Stress is sneaky and can sometimes grow out of control often leading to physical symptoms. I hope these 12 coping mechanisms for stress help you. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately and ground my teeth so much I chipped a tooth. I started getting back to my routine of Qi Gong and sit, stand, move, meditation and I am already feeling better.
Luckily there are things that you can do to lower stress levels, helping to keep your cortisol (stress hormones) levels manageable.
Signs of stress in the body
Changes in appetite
Try these strategies to cope with your stress:
1. Acknowledge your stress. The first step is to acknowledge that you are stressed. By thinking about the stress in the first instance you can decide if you simply need a break, or if this is a more long-term issue that needs more effort to resolve
2. Laugh, even if it’s forced. It’s true what they say: laughter is the best medicine. A good chuckle stimulates circulation and soothes tension in your body. Laughter is also known to reduce levels of stress hormones including cortisol, epinephrine and dopamine.
3. Inhale essential oils. Essential oils such as lavender or sandalwood have been found to help calm the mind during times of stress and anxiety. I use these often as well as Frankincense and wild orange in my diffuser.
4. Go for a walk. There are a couple of reasons why walking is good for stress. To start, it helps you to escape your current situation, and secondly, any type of exercise will help to release endorphins, which are a type of neurotransmitter that can lighten your mood.
5. Take up yoga or Qi Gong. Yoga is a type of exercise that has become popular among those looking for relief from stress, anxiety, and depression. When you perform yoga, an effect that's the opposite of your flight-or-flight response will be produced. This helps to lower your cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Qi Gong is a gentle moving meditation that offers simple and practical self-care for your mind and body. Qi Gong can be extremely helpful in dealing with the escalated levels of fear and anxiety all around us during the escalating COVID-19 health crisis. A Qi Gong video for you to use https://youtu.be/tiby-6_7qsI.
6. Practice mindfulness. Rather than focusing on negative thoughts and what if’s, try to anchor yourself in the present and focus on what you can achieve. One method you could try is to meditate while paying attention to your breathing. With one minute of belly breathing, you can feel 100 percent better. Let any sounds, sensations, and emotions pass through you. https://youtu.be/MIr3RsUWrdo
7. Write away the stress. When you write down what you are stressed about, you can logically think of ways to tackle the issue or circumstance. This will help you to focus more on the positives than the negatives. After writing what you are stressed about write what you are going to do about it.
8. Dance like nobody’s watching. You might not be home alone, but convince your family to join in on the fun too! Challenge your kids or significant other to a dance-off and create routines that can be performed right in your living room. If you’d like to do something a little less formal, put on your favorite song, and just start moving and grooving. Once those endorphins kick in, you’ll be feeling better in no time, when the body feels good the mind does too.
9. Take a hot bath. Taking a bath in hot water helps to release endorphins and increase blood flow to your skin. Stress increases pain, and a hot bath will help alleviate both. If you are suffering from chronic pain, a hot bath can help to keep your muscles loose and reduce flare-ups in people with arthritis. I like to read a book in my bath.
10. Clean your room, desk, or dishes. Cleaning is another way to practice mindfulness. Plus, it is another form of exercise, which helps to release feel-good endorphins. I clean like a mad person when I am stressed it keeps my mind busy.
11. Reach out to your friends or family. An effective way to reduce stress is by talking to a friend. Sometimes hearing about your troubling issues from someone else’s perspective will help you to look at the challenge differently and find possible solutions.
12. Try foam rolling. Foam rolling will help you to release those built-up knots and ultimately reduce stress.
If you find yourself easily triggered by simple mistakes and lacking in patience, perhaps stress has built up to a level where action needs to be taken.
Chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety, and many serious chronic diseases. Use these methods daily to cope with your stress and soon you’ll find that you have less stress to cope with!
If your stress isn’t that bad and you know someone’s that is give them a big hug, do something nice for them, bring them chocolate, look through happy photos.