Nowadays, people are more stressed than they have ever been before. In fact, the American Psychological Association revealed in February 2021 that Americans reported their highest stress levels since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, around 84% of U.S. adults said they felt at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress. But how can you relieve stress at a time when it seems to be everywhere?
Why We’re Stressed Out
Since 70% of all business partnerships failed even before 2020 — and there are now many emerging issues, both political and not, that are coming to the forefront — it’s no surprise that we’re having difficulty coping. And if you’re stressed out about money, you’re certainly not alone. U.S. bankruptcy filings increased from 24,797 in the first quarter of 2016 to 25,227 in the second quarter of the same year. But as many of us grapple with the layoffs and business closures that have become so common over the last year, financial fallout is inevitable. As per the NFCC’s 2019 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, fewer than one in five Americans are feeling self-assured in regards to their habit of saving money. Whether our worry stems from work, money, or societal problems, it’s clear that we’re feeling the effects of increased stress.
Why Stress Matters
Stress is regarded as the slow killer of humanity. That is no surprise, as it can lead to many serious illnesses. Whether it will result in damaging your overall physical health or destroy your mental health, you shouldn’t underestimate (or worse, glamorize) stress. When stress can’t be completely prevented, it needs to be managed before it reaches dangerous levels.
There are many techniques that have been introduced to people these days. From listening to music and deep breathing to using herbs and crystals, there is no shortage of stress management tips. However, there are a couple of methods that prove to be the most effective. Here are just we few we’d suggest.
Meditation is probably the best method and technique to use in order to reduce stress. Studies have found that meditation can manage high blood pressure and even pain, along with mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. It encompasses the process of deep breathing, which helps the brain receive more oxygen. By giving more oxygen to the brain, the thoughts become clearer, which reduces stress and anxiety significantly. Luckily, there are many guided meditations out there on YouTube or meditation applications, such as Headspace, which help relax and learn to be present.
Drink an Herbal Tea
Herbal teas like chamomile and lavender are known for their relaxation properties. However, they are also known to reduce cortisol levels. This hormone is the one responsible for the stress in the human body. If the cortisol levels are up, then the person feels stressed. Drinking an herbal, non-caffeinated tea can help you relax — not only because of the chemical reaction they create but because the act of brewing and drinking a comforting beverage can take you out of a harmful mental state.
Listen to Music
Hearing your favorite song on the radio really can change your entire mood. Furthermore, people can reduce stress by listening to music or monaural beats, which are known to reduce stress and anxiety. Recent research has shown that monaural, as well as binaural beats, can be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety symptoms. Thus, stress can also be alleviated by simply listening to music.
Another way of lowering down your stress levels is to exercise regularly, even for just 15 minutes a day. This helps alleviate the stress in the human body by releasing endorphins (known as the feel-good hormone). According to many people, yoga and meditation combined can do wonders for the mental and physical health of a person. But anything you can do to move your body will be beneficial. You can enhance these effects by exercising outside, as studies have shown that spending time in nature has positive effects on the brain and your overall mood.
Use Physical Touch
Physical touch can have a major impact on our mental state. Whether you get a relaxing aromatherapy massage from a professional or simply rub some pressure points on your own body, you can learn to relax and release tension. When we’re stressed, we tend to hold tension in our bodies — and that can make us feel even worse. A massage can relieve that physical pressure and allow you to release the effects of stress on your body.
Ultimately, some amount of stress is inescapable. But if you have too much of it, your physical and mental health will suffer. By applying these quick stress relief tips, you can better manage and even prevent excessive stress and live a more balanced life.