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4 Natural Ways To Manage Stress

Focusing on one task for a significant period of time can be challenging at the best of times, let alone if you’re stressed. Here are 4 natural ways to manage stress written by Erlanger Turner (PhD) for Psychology Today. In the Western World we’re living in a fast paced and competitive world, in an economic climate that can be regarded as unfavourable to say the least. It’s no wonder that cases of stress are on the rise. Stress is harmful to our mental health and our physical health as a whole. It leads to illness and disease as well as unhappiness, which is why it’s so important to learn how to manage it, before it manages you. These tips are great, and will take only a few minutes of your time to digest.

4 Natural Ways To Manage Stress

  1. Manage Stress Before It Manages YouUnderstand how you stress.  Stress is experienced and managed differently by each individual. Some things that may be stressful for some may serve as a trigger for others to become productive. It is important for you to know what types of situations make you feel different than you do most of the time. For example, stress may be related to your children, family, health, financial decisions, work, relationships or something else.
  2. Find healthy ways to manage stress. The ways in which you cope with stress are unique to your personality. Consider healthy, stress-reducing activities that work best for you such as exercising or talking things out with friends or family, listening to music, writing, or spending time with a friend or relative. Keep in mind that unhealthy behaviors develop over time and can be difficult to change. Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on changing only one behavior at a time

Click here to view the whole article on Psychology Today

Unsurprisingly, exercise was featured several times among these 4 natural ways to manage stress. Exercise is the number one activity for emotional renewal according to Tony Schwartz who wrote The Power Of Full Engagement. On a personal level, I cannot think of a better way to alleviate and manage stress. I didn’t start really properly exercising until I was doing my finals at uni in 2003. I’d occasionally play tennis or go for a cycle, but nothing too regular. I got incredibly stressed when revising for these exams and this is when I started running. It was like a miracle cure. I’d reach stalemate when sat at my desk, tear my hair out (those were the days), and after a run I’d feel remarkably refreshed. Exercise is the no. 1 stress reliever for me. It also induces creativity, problem solving, improves your intelligence, makes you happier, slows aging of the brain, slows aging of your organs, fends off disease – to name just a few of the plethora of benefits!

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Six Smart Ways To Beat Stress

It is clear  that stress can have an impact on your ability to focus, as well as your health and mental state.   If you’re struggling to focus, it may just be that you are struggling with stress too.  Here I have excerpted 2 examples out of six smart ways to beat stress, written by Paige Greenfield of Men’s Health.

How you cope: Pour a drink
After a few shots of Jack, the office jackass is the last person on your mind. When alcohol enters your bloodstream, it seems to activate reward pathways for temporary relief. Ultimately, though, it may intensify your depression, says William Pollack, Ph.D., a Men’s Health mental health advisor. In a University of Chicago study, stressed-out men injected with alcohol felt anxious longer than guys in a placebo group. Booze may disrupt your body’s calming process, prolonging the mental misery.

Do this instead: Self-medicate with music
A study in Nature Neuroscience found that listening to favorite tunes or anticipating a certain point in a song can cause a pleasurable flood of dopamine. Listen to a few songs in a row several times a day. “These doses of dopamine can lower your stress, removing the trigger that causes you to seek alcohol,” says Edward Roth, M.T.-B.C., a professor of music therapy at Western Michigan University.

How you cope: Drive too fast
Why do guys love Vegas? Or consider cliff jumping a worthy pastime? The same reason they speed: Risk taking produces a surge of endorphins, which numb pain, says Cleveland Clinic psychologist Michael McKee, Ph.D. But if you chase those thrills while you’re stressed, they could kill you. Your judgment tends to become clouded, so it’s harder to take calculated risks, explains Addis. “You’re more likely to put yourself in unnecessary danger.”

Do this instead: Hightail it to the gym
But don’t default to your regular workout. If you’re bored with your routine, you may not experience the normal post-gym endorphin rush, making exercise less effective as a stress fighter than it could be, says Addis. So try something new: Sign up for a martial arts class, check out an indoor rock-climbing center, or go mountain biking. These activities combine physical exertion with a bit of benign risk taking. Click here to view the original source of the article

I thought these six smart ways to beat stress were an original approach of addressing stress in every day life.  I think sometimes we don’t even realise that we’re suffering from stress and get used to doing things that aren’t productive and beneficial for our brains. What do you think?

 

 

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