When trying to cope with stress, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do so. What do I mean by unhealthy habits? I mean short term fixes, which, don’t always make you feel great after. For example, a lot of people tend to smoke when they feel stressed; at the moment, they might feel good and might even feel less stressed. Or you might have a few drinks to take the edge off. Apart from the fact that these things are bad for your health if done in excess, you don’t feel that great the next day. You probably feel even more stressed and irritable, which can make you lash out at people.
There are a number of healthy ways to cope with stress, as they help long-term, enabling you to control the stress in your life and not the other way around. I have listed five different ways to cope with stress that are beneficial for your health.
- Deep breathing: This is one of the best ways to help you relax. When you take deep breaths through the nose and exhale through the mouth, you send a message to your brain to relax and calm down. It is great to do this at different parts of the day, especially at night before going to sleep.
- Eating well: Research has shown that foods containing omega 3 fatty acids reduce stress hormones, heart disease, and even depression. So, why not add some fish in your diet, like tuna, salmon, or even nuts.
- Exercise: Exercising often is also a great way to relax your mind and your body, which can improve your mood. It is essential to find an exercise that suits you; it could be walking, jogging, strength training or yoga.
- Relaxing your muscles: There are times when you might not be in the mood to exercise or are just too busy. It would help if you made time to relax your muscles. When we are stressed, our muscles tense up and loosening them up, refreshes your body. Stretching or having a nice hot bath after a long day, or even enjoying a massage can make a big difference and the stress fades away.
- Make time for yourself: This is something I think we should all do every day, even for 15 minutes. Doing something you enjoy makes you feel happy, and when we feel so content, we relieve stress. It could be as simple as reading, watching a movie, or baking.
There are so many things we can do to relieve stress. Something I often say is finding something that suits you and not what you think you should do.