From Stress to Rest: How to De-Stress and Enjoy Life
The contents of this article is presented as personal opinion and is not an endorsement of Rehab Medical nor should the contents of this article be used to treat, cure, mitigate, or diagnosis any medical condition. Always consult your doctor before beginning or modifying any health routines.
Stress can trigger a lot of mental, emotional, and physical issues, especially if untreated for too long. Given that stress is a normal part of being human, everyone experiences stress throughout their life, so it’s important to understand the effects of stress and how you can effectively manage stress when it rears its ugly head. Since April is national stress awareness month, we’ve put together this helpful guide on what stress is, ways you might be able to reduce stress, and a few stress reducing recommendations to add to your daily routine. When you can effectively manage your stress, you may see significant improvements in your mental and physical well-being. Managing your stress can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, migraines, high blood pressure, fatigue, and any other health related issues.
What is Stress?
Stress is a normal feeling everyone experiences at some point in their lifetime but not all stressful experiences are negative. In short bursts stress can be positive, it can help you avoid dangerous situations, increase your motivation, or improve your well-being. But when it's experienced long-term it can cause adverse affects to your health. Check out the two main types of stressors below and ask yourself, 'where do you fall on the stress level'.
Acute stress: This type of stress is usually experienced in short bursts and will go away quickly. It’s often seen when an unexpected life event happens or when something new and exciting is happening.
Chronic stress: This type of stress can last weeks, months, or even years and can often times go unnoticed. This stress can negatively affect your health and well-being if not treated.
5 Ways You Can Reduce Stress
Exercise is considered one of the best stress relievers as it can improve your quality of life, decrease your risk of developing heart disease, improve your mood and sleep quality, as well as boost your confidence. But how much exercise is needed to achieve harmony? The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise which equates to 30 minutes per day of exercise. If it’s difficult to fit in a full 30-minute workout, breaking it up into 10-minute intervals works well too.
Stress reducing exercises:
Most people might not know this, but your diet can play a significant role in your stress levels. Studies have shown that when our bodies are poorly nourished it can increase our stress levels causing things like hormone imbalances and extreme weight gain or loss. You don’t have to completely change your diet but it’s important to note that by adding these stress-busting foods to your diet, you can help to reduce stress.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting a good night's sleep can certainly reduce your stress levels and there are a few techniques you can add to your bedtime routine to ensure you get the best sleep. An hour before bed, try disconnecting from technology to reduce brain overstimulation. During that hour of “wind-down” time you can add in meditation, reading, stretching, connecting with loved ones, calming music, a hot bath, or anything else you consider relaxation. The point is to reduce the stimulation in your brain so it can prepare for sleep.
Schedule Routine Health Visits
Talking to your doctor routinely about your health is a great way to combat stress before it happens. Be sure to schedule routine visits with your doctor and document any health concerns you may have prior to the visit. Your doctor can provide helpful recommendations for your unique body type, as everyone’s body responds to stress differently.
Make Time for Relaxation
Adding 5-10 minutes of relaxation to your daily routine can greatly improve your stress levels and ability to focus. Breathing exercises, journaling, meditation, and yoga are all great relaxation techniques.
In addition to the common ways to reduce stress, there are a few stress-reducing hobbies that can improve your overall mood and provide a sense of relaxation.
Knitting or crocheting
These are great indoor activities that require no skill level and make great Christmas gifts for loved ones. There are also intro classes offered by your local Michael’s Craft Store
Solving puzzles builds sharper mental awareness and quicker wit. Whether you are a tech wiz or keep it old school, puzzles come in digital and traditional forms.
Gardening can be considered a healthful activity that offers several advantages to your physical and mental health.
Fishing can be considered both a relaxing and exciting pastime and if you bring a friend, you can enjoy the calming sensations of the open water.
This is a great way to become more active in your community while also connecting with others in your local community.
Fostering an animal
If you’re an animal lover this is a great option for you. Lots of local shelters are always looking for temporary foster parents as it helps animals acclimate to domestic life before finding their fur-ever home.
There are many health benefits to taking control of your stress levels as well as plenty of hobbies to get involved in whether it’s an activity by yourself in the comfort of your home or an activity spent out in your local community. The important thing to remember is finding what works best for your unique lifestyle and creating a plan of action. For more information on how to combat stress, be sure to follow us on Facebook or sign up for our monthly newsletter!