wine or food. A lot of times, the wine makes me reach for food. I decided to come up with this guide to not only help myself cope with stress with healthier methods, but also help others. I would love to hear if you have other healthy methods for dealing with stress!
Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter that reduces stress hormones. Endorphins also increase self esteem and reduce anxiety and depression. Opiates act similarly to endorphins, but unlike opiates, endorphins are not addictive.
When you take a deep breath while stressed your body feels the same way as when your body is relaxed. When you breathe deeply your heart rate decreases, your breathing slows down, and your blood pressure decreases. These changes are a result of that deep breath sending a signal to your brain to relax. You could just take a deep breath, or try a breathing exercise.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Keep your hand on your belly and make sure your chest doesn’t move. Take 3-10 deep breaths like this
Breathe in for 4 counts. Hold your breath in for 7 counts. Breathe out for 8 counts.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth 8-10 times. On your next breath continue inhaling and fill your chest. Slowly exhale the air out through your mouth. Repeat for 3-5 minutes.
When you first wake up, bend forward from the waist with a soft bend in the knees and your arms hanging down towards the floor. Return to a standing position as you inhale slowly. Hold your breath then exhale slowly as you return to the original position.
Journaling is a great way to express yourself. When you are stressed, journaling helps you prioritize your feelings. You get everything down on paper and see everything that is bothering you. Journaling also helps you keep track of everything you are feeling and how you are reacting to those feelings. When you are writing your feelings on paper it gives you the opportunity for some positive self-talk.
Reading allows an escape from your daily life. When you’re reading, your heart rate decreases and the tension in your muscles relaxes. When choosing what to read, it is important to find something that won’t trigger more stress.
Make a List
Making a list is another good way to take your mind off the overwhelming world around you. Making a list helps me when I am stressed about having too much going on. It helps me prioritize what needs to be completed and it allows my mind to focus on one thing at a time. If I make a list I am comfortable knowing I won’t forget something because I have too much going on in my head. Making a list allows you to make a plan and take control of the situation and your stress.
Do Something Productive
I find doing something productive helps push me to do even more. The more productivity I have, the more my mind is taken off whatever is stressing me out. I feel good because I am not letting the stress get inside my head. Instead I am turning whatever is stressing me out into a positive energy. The more productive I become, the more positive I become and the less stressed out I am.