Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV.
But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life. Below are tips on how to relieve this stress and be more productive!
1. Kiss someone!
Research suggests kissing releases chemicals that ease hormones associated with stress, like cortisol. Forming positive relationships is also a key way to help reduce stress and anxiety
2. Try progressive relaxation.
All the way from fingers to toes—tense and then release each muscle group in the body (lower arm, upper arm, chest, back and abdominals, etc.). Once the body is relaxed, the mind will be soon to follow.
3. Spark some scents.
Studies suggest aromatherapy can be a good way to relieve stress . Certain aromas (like lavender) have been consistently shown to reduce stress levels.
4. Listen to music.
Research points to multiple ways in which music can help relieve stress, from triggering biochemical stress reducers to assisting in treating stress associated with medical procedures.
5.Laugh it off.
Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress (like fatigue) on the body.
6. Drink tea.
One study found that drinking black tea leads to lower post-stress cortisol levels and greater feelings of relaxation.
7. Breathe deep.
Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Studies suggest deep breathing can also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure.
That post-exercise endorphin rush is one way to sharply cut stress.
9. Chew gum.
Studies suggest the act of chewing gum can reduce cortisol levels, helping to alleviate stress.
10.Get a massage.
Getting a good ol’ rub down may do more than alleviate physical pain. Studies suggest massage may also be beneficial for fighting stress. It may also help improve body image.
11. Talk About sex.
Studies have shown sex can actually decrease the physical symptoms of stress, like lowering blood pressure.
12.Take a nap.
Napping has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which aids in stress relief.
13.Hug it out.
Hugging may actually reduce blood pressure and stress levels in adults.
14. Hang with your pet.
Or, as we’ve put it before, just get a dog. Dog owners have been shown to be less stressed out—most likely thanks to having a buddy to cuddle .
15. Write it out.
Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects. A gratitude journal can really help us put things in perspective, so pick a time every day to write down a few things that make you happy.