Ways to Reduce Stress

Jonathan Farber phd Stress-7508650Unfortunately, we all get stressed out from time to time – some more often than others. Whether it’s a quickened heart-rate, sweaty palms, or the feeling of being overwhelmed, stress is something we don’t choose but experience nonetheless. The good news is that we have the ability to reset ourselves and relieve stress very quickly. Here are a few simple ways you can relieve stress and live a healthier lifestyle:

The first tip will probably sound quite obvious and somewhat redundant, especially if you’ve been dealing with high stress levels for a while, but taking deep breaths helps to reduce tension and relieve stress because it gives you an oxygen boost. According to an article published by the Huffington Post, “While shallow breathing – a marker of stress – stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, reported NPR, deep breathing does the opposite: It stimulates the parasympathetic reaction, which helps us to calm down,” (20 Scientifically-Backed Ways to De-Stress Right Now). Deep breathing is the fastest and easiest way for you to calm down and bring your mind at ease.

Next, go for a walk for at least 10 minutes. Walking helps not only to clear your head, but it increases the amount of endorphins in your brain, which in turn reduces your stress hormones. Walking outside surrounded by nature is a great way to relieve stress because, according to the Huffington Post, it can, “actually put your body into a state of meditation, thanks to a phenomenon known as ‘involuntary attention’ during which something holds our attention, but simultaneously allows for reflection,” (20 Scientifically-Backed Ways to De-Stress Right Now). You should never underestimate the power of a walk through nature.

Jonathan Farber phd Stress-7508650Speaking of nature, buying houseplants is another way to help relieve stress because they induce your relaxation response. The Huffington Post notes, “One Washington State University study found that a group of stressed-out people who entered a room full of plants had a four-point drop in their blood pressure,”20 Scientifically-Backed Ways to De-Stress Right Now). Compare this to the group who did not see any plants, who only had a two-point drop, and you’ll be heading to your local plant store as soon as you can.

Lastly, listen to soothing music. This is a great technique to do before you go to bed because hearing classical, or other types of calming music, slows your heart rate, decreases levels of stress hormones, and lowers your blood pressure. As the saying goes, music really is the medicine of the mind.

For more tips on how to de-stress and increase your overall quality of life, check out the Huffington Post’s article here.