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5 Hacks to Reduce Stress

5 Hacks to Reduce Stress

Having stress is very common for many people in the United States.  According to the American Psychological Association, 70% of adults in the United States claim they feel stressed on a daily basis.  While experiencing stress seems inevitable, there are some methods that will relieve the stress you are experiencing every day.  Here are 5 hacks to reduce stress in your life.

1.) Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can help increase self-esteem and combat negative thinking.  The idea of mindfulness is to anchor yourself into the present moment and remove all the distractions.  Some methods for increasing mindfulness are yoga, meditation, and cognitive therapy.

2.) Exercise

You might not know that exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.  People that exercise regularly see the most stress reduction benefits.  Exercising lowers the body’s stress hormones like cortisol and increases the release of endorphins which improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.

3.) Family and Friends Time

The support of your family and friends can be a huge stress reducer.  Having this network of people gives you self-worth and a sense of belonging which is very helpful when dealing with stressful times.  While spending time with family and friends is beneficial for both men and women, it is particularly helpful for women.  When women spend time with family, friends, and children they release a chemical in their body called oxytocin.  Oxytocin is a natural stress reliever and this effect is called “tend and befriend”, which is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response in the brain. 

4.) Laugh

It’s hard to be stressed out when you’re laughing.  Laughing is good for your health by relieving your stress response and relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.  Also, laughter can improve your mood and immune system.  Hangout with people that make you laugh or try watching a funny tv show or video.

5.) Breathe

Stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, signaling your body to go into fight-or-flight mode.  During this reaction, stress hormones are released, and you experience physical symptoms such as a faster heartbeat, quicker breathing and constricted blood vessels.  Take a moment and try some deep breathing exercises.  These exercises help activate the parasympathetic nervous system which controls the relaxation response.  The goal of deep breathing exercises is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper which slows your heart rate.  Some types of deep breathing exercises are diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing, and paced respiration.


Source: By Dillon Landfried - Oct 2, 2019

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