Life can be stressful. Between work, study, family and social commitments you can often feel stressed out. Flexibility is your friend during stressful situations, as is the ability to take time out. Stop burning the candle at both ends and start reducing stress from your life with the following 9 tips.
1. Listen to music
If you find yourself anxious and stressed, pull on those headphones and take a break. Try listening to calming music as it has a positive effect on the brain and body. Calming music can even lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol (a hormone linked to stress). Spotify have some great study/relaxation playlists.
2. Eat well
Did you know that stress levels and a proper diet are closely related? Often when our workload increases we neglect our diet and resort to sugary, fatty snack foods. Avoid the junk food and plan ahead. Fruits, vegetables, fish with high levels of omeg-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress.
You don’t have to run a marathon to relieve stress. A short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a study break can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. Getting the blood pumping releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantly.
4. Call a friend
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle, especially when you’re under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice can put everything into perspective.
5. Give yourself a pep talk
When a friend is uncontactable, the next best thing is talking calmly to yourself. Don’t worry about seeming crazy – just identify why you are stressed, what you have to do to complete the task and most importantly remind yourself that everything is okay (trust us, it will be).
6. Laugh it off
Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of stress causing hormones – cortisol and adrenalin. Here’s something you may not know, laughing actually tricks your nervous system into making you happy!
7. Have a cuppa
Take a break and head into the kitchen for a pick-me-up. Instead of coffee, try green tea – it has about half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants. Green tea also contains theanine, an amino acid that has a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system.
8. Grab those Zzz’s
Apart from eating, sleep is your body’s way of refuelling. Everyone knows that stress can cause you to lose sleep, while a lack of sleep is also a key symptom of stress and so the vicious cycle continues. Make a point to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Go back to basics and give yourself a strict bed time.
Above everything remember to breathe. Take a few deep breaths, try to calm down and remember that your assignment, exam, or work project is not the end of the world. Remind yourself of the good things in life and keep yourself balanced. Meditation can be a great way to avoid a freak out. Why not try a body scan? A body scan takes 10 minutes and helps you focus on your breathing. I promise you’ll feel relaxed after you’ve finished the exercise!
About the Author: Nicole Schaerer
Nicole Schaerer is Ivy College’s vibrant Content Marketing Executive. A young gun with a curious mind, she has over 4 years’ experience in Marketing. Holding a degree in Social Science and a Diploma of Marketing, she is always looking to learn something new. Nicole has a passion for writing and producing great content while also obsessing over TV shows, celebrities and really cute photos of puppies on Instagram.