Stress has a bad reputation. A number of studies have revealed its negative effects on health and emotional well-being. But did you know that stress is there for a reason?
In the past, stress saved our ancestors from threats and predators by triggering an escape response.
This makes it possible to turn off non-essential bodily functions during fight or flight situations.
But right now we are not running from predators. Instead, we live in a world that stresses out in new ways. Stress still causes the same bodily reactions, but its effects are relentlessly damaging to the soul, not protecting it.
Fortunately, there are several ways to combat this negative impact. Try the stress-relieving activities below.
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1. Smile more
You may think that smiling is a reflection of happiness. But research shows that smiling (no matter how you feel) can improve your mood in stressful situations.
It’s best to smile at everyone when in a community. If you want to smile alone, make sure no one is around you.
2. Love your pet
Just 15 minutes of petting a dog can release feel-good hormones (such as serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin).
This activity also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, according to a University of Missouri-Columbia study.
In addition, it can lower blood pressure, aid heart disease recovery, and increase self-esteem.
3. Make memories
Research has proven that experiences make us happier than material possessions. Therefore, invest in meaningful life experiences.
Plan fun activities with your family, friends, girlfriend or whoever. Then document it in the form of photos.
Your brain will associate a photo with the memories behind it. Not only will you have good memories, but you will also feel the stress of your life is reduced.
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4. Connect with other people
We were created to make connections with other human beings and create communities to manage life’s challenges.
Interacting socially makes us feel the support to escape from the pressures of life. Research even shows that those with strong social ties live longer and healthier lives
Join a healthy community where you can pour out unregistered and comfort you in times of stress.
5. Keep a journal
Writing can help you process any stressful event and reduce anxiety at the same time. Try jotting down a few thoughts each day.
Then you can read it again at the end of the week or the end of the month. You will know the things that make you depressed and you will know how to deal with them later.
6. Take a deep breath
Has someone ever told you to “take a deep breath” when you were upset? Maybe these words are also often said in films when one of the actors is facing pressure or is about to get angry.
It turns out that it is true that taking deep breaths can relieve stress. According to the American Institute of Stress, taking deep breaths for 20 to 30 minutes daily can calm your body’s stress reaction. Focusing on deep breathing can also have a calming effect during stressful situations.