Unfortunately, everyone has stress. Whether it’s work or congested highways or bills or boyfriends, there’s always something out there ready to cause us internal strife. And, while the causes of stress are endless, there are plenty of remedies that you can try when that feeling starts to bubble up inside. Here are six methods to try the next time you start to stress out.
Oh, the glorious massage: we’ve already know just how relaxing an hour on the table can be. Aside from the fact that it feels really good, massage can have some physical benefits, too. For example, if you’re stressed out, your blood pressure and heart rate might tick upward. Massage has been shown to reduce heart rates.
At the same time, you might suffer from muscular tension due to stress. Obviously, massage fights that side effect, too. It even encourages your body to release serotonin and dopamine, which usher you into a state of relaxation and calm.
Just like massage, acupuncture already has a healing reputation, and its benefits for stressed-out individuals are many. The gentle, painless insertion of needles stimulates your nervous system and thus opens the floodgate on your body’s neurochemical messenger molecules. Long story short, these tiny molecules spread and promote the feeling of both emotional and physical well-being after a session. Stress, be gone!
Other studies have shown that acupuncture causes a response in the very particular area of the brain that diminishes your sensitivity to pain and stress. It can even help you reduce those changes in behavior — you know the kind — that come with stress.
The age-old practice of yoga, much like the age-old practice of acupuncture, has stood the test of time for good reason: it works. Aside from the fact that holding yoga poses improve pliability and strength, yoga is also a big stress reliever. In yoga classes, you’ll likely learn how to take and hold onto deep breaths, too, which will help you in the midst of a stressful situation. Your instructor might also provide guidance on how to be more mindful (more on that later), which will also help you feel better in the long run.
4. Practicing Mindfulness
You’re angry, you can’t sleep, you’re not hungry, but why? Someone actively practicing mindfulness might have an easier time recognizing the root of these problems (hint: the cause of all three could be extended stress).
Mindfulness is an umbrella term for activities or states of mind that help you look internally and evaluate what’s really happening in your life. They provide practitioners with, simply, more clarity and direction, which, in turn, reduces stress. We’ve already mentioned yoga, but meditation and other mind-body activities can have the same effect.
Studies have shown it works, too: in 2013, an Oxford University study revealed a “significant” improvement in stress for those who took part in an online mindfulness intervention. Everyone involved in the study had “problematic” levels of stress initially, too, so mindfulness clearly has its merits.
5. Sensory Deprivation
The above methods for stress relief are likely treatments you’ve heard of before. And then, there’s sensory deprivation.
There are different forms of sensory deprivation, but they all work to remove as many of the senses as possible in order to reduce your overall stimulation. In most cases, sensory deprivation takes place in a tank loaded with salt so that you can float and feel weightless. There’s no light, sound, smell or taste, either, so you’re able to slip into a very deep state of relaxation.
Obviously, this deep state of relaxation brings stress relief with it. There have been many studies into the effects of sensory deprivation on stress, and researchers have found that time spent in the tank can reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure and fight other psychological effects of stress, too. Sensory deprivation also eases bodily aches and pains and reduces insomnia.
Finally, taking time to write down your thoughts each day can help you fight stress, too. In fact, a 20-minute session is all it takes to reap the benefits of journaling. For example, writing down all of the things for which you are grateful can remind you of the positive and downplay things that are stressing you out. You can also use your journal to plan how you’ll handle a stressful situation so that you’re ready to navigate it instead of feeling constantly worried about it.
These six stress-fighting methods aren’t the only six out there. But they’re all proven to be effective and you might just find that one (or more) works for you in your quest to live a more leveled, stress-free life. Now, get out there and make it happen.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.